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Author Topic: Great Western Railway: on-board catering, buffets, Travelling Chef, Pullman - ongoing discussion  (Read 484760 times)
IndustryInsider
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« Reply #1545 on: June 08, 2020, 05:44:36 pm »

Presumably the compulsory wearing of masks on board will need to be lifted before any such service can begin?
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« Reply #1546 on: June 27, 2020, 08:55:50 pm »

Presumably the compulsory wearing of masks on board will need to be lifted before any such service can begin?

Especially for the Pullman. I don't see the benefit of wearing face masks on buses when most have opening windows unless it's really busy. As for trains most now have air conditioning, does anyone know if it recycles the air, or like aircraft changes every few minutes?
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« Reply #1547 on: June 28, 2020, 06:51:53 pm »

Staff update regarding the Pullman:

"The Pullman is one of our best kept secrets, and a unique selling point for GWR. As we look ahead to the future of our business, we’ll be focusing more on the leisure and experiences market, so the Pullman will play a big part in our customer offering. Implications around the pandemic are presenting obvious problems with running the service as we knew it before, but we are exploring options, and it’s on our list of things to bring back safely as soon as we can."
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« Reply #1548 on: July 01, 2020, 11:54:38 pm »

Staff update regarding the Pullman:

"The Pullman is one of our best kept secrets, and a unique selling point for GWR. As we look ahead to the future of our business, we’ll be focusing more on the leisure and experiences market, so the Pullman will play a big part in our customer offering. Implications around the pandemic are presenting obvious problems with running the service as we knew it before, but we are exploring options, and it’s on our list of things to bring back safely as soon as we can."


I'm looking forward to it, although not the £72 bill  Grin
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« Reply #1549 on: July 01, 2020, 11:59:07 pm »

I believe a trial later in the week of a trolley service will be taking place on a WoE train.
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« Reply #1550 on: July 02, 2020, 06:41:08 am »

Staff update regarding the Pullman:

"The Pullman is one of our best kept secrets, and a unique selling point for GWR. As we look ahead to the future of our business, we’ll be focusing more on the leisure and experiences market, so the Pullman will play a big part in our customer offering. Implications around the pandemic are presenting obvious problems with running the service as we knew it before, but we are exploring options, and it’s on our list of things to bring back safely as soon as we can."


A business that keeps its Unique Selling point secret. How novel! Has anyone told the Marketing Department?  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #1551 on: September 21, 2020, 01:08:02 pm »

On the few trips I've had to take on GWR since the lockdown ended  I've been using standard class because 1st hasn't seemed worth it. It's totally understandable that they're not offering complimentary catering in 1st and the 1st lounge at Paddington. However it doesn't make 1st as attractive to me so I've been avoiding it.

The seats in standard are worse than 1st but I spotted something interesting about them. As you look at the seat base there is a raised portion at the front sloping down to some stitching and then the main flat square base. About an inch to an inch and a half past the stitching towards the back of the seat there is a very hard patch. It's about 2 inches deep and reaches across most of the width of the seat base. I tried sticking a pin in and it doesn't go in very far, say under an inch, compared to further back on the seat base. Whatever the substance is under there it's very sturdy and if you're not sitting bolt upright you're arse bones are on this hard patch. If anyone is travelling in 1st anytime soon could you check these seats for the same issue please. And yes I wish I'd taken pictures.


And yet again I observe that it is not just me who considers IETS to be a backward step.

I haven’t met anyone yet who would attempt to defend the First Class on IET’s against the superb final layout on the GWR HSTs. 

For me, the only improvements over a HST in First Class are USB charging points and a universal access toilet.  Otherwise they compare poorly.


From https://www.railmagazine.com/news/network/from-the-files-are-you-sitting-comfortably
Quote
GWR spokesman Dan Panes told RAIL that it conducts quarterly surveys of its passengers, along similar lines to the half-yearly efforts of Transport Focus for the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS). GWR?s results, said Panes, were usually within a couple of percentage points of NRPS.

Using these internal surveys, Panes said that passengers were finding the seats on the IEP trains more comfortable than those on HSTs. 80% of passengers said they were as good as what went before, compared with 75% for HST seats six months after their seats? introduction.

Some context is important. When GWR changed the seats on its HSTs a few years ago in response to commuter pressure for more seats, the new seats ?got a real kicking?, according to Panes. Couple this with the brief for the Intercity Express Programme, which was (said Panes) that ?Standard Class seats on IEP be as good as we have now?.

He dismissed any suggestion that DfT imposed a seat design on GWR, saying the operator had tested the seats with IEP?s other imminent user, East Coast. ?The idea that we?d accept seats considerably worse does us a disservice,? he argued. Panes noted that those passengers who didn?t like the IEP seats had been very vocal about it.

GWR?s surveys don?t split Standard and First Class passenger views. General perception suggests that IET?s First Class seats are worse than those on HSTs, which were recently the subject of an extensive upgrade, but there?s no survey evidence to prove or disprove this.

?The trains and seats are doing a really good job for us,? Panes concluded.

Over at Thameslink, Roger Perkins admitted the company had not surveyed passengers, so couldn?t say whether its passengers liked or disliked their seats.

I think Mr Panes has some rose (or should that be green) tinted spectacles on. He doesn't mention 1st and that's interesting by it's omission. This is the first time I've seen anyone say that GWR picked the seats not the DFT. I'd take the Thames Turbo 1st class seating (let alone the HST ones) over the IET variant any day of the week and I didn't think I'd be saying that when the trains were announced.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2020, 01:33:38 pm by 1st fan » Logged
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« Reply #1552 on: September 21, 2020, 09:49:58 pm »


From https://www.railmagazine.com/news/network/from-the-files-are-you-sitting-comfortably
Quote
GWR spokesman Dan Panes told RAIL that it conducts quarterly surveys of its passengers, along similar lines to the half-yearly efforts of Transport Focus for the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS). GWR?s results, said Panes, were usually within a couple of percentage points of NRPS.

Using these internal surveys, Panes said that passengers were finding the seats on the IEP trains more comfortable than those on HSTs. 80% of passengers said they were as good as what went before, compared with 75% for HST seats six months after their seats? introduction.

Some context is important. When GWR changed the seats on its HSTs a few years ago in response to commuter pressure for more seats, the new seats ?got a real kicking?, according to Panes. Couple this with the brief for the Intercity Express Programme, which was (said Panes) that ?Standard Class seats on IEP be as good as we have now?.

He dismissed any suggestion that DfT imposed a seat design on GWR, saying the operator had tested the seats with IEP?s other imminent user, East Coast. ?The idea that we?d accept seats considerably worse does us a disservice,? he argued. Panes noted that those passengers who didn?t like the IEP seats had been very vocal about it.

GWR?s surveys don?t split Standard and First Class passenger views. General perception suggests that IET?s First Class seats are worse than those on HSTs, which were recently the subject of an extensive upgrade, but there?s no survey evidence to prove or disprove this.

?The trains and seats are doing a really good job for us,? Panes concluded.

Over at Thameslink, Roger Perkins admitted the company had not surveyed passengers, so couldn?t say whether its passengers liked or disliked their seats.

I think Mr Panes has some rose (or should that be green) tinted spectacles on. He doesn't mention 1st and that's interesting by it's omission. This is the first time I've seen anyone say that GWR picked the seats not the DFT. I'd take the Thames Turbo 1st class seating (let alone the HST ones) over the IET variant any day of the week and I didn't think I'd be saying that when the trains were announced.

I was on the Pullman last year and heard multiple (non rail spotters) complaining about the new First Class seats compared with the "old trains", most said it wasn't worth the money upgrading to first anymore.
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« Reply #1553 on: September 21, 2020, 11:11:15 pm »

Yes, for me first class compares very unfavourably.  Standard class is similar with the slightly harder seats being compensated for by extra legroom, more tables, better folding tables, and sun blinds.
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« Reply #1554 on: October 21, 2020, 11:49:12 pm »

Yes, for me first class compares very unfavourably.  Standard class is similar with the slightly harder seats being compensated for by extra legroom, more tables, better folding tables, and sun blinds.

So I checked the standard seat padding on my last trip and I have the results here. The seat at the least padded can be seen here.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/190751564@N06/50513865763/in/dateposted-public/

Now that picture needs to be quantified because the pins might be enormous. Well as you can see in this next picture they're not.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/190751564@N06/50513844298/in/dateposted-public/


As you can see the pin is only 3.2/3cm long (to the ball. So take off the 2cm above the seat and at the thinnest point there's only 1.2cm to 1.3cm of padding. It's a metal bar that is sits underneath this area of seat padding. If you're not sitting bolt upright then your arse is sitting over that ridge. No wonder people find it uncomfortable. GWR chose these seats which beggars belief.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2020, 12:09:47 am by 1st fan » Logged
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« Reply #1555 on: October 22, 2020, 01:02:06 am »

"These seats were ergonomically designed by a panel of experts so as to be comfortable for the great majority of passengers. They are also safer than older designs. Unfortunately some of these seats have been damaged by people sticking pins into them."

They were fine before being punctured by pins.
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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.
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« Reply #1556 on: October 22, 2020, 09:18:04 pm »

Yes, for me first class compares very unfavourably.  Standard class is similar with the slightly harder seats being compensated for by extra legroom, more tables, better folding tables, and sun blinds.

So I checked the standard seat padding on my last trip and I have the results here. The seat at the least padded can be seen here.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/190751564@N06/50513865763/in/dateposted-public/

Now that picture needs to be quantified because the pins might be enormous. Well as you can see in this next picture they're not.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/190751564@N06/50513844298/in/dateposted-public/


As you can see the pin is only 3.2/3cm long (to the ball. So take off the 2cm above the seat and at the thinnest point there's only 1.2cm to 1.3cm of padding. It's a metal bar that is sits underneath this area of seat padding. If you're not sitting bolt upright then your arse is sitting over that ridge. No wonder people find it uncomfortable. GWR chose these seats which beggars belief.



GWR didn't, it's all down to the DFT. If GWR had their way most of the seating for First Class would have been similar to the outgoing HSTs.
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« Reply #1557 on: October 22, 2020, 11:47:45 pm »

Its also why you'll find exactly the same seats on Azumas, Paragons and Novas. GWR would have had no choice in the seats at all.
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« Reply #1558 on: October 23, 2020, 12:02:42 am »

They encourage good posture.  If you slouch a bit then you feel the metal bar, and (rumour has it) if you slouch too much then you get an electric shock.  Wink
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« Reply #1559 on: October 23, 2020, 12:32:43 am »

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They encourage good posture.

If they can provide good posture for a passenger of any age/size then they qualify as a miracle.

Actually, I found them surprisingly comfortable (after the initial sit-down impact) ... but then I found the original bus-style seats on Pacers suited me better than many a sculpted seat back.
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