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Author Topic: Great Western Railway: on-board catering, buffets, Travelling Chef, Pullman - ongoing discussion  (Read 437074 times)
TonyK
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« Reply #1455 on: June 17, 2019, 07:48:46 pm »

My brother in law is Peter Parker, CBE. I reckon he would have been knighted, but for someone else of the same name.

Did he ever bake an enormous 5 tier fruit cake? That would have been both ironic and an incredible coincidence.

Not that I'm aware of. I think he tried, but it all ended in tiers. And his Spiderman joke to the Institute of Directors fell flat.
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ray951
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« Reply #1456 on: June 20, 2019, 08:37:16 am »

Things are starting to look up, rather than the normal overcrowded 2 car train I was offered Pullman Breakfast on my daily commute today (DID - OXF) , and it may even have been free.
Unfortunately given how much faster a non-stop IET is over a stopping-all-stations 165 there wasn't time for me to partake of this great offer, but maybe GWR could offer it more often to long serving customers/commuters Grin Grin

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bobm
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« Reply #1457 on: June 24, 2019, 09:20:53 pm »

Travelled on the Pullman today.

Almost the first thing one of the staff said to me was "Have you heard from [broadgage] recently?  We haven't seen him about".

I was able to reassure them that having met broadgage in Taunton recently he is in fine fettle.
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broadgage
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« Reply #1458 on: June 25, 2019, 12:02:35 pm »

Travelled on the Pullman today.

Almost the first thing one of the staff said to me was "Have you heard from [broadgage] recently?  We haven't seen him about".

I was able to reassure them that having met broadgage in Taunton recently he is in fine fettle.

I travel less these days, partly because of the new trains. I am not fit enough to stand for a long journey if the train is half length, and booking a seat is of limited help since the reservations don't work reliably, and are void if the train is half length.
On my most recent trip to London, the Pullman failed to appear.

I look forward to a Pullman meal, but opportunities are limited these days.
I was considering a London trip today, rather glad that I did not looking at journey check.
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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.
Clan Line
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« Reply #1459 on: June 25, 2019, 09:18:27 pm »


I travel less these days, partly because of the new trains. I am not fit enough to stand for a long journey if the train is half length, and booking a seat is of limited help since the reservations don't work reliably, and are void if the train is half length.
On my most recent trip to London, the Pullman failed to appear.

I look forward to a Pullman meal, but opportunities are limited these days.
I was considering a London trip today, rather glad that I did not looking at journey check.

What a sad (but totally accurate) reflection on the appalling service that GWR is presently doling out to its "customers".
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broadgage
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« Reply #1460 on: June 26, 2019, 11:45:22 am »


What a sad (but totally accurate) reflection on the appalling service that GWR is presently doling out to its "customers".

Indeed, my criticism is not of the Pullman service itself, but the added hassle factor/stress of the new trains.
I do still travel, but much less than previously due to the downgraded facilities and comfort.
And of course back in the good old days, if the Pullman failed to appear, there was always the buffet as a fall back option.

On one recent trip I did obtain a free GWR sandwich in first class, but was not able to purchase any drink to go with it. Progress I know, but still regrettable.
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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.
broadgage
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« Reply #1461 on: June 26, 2019, 06:31:50 pm »

According to the GWR website, first class passengers may obtain complimentary items from the buffet "if we can not serve you at your seat"

https://www.gwr.com/plan-journey/first-class/menu

The above was true when I posted it, but GWR have now removed the reference to a buffet on the web page about first class.

They are however still advertising the availability of the "express café" on trains to Castle Cary. GWR are clearly struggling to keep up with their own downgrades !
https://www.gwr.com/destinations-and-events/festivals-and-events/glastonbury-festival
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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.
1st fan
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« Reply #1462 on: June 30, 2019, 11:09:34 pm »

What has changed is that if you're in 1st you can collect complimentary items from the standard trolley (assuming there is one).
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Our First Class trolley is normally available on high-speed trains, starting their journey on weekdays between 06:00 and 19:30.

If we can’t serve you at your seat, just show your ticket at the Standard Class trolley, to get the complimentary snacks and drinks you’d like.

Whilst this is just restoring the service to HST/buffet standards during the stated hours it appears to be a downgrade at all other times. It seems to indicate that outside these times 1st passengers are not going to get any complementary items. That may just be my reading of the wording though.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2019, 11:16:56 pm by 1st fan » Logged
bobm
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« Reply #1463 on: July 01, 2019, 12:52:47 pm »

I'm finding the onboard GWR wifi more reliable these days - but the landing page could do with an update now the HST and their buffets have gone...

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grahame
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« Reply #1464 on: July 01, 2019, 01:02:18 pm »

I'm finding the onboard GWR wifi more reliable these days - but the landing page could do with an update now the HST and their buffets have gone...

You'll find similar offers of refreshments. Pullman and first class upgrades on the TransWllts trains too ... where I don't think they've ever been offered ...
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broadgage
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« Reply #1465 on: July 07, 2019, 01:38:52 pm »

Back in the good old days, HSTs not only had a buffet but this was provided even at weekends.
Looks as though GWR have given up on weekend trolley provision, hardly any today.

A cynic might suspect that GWR are hoping to withdraw all catering from most services.

What are the odds on the next "review of on board catering" resulting in "concentrating our resources where they are most needed" that being corporate speak for removing all catering from many services, including weekends.

Progress I know.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2019, 01:44:45 pm by broadgage » Logged

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.
phile
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« Reply #1466 on: July 07, 2019, 02:30:03 pm »

GWR actually showing catering shortcomings on Journey Check today, 35 of them due to staff shortage
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #1467 on: July 07, 2019, 05:44:14 pm »


A cynic might suspect that GWR are hoping to withdraw all catering from most services.

What are the odds on the next "review of on board catering" resulting in "concentrating our resources where they are most needed" that being corporate speak for removing all catering from many services, including weekends.


This point may well have been brought up previously on this 96-page thread, but if so I'll make it again anyway.

As I recall, in days gone by the buffet car was rarely a very well-patronised place. In days more recent ie. within the last month when my rail rover was valid I have used services with buffets (or "shops" as some TOCs call them) they weren't very well patronised either. When I went up to them in all but one case the person behind the counter was doing the modern day equivalent of twiddling their thumbs, and on that one other occasion they were serving one other person so I had to wait.

So one has to ask the question is the buffet car profitable enough to keep or not? And I am afraid that the answer to that is probably in the negative. Given that no TOC (or TOC in their right mind, anyway) is going to give up a profitable income stream just for the sheer hell of it, we must at least consider this.

Moving on to trolley services, I have a gut feeling that they may actually do more business than a traditional buffet car. They will possibly engender impulse buying, which may not happen if a passenger has to get out of their seat and wander a few coaches away to the buffet, and I am also sure that there are many passengers who don't like walking around in moving trains - we all know that there is an element pf "sea legs" required, which is a skill that the occasional traveller may not have developed.

And whether or not the trolley services will survive is, I suspect, more to with whether they return a profit or not, rather than the "evil GWR" or anybody else removing them by stealth, once again  just for the hell of it.
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bobm
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« Reply #1468 on: July 07, 2019, 05:54:29 pm »

I haven't been able to find out anymore details yet, but as I was waiting on the train alongside, staff were laying up what appeared to be a Saturday Pullman service on the 08:35 London Paddington to Paignton service (although crew shortages meant it was only going as far as Exeter St David's).



(Apologies for the poor photo but it was through two sets of coach windows.)
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Charlie (in Gloucester)
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« Reply #1469 on: July 07, 2019, 06:40:02 pm »

Back in the good old days, HSTs not only had a buffet but this was provided even at weekends.
Looks as though GWR have given up on weekend trolley provision, hardly any today.

A cynic might suspect that GWR are hoping to withdraw all catering from most services.

What are the odds on the next "review of on board catering" resulting in "concentrating our resources where they are most needed" that being corporate speak for removing all catering from many services, including weekends.

Progress I know.

Again, any good businessman would understand the issues that GWR face. They have not given up, they have in-fact got a shortage of crew to staff it, or the train is to crowded due to the short form. They wouldn’t pay hundreds of staff 26k a year if they had given up on their Customer Hosts and catering...
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