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Author Topic: Great Western Railway: on-board catering, buffets, Travelling Chef, Pullman - ongoing discussion  (Read 577989 times)
TonyK
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« Reply #1590 on: January 24, 2021, 01:05:58 am »


For a large formal dinner, a decanter holding two or more bottles is useful, a clear glass decanter allows the waiters to observe how much remains.

Or doesn't remain, in the case of dinners I have occasionally been to.
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« Reply #1591 on: February 06, 2021, 10:57:27 am »

GWR (Great Western Railway) have stopped all on train catering after a request from the ORR» (Office of Rail and Road formerly Office of Rail Regulation - about) over concerns about how it can be delivered in a Covid secure way. 

Some on-train catering has now been reintroduced.
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broadgage
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« Reply #1592 on: February 22, 2021, 08:07:02 pm »

With todays announcement that the end of lockdown is within sight, do GWR (Great Western Railway) have any firm plans to reintroduce catering ?

Not just yet of course, but time to plan perhaps.

To offer Pullman dining on the same number of trains, and of a similar standard to that offered before the pandemic.

To offer a proper trolley service, reliably provided in both portions of every train, and passing each seat within 30 minutes of departure and at intervals no longer than every 30 minutes thereafter.

Not static (except on overcrowded trains)
Not hiding in first class.
Not hiding in the kitchen.
Not "closed for stocktaking"

A proper buffet would be preferable, but GWR have already said "no way" to that.

What I naturally suspect is that the pandemic will an excellent excuse to make more downgrades.
(Remember the Hatfield accident ? ALL Pullmans withdrawn as a result, and most never re-appeared)
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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 #1593 on: February 22, 2021, 08:15:48 pm »

With todays announcement that the end of lockdown is within sight, do GWR (Great Western Railway) have any firm plans to reintroduce catering ? ...

I'm sure we'll get an answer in due course ... for the moment, we have a promise to ensure that any school-critical trains not running at the moment will be restarted for the return to school:

Quote
Dear Graham
 
Following the Prime Minister’s confirmation this afternoon that all schools and colleges will return on Monday 8 March, I wanted to reassure you all our key school and college services will be operating.
 
Many are already running, but where they are not, we will have the reinstated in time to support students, pupils and returning staff.
 
Over the last year, we have worked closely with colleges and schools as well as our colleagues on mapping these services, and I am grateful to them for their help in this vital piece of work.  If there are any services that you would like to specifically check are included, do let me know and we will check for you.
 
As restrictions ease over the course of the coming months and more passengers return to the railway, we will continue to restore services to our timetable. We will of course keep you updated on our plans but should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
 
Best wishes
 
Mark

I will be writing up a few things tomorrow and putting up a "returning" thread.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #1594 on: February 23, 2021, 06:56:00 am »

With todays announcement that the end of lockdown is within sight, do GWR (Great Western Railway) have any firm plans to reintroduce catering ?

Not just yet of course, but time to plan perhaps.

To offer Pullman dining on the same number of trains, and of a similar standard to that offered before the pandemic.

To offer a proper trolley service, reliably provided in both portions of every train, and passing each seat within 30 minutes of departure and at intervals no longer than every 30 minutes thereafter.

Not static (except on overcrowded trains)
Not hiding in first class.
Not hiding in the kitchen.
Not "closed for stocktaking"

A proper buffet would be preferable, but GWR have already said "no way" to that.

What I naturally suspect is that the pandemic will an excellent excuse to make more downgrades.
(Remember the Hatfield accident ? ALL Pullmans withdrawn as a result, and most never re-appeared)

I'm sure the culinary railway needs of Broadgage are foremost in the Prime Minister's mind, albeit competing with relieving pressure on the NHS, reopening schools and trying to save the economy.........
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broadgage
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« Reply #1595 on: February 23, 2021, 04:18:01 pm »

I very much doubt that the PM is aware of my fondness for on train catering.
The NHS, and education are indeed higher priorities than on train catering, both before the pandemic and afterwards.

That however should not mean that train catering should be ignored on the grounds that "The NHS is more important"
And as for the "wider economy" I would argue that catering on trains is a PART of that wider economy that should be re-opened  as soon as is prudent.
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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 #1596 on: April 22, 2021, 11:19:51 am »

With todays announcement that the end of lockdown is within sight, do GWR (Great Western Railway) have any firm plans to reintroduce catering ?

Not just yet of course, but time to plan perhaps.

To offer Pullman dining on the same number of trains, and of a similar standard to that offered before the pandemic.

Current plans are to reintrduce the Pullman service by the middle of June.  I'm not sure whether that is a phased reintroduction, or a full reintroduction, or whether the full menu will be available...etc.
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Lee
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« Reply #1597 on: April 22, 2021, 11:48:07 am »

With todays announcement that the end of lockdown is within sight, do GWR (Great Western Railway) have any firm plans to reintroduce catering ?

Not just yet of course, but time to plan perhaps.

To offer Pullman dining on the same number of trains, and of a similar standard to that offered before the pandemic.

Current plans are to reintrduce the Pullman service by the middle of June.  I'm not sure whether that is a phased reintroduction, or a full reintroduction, or whether the full menu will be available...etc.

But will there be port, man, will there be port??!...
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« Reply #1598 on: April 22, 2021, 12:01:25 pm »

But will there be port, man, will there be port??!...

Well done for getting that in before TG had the chance.  Cheesy
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broadgage
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« Reply #1599 on: April 23, 2021, 02:00:07 am »

Whilst I am pleased to hear of the planned return of Pullman services, I don't really trust GWR (Great Western Railway)  about catering.
I can hear the weasel words already.

"A phased return" that never progresses beyond the first phase.
"We are exploring alternative dining formats" such as reheated airline tray meals.
"A more accessible service" I.E. not a proper restaurant.
"Unfortunately the relaunch was not successful" we tried it on three trains without telling anyone, a bit like the famous hot food from the trolley.

Previous events do not fill me with confidence.

Carrying out a survey that showed buffets were no longer wanted, AFTER the new DMUs (Diesel Multiple Unit) were specified without a buffet. No doubt then as to what answer was required from the survey.

All the promises made about the wonderful new trolley service, NONE  of which were achieved.

And even the downgraded and very basic trolley service was so often in the other unit, closed for stocktaking, hiding in first class, or completely absent, that a general view was that "the new trains dont have catering" is in practice justified.
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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 #1600 on: April 23, 2021, 10:08:14 am »

Being realistic we are now in a completely new era and it’ll more than likely be down to the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) or whatever government organisation takes over the DfT’s responsibilities.

If it’s losing a lot of money and they don’t wish to pay for it then it will probably not last long. If it does reasonably well (like it was before the pandemic) it will likely survive.

I think it’s chances of survival are sadly less than those of the other GWR (Great Western Railway) niche product, the Night Riviera sleeper, as that has the benefit of having more of a political importance given it provides an important link to Devon and Cornwall.  In other words I would expect the DfT to continue to subsidise that ahead of the Pullman.

It’s positive news that they are at least going to try and resume it...it would have been much easier to quietly drop it.  Longer term prospects?  We’ll have to wait and see...

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« Reply #1601 on: April 23, 2021, 01:48:45 pm »

Yes indeed the sleeper des have good political clout, but there is also a fair deal of political support  in Devon and Cornwall for the  Pullman.  Hopefully the Golden Hind title might return as well.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #1602 on: April 23, 2021, 05:43:42 pm »

Being realistic we are now in a completely new era and it’ll more than likely be down to the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) or whatever government organisation takes over the DfT’s responsibilities.

If it’s losing a lot of money and they don’t wish to pay for it then it will probably not last long. If it does reasonably well (like it was before the pandemic) it will likely survive.

I think it’s chances of survival are sadly less than those of the other GWR (Great Western Railway) niche product, the Night Riviera sleeper, as that has the benefit of having more of a political importance given it provides an important link to Devon and Cornwall.  In other words I would expect the DfT to continue to subsidise that ahead of the Pullman.

It’s positive news that they are at least going to try and resume it...it would have been much easier to quietly drop it.  Longer term prospects?  We’ll have to wait and see...



I suspect that the "New World" of mass remote working will dent demand for the Sleeper somewhat - AIUI (as I understand it) the main demand was towards London on Sunday evening and heading West on Friday - there'll be fewer people working the 5 day pattern fitting that - however that said, it might be somewhat offset by more long distance workers who take advantage of only being in the London office one day a week to move permanently to the South West and use it for that day to ensure an early start?
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« Reply #1603 on: April 23, 2021, 06:14:20 pm »

Yes, I don’t think we’ll know how it’ll pan out for quite a while, but all eventualities are possible.
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« Reply #1604 on: April 24, 2021, 11:11:13 am »

Have heard from someone within GWR (Great Western Railway) that a full trolley service will return at the next timetable change and the Pullman services will be returning in June
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