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Author Topic: Great Western Railway: on-board catering, buffets, Travelling Chef, Pullman - ongoing discussion  (Read 363856 times)
IndustryInsider
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« Reply #1365 on: September 20, 2018, 12:14:32 pm »

The prohibition on buffet cars is a GWR thing, customers on other routes will still be allowed buffet cars on their IETs.

As we know the ECML Azuma sets out of Kings Cross will have a buffet car.  It's easy to say they are a similar long distance operator, but I believe there are key differences which still tip the balance in favour of them providing a buffet and GWR 'choosing' the trolley option.  I put choosing in quotes because the 800s were specified by the DfT without a buffet but the 802s could have had one fitted had GWR decided to.

The obvious one is average journey length.  Based on distance from London, GWR's main long distance destinations are Bristol TM (118 miles), Cardiff (145 miles), Exeter (173 miles), Swansea (192 miles) and Plymouth (225 miles).  Compare those distances with LNER and Bristol is equivelent to Newark North Gate, Cardiff is Retford and Doncaster, Exeter and Swansea are roughly equivelent to Leeds and York, and Plymouth is the same at Darlington.  So, you still have two massive destinations on the LNER route of Newcastle and Edinburgh which are far further than GWR's key destinations.

So, if LNER had ordered a fleet of trains to shuttle up and down between Kings Cross and Newark/Doncaster/Leeds/York then I would suggest they would come to the same conclusions - most people just want a coffee and bag of crisps and not enough people would buy things that can only be brought from a buffet to justify them.  Having places like Durham, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Aberdeen on their books probably tips the balance in favour of a well stocked buffet.

I know a better comparison would be journey time, but the decreased journey times offered by GWR's IET's brings them into closer alignment with LNER in that regard, certainly out to the two real big hitters of Bristol and Cardiff anyway.

Using journey time anaylsis throws into sharp focus the Cornwall issue with Plymouth and beyond taking long enough to justfiy a buffet.  However, given that is the only route of four hours or more that GWR operates, and the new stock is to be used on a wealth of other much shorter routes as well, it is perhaps not suprising the 802s have no buffet, despite that being the more appropriate choice for London to Penzance IMHO.
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Zo
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« Reply #1366 on: September 20, 2018, 12:24:30 pm »

I seem to remember that another issue was that the 802s would not only be working to Plymouth/Penzance but also on Cotswold services (which would not have a buffet) so it was thought better to have a uniform fleet without a buffet.
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Trowres
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« Reply #1367 on: September 20, 2018, 12:26:06 pm »

The problem with trolleys on shorter distance services is that they become ineffective if the trolley doesn't appear alongside a passenger's seat at least 20 minutes - preferably more - before that passenger reaches their destination.
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broadgage
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« Reply #1368 on: September 20, 2018, 03:02:09 pm »

I seem to remember that another issue was that the 802s would not only be working to Plymouth/Penzance but also on Cotswold services (which would not have a buffet) so it was thought better to have a uniform fleet without a buffet.

Always downgrade facilities as much as possible. If SOME units allegedly don't need a buffet, then build them ALL without a buffet. No question of course of building them all WITH a buffet, even if this might not be needed on every diagram.
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"When customers say that they want a seat, they dont mean they want to sit with their knees behind their ears so that 4 more can sit down. They mean that they want an extra coach so that 74 more can sit down"
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« Reply #1369 on: September 20, 2018, 03:28:03 pm »

Always downgrade facilities as much as possible. If SOME units allegedly don't need a buffet, then build them ALL without a buffet. No question of course of building them all WITH a buffet, even if this might not be needed on every diagram.
If all the 802s had been built with buffets though, you would lose seats on the busy Oxford/Cotswold commuter route.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2018, 03:53:12 pm by Zo » Logged
broadgage
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« Reply #1370 on: September 20, 2018, 03:41:03 pm »

Then make them longer, and with a buffet car.
BTW, I suspect that Cotswold commuters would enjoy a buffet, especially for real coffee and fresh cooked bacon rolls in the morning peak, and alcoholic drink in evening peak.
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"When customers say that they want a seat, they dont mean they want to sit with their knees behind their ears so that 4 more can sit down. They mean that they want an extra coach so that 74 more can sit down"
"Capacity on intercity routes should be about number of vehicles, not compressing people"
ChrisB
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« Reply #1371 on: September 20, 2018, 03:46:01 pm »

Frankly, many comment that they won't leave their seat while the train is busy & then there isn't long enough between Oxford & their station to want to consume anything. GWR have done their research, and I've heard many a comment along these lines
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broadgage
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« Reply #1372 on: September 20, 2018, 04:04:14 pm »

At least those units primarily intended for long distance services should have had proper buffet cars.
If they sometimes end up being used on other routes, then so be it.

New allegedly intercity trains without a buffet car is a significant downgrade for 4+ hour journeys. This is not just my view.
IETs for other operators DO have buffets so it looks as though the downgrade was a GWR policy, not the department for transport as is sometimes claimed.
Did Daft REALLY say "passengers headed north are allowed buffets, but those headed west are not allowed buffets" ? I rather doubt it.
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"When customers say that they want a seat, they dont mean they want to sit with their knees behind their ears so that 4 more can sit down. They mean that they want an extra coach so that 74 more can sit down"
"Capacity on intercity routes should be about number of vehicles, not compressing people"
grahame
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« Reply #1373 on: September 20, 2018, 04:23:18 pm »

New allegedly intercity trains without a buffet car is a significant downgrade for 4+ hour journeys.

Just to be clear - the only passenger journeys always over 4 hours without change of trains will be
> Paddington to Truro and west thereof
> Reading to St Erh and Penzance
(and vice versa)
Paddingotn to St Austell will sometimes take just over 4 hours too.

Such journeys are good GWR business. I suspect numbers are not all that high, but revenue per passenger will be.  But what proportion of journeys made on a Paddington to Penzance express involve the passenger being on the train for over 4 hours?  Surely there will be far more journeys from Truro to places like Plymouth, Exeter, Redruth and Penzance than to London?
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« Reply #1374 on: September 20, 2018, 04:42:24 pm »

New allegedly intercity trains without a buffet car is a significant downgrade for 4+ hour journeys. This is not just my view.

I agree with that.  Trouble is the percentage of passengers travelling 4+hours on GWR's long distance routes is tiny.
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CharlieGCR
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« Reply #1375 on: September 20, 2018, 04:46:24 pm »

Then make them longer, and with a buffet car.
BTW, I suspect that Cotswold commuters would enjoy a buffet, especially for real coffee and fresh cooked bacon rolls in the morning peak, and alcoholic drink in evening peak.

There bacon rolls are cooked extremely quick then, almost as fast as a microwave!

I had a bacon baguette last week and the lovely Customer Hoat went down and did the same as the HST.
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« Reply #1376 on: September 20, 2018, 04:59:56 pm »

Indeed, HST buffets other than the Pullman don't cook anything from fresh, it's all microwaved. As it is in buffets going north
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bignosemac
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« Reply #1377 on: September 20, 2018, 05:20:33 pm »

More correctly, the food is heated in a triple combination oven. Microwave, convection and tuned impingement together.  That's how your bacon roll stays crusty and your toastie/hot panini doesn't go all limp and soggy.
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« Reply #1378 on: September 20, 2018, 05:24:36 pm »

More correctly, the food is heated in a triple combination oven. Microwave, convection and tuned impingement together.  That's how your bacon roll stays crusty and your toastie/hot panini doesn't go all limp and soggy.


..as I go through life I often reflect on how soggy my panini would be without a tuned impingement to firm it up now and again.
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Four Track, Now!
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« Reply #1379 on: September 20, 2018, 06:51:07 pm »

All rumours, especially railway related ones, should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Something I heard through the grapevine...


I had a bacon baguette last week and the lovely Customer Host went down and did the same as the HST.

Truly, service beyond the call of public duty!
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