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Author Topic: Great Western Railway: on-board catering, buffets, Travelling Chef, Pullman - ongoing discussion  (Read 404522 times)
a-driver
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« Reply #1410 on: October 10, 2018, 09:58:47 pm »

Whilst I am glad to say that my cynical prediction regarding the end of Pullman dining was nor realised, my other catering prediction regarding the abolition of buffets was unfortunately true.

For years I forecast, and then stated as a fact that "the new trains wont have buffets" Many respected members of these forums took a different view and felt that I was being unduly negative.
Even after drawings of the internal layout were shown, without a buffet, it was pointed out that this was only "one possible layout"
Several members felt that my criticisms were premature because "none of us have actually seen a new train yet" I felt able to complain about the absence of a buffet without personal inspection.

I also predicted the abolition of the travelling chef, and that the trolley service on the new DMUs would be inadequate.

The retention of the Pullman service Is most welcome, but does not  make up for the building a large fleet of so called inter-city trains without buffets.

The rumour mill would suggest we haven’t seen the end of the buffet cars.... then again, the rumour mill hasn’t been that reliable in the past.
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1st fan
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« Reply #1411 on: October 11, 2018, 01:27:58 pm »

Also apparently there are plans to operate two trolleys on the nine cars.

Was not two trolleys originally a promise ?
Which then became a future aspiration.
And if eventually sometimes achieved will no doubt be touted as a great step forward !
We were promised on this very site (by Ben Rule) that more sophisticated trolleys would be introduced on the IET. I've yet to see these appear.
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broadgage
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« Reply #1412 on: October 11, 2018, 01:33:42 pm »

The improved trolleys have turned from a promise into an aspiration.
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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 is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
Charlie (in Gloucester)
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« Reply #1413 on: October 17, 2018, 08:25:27 pm »

Today I was scrolling through my twitter feed and I find the new refurbished HSTs for ScotRail. I was looking at First Class.

Same seats as GWR, but new carpet and lighting. Toilets refurbished but still small.
Standard Class is the same with more seats.

But what strikes me is the fact that ScotRail provide Bacon Rolls (as well as porridge etc) on a service where generally passengers would travel for shorter amounts of time. They also have a self service station and at seat trolley service. Soup and rolls are served in the afternoon.

They are also able to staff a buffet and a trolley service, using only three customer hosts. I always thought this could have been an option.

The DfT could have added a buffet to GWR sets if they were not money ridden as well as ability to run a at seat service, i.e a 10 car rotation with 4 customer hosts could be used as 1 at buffet, 1 on Standard Trolley and 1 on First Trolley and another helping out with duties. It also means that I do not need to wait for the ‘now approaching Swindon’ announment to get my cup of tea when it’s a nine car set.
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williamn
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« Reply #1414 on: October 26, 2018, 01:28:53 pm »

Currently sitting on an IET now, my first experience of one. No time to buy lunch at Paddington. Got on and the announcement it that the trolley is cash only, and I don't have. Pretty hungry and unimpressed! In any case, we're an hour into the journey and the trolley hasn't arrived yet.

No other country in Europe would have an intercity journey of the length of London to Bristol with no buffet available.
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rogerpatenall
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« Reply #1415 on: October 26, 2018, 02:28:11 pm »

"No other country in Europe would have an intercity journey of the length of London to Bristol with no buffet available."

My regular route - Corail Inter Cities Paris to Cherbourg - is well over three hours and nothing available, and only the odd vending machine at Cherbourg, Valognes, etc.
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williamn
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« Reply #1416 on: October 26, 2018, 02:34:35 pm »

Fair enough! That said, this is supposed to be our prestige train, akin to a TGV or ICE. Also, the trolley never arrived.
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bobm
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« Reply #1417 on: October 26, 2018, 02:50:43 pm »

Sorry it was in such circumstances, but thank you for your first posts williamn after watching from the sidelines for such a long time.
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Umberleigh
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« Reply #1418 on: May 17, 2019, 05:20:56 pm »

Any news on how the Pullman restaurant offering is faring on the IETs?

Also, what are the First Class refreshments and hot food options?

The Standard class trolley on the down Cornish Riviera was woeful when I travelled earlier this week, so what news on the promised improved trolleys which will “keep hot things hot and cold things cold”?
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johnneyw
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« Reply #1419 on: May 17, 2019, 05:46:21 pm »

“keep hot things hot and cold things cold”?

Reminds me of an old David Beckham joke:


David Beckham goes shopping, and sees something interesting in the kitchen department of a large department store. "What's that?" he asks.
"A Thermos flask," replies the assistant. "What does it do?" asks Becks.
The assistant tells him it keeps hot things hot and cold things cold.
Really impressed, Beckham buys one and takes it along to his next  training session. "Here, boys, look at this," Beckham says proudly.
"It's a Thermos flask." The lads are impressed. "What does it do?" they ask. "It keeps hot things hot and cold things cold, "says David.
"What have you got in it?" asks Roy Keane.
"Two cups of coffee and a Choc ice," replies David.
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TonyK
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« Reply #1420 on: May 17, 2019, 06:34:21 pm »

Any news on how the Pullman restaurant offering is faring on the IETs?

Also, what are the First Class refreshments and hot food options?

The Standard class trolley on the down Cornish Riviera was woeful when I travelled earlier this week, so what news on the promised improved trolleys which will “keep hot things hot and cold things cold”?

Someone seems to be blowing hot and cold on this one.
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Now, please!
broadgage
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« Reply #1421 on: May 17, 2019, 08:11:09 pm »

The improved trolleys that were promised have been quietly forgotten, indeed GWR are struggling to provide even the very basic trolley service. Provision seems to have worsened as more services have been downgraded.
Supporters of the IETs have suggested that perhaps the new and improved trolleys would be introduced once enough of the new trains were in use to justify this. Well virtually all services are now downgraded to DMUs and no new trolleys have been sighted.

The promised hot food offering in cattle class appears to have sunk without trace. IET advocates again suggested that the hot food might start once enough DMUs were in use.

The Pullman service continues but is IME struggling within the confines of a 5 car DMU. I forecast that Pullman provision would be problematic in a 5 car unit. Optimists presumed that 9 car DMUs would be used for Pullman services. Now confirmed as 5 car for former inter-city services to Plymouth and Penzance.

This is known as progress.

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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 is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
TaplowGreen
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« Reply #1422 on: May 17, 2019, 10:42:38 pm »

The improved trolleys that were promised have been quietly forgotten, indeed GWR are struggling to provide even the very basic trolley service. Provision seems to have worsened as more services have been downgraded.
Supporters of the IETs have suggested that perhaps the new and improved trolleys would be introduced once enough of the new trains were in use to justify this. Well virtually all services are now downgraded to DMUs and no new trolleys have been sighted.

The promised hot food offering in cattle class appears to have sunk without trace. IET advocates again suggested that the hot food might start once enough DMUs were in use.

The Pullman service continues but is IME struggling within the confines of a 5 car DMU. I forecast that Pullman provision would be problematic in a 5 car unit. Optimists presumed that 9 car DMUs would be used for Pullman services. Now confirmed as 5 car for former inter-city services to Plymouth and Penzance.

This is known as progress.



It's more commonly known as supply reflecting demand.

No-one doubts your devotion to (some might say obsession with) on train catering Broadgage (how could we? 😉) but you're very much in the minority.

There are now a wide choice of far superior and more reasonably priced offerings available elsewhere and people have voted with their feet.

The vast majority of people really aren't that bothered.

« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 10:52:19 pm by TaplowGreen » Logged
GBM
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« Reply #1423 on: May 18, 2019, 09:02:12 am »

Sorry, I'm with broadgage on this one.
Having travelled up to London from Penzance on an HST with an open buffet, the relief to walk up to it, order food and drink, then a walk back was good.
We returned on an IET with no trolley sighting until it appeared at Redruth.
Although we purchased some food and a drink at Paddington (having seen it was an IET), we were parched by Exeter, and gagging beyond Plymouth.
As the train was overfull there were many grumbles I heard in the carriage we were in about no food or drink being available.
To be fair to the customer host(s) they made several announcements on departure from Paddington to say they wouldn't be able to move through the train. 
That said, there was only one announcement between Reading and Exeter, and none after Exeter.

I guess from TG comment that makes it 2 votes for a buffet and 98 against a buffet!  Grin Grin
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #1424 on: May 18, 2019, 09:45:11 am »

Sorry, I'm with broadgage on this one.
Having travelled up to London from Penzance on an HST with an open buffet, the relief to walk up to it, order food and drink, then a walk back was good.
We returned on an IET with no trolley sighting until it appeared at Redruth.
Although we purchased some food and a drink at Paddington (having seen it was an IET), we were parched by Exeter, and gagging beyond Plymouth.
As the train was overfull there were many grumbles I heard in the carriage we were in about no food or drink being available.
To be fair to the customer host(s) they made several announcements on departure from Paddington to say they wouldn't be able to move through the train. 
That said, there was only one announcement between Reading and Exeter, and none after Exeter.

I guess from TG comment that makes it 2 votes for a buffet and 98 against a buffet!  Grin Grin

Entirely fair comments GBM.

My "long distance" travel by train tends to be Paddington (or occasionally Reading) - Plymouth......given the variety of food and drink available to take away at/nearby either of those stations, far superior in quality and far better VFM than that available on a train, I simply make sure that I stock up before departure - always carry a bottle of water anyway to guard against being "parched" - looking around the train it's clear that many do the same.

I do get that those travelling from somewhere like St Erth to London aren't as fortunate in that respect.

On my last HST trip the buffet was open but doing very little business with a very limited range and it could only take cash because "our card machine isn't working" - sort of sums it up.

If there was sufficient demand for a buffet and they were profitable, they would have kept them. Travelling Chef failed because ultimately it was producing mediocre food that few people wanted at a high price.

The Pullman will probably survive on its novelty factor (and because it's subsidised by Broadgage!)  Cheesy
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