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Author Topic: Great Western Railway: on-board catering, buffets, Travelling Chef, Pullman - ongoing discussion  (Read 495114 times)
bobm
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« Reply #1575 on: November 16, 2020, 08:56:43 pm »

Thank you - I thought I had heard an LNER announcement but couldn?t find it.

I do know alcohol is banned from all their trains.
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« Reply #1576 on: January 21, 2021, 02:35:46 pm »

Bit of an update on GWR catering:

GWR have stopped all on train catering after a request from the ORR over concerns about how it can be delivered in a Covid secure way.  Though in the past couple of months there's only been a skeleton service anyway, and of course hardly any mouths to feed and water during the lockdown.

Looking forward, they want to resume the at-seat service on around 240 trains per day as soon as possible - along with restarting the Pullman and offering the full service on the sleeper.  The app that has been discussed on here is still planned to launch (spring has been mentioned) and will allow both pre-orders and orders when on board and seated.  This is expected to help maximise sales and revenue from on-board catering and take advantage of the recovery in rail and support leisure travel.

In the meantime, all catering staff are being redeployed on other duties.
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« Reply #1577 on: January 22, 2021, 08:10:01 am »





In the meantime, all catering staff are being redeployed on other duties.

I wonder what they'll find for them to do?
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« Reply #1578 on: January 22, 2021, 08:49:33 am »

They will mostly be doing lead host duties, which means acting as a competent person on the 10-car trains to assist the Train Manager.  Also, they will be acting as a Covid marshalls on the stations which involves helping keep premises safe for customers and staff.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #1579 on: January 22, 2021, 09:26:14 am »

They will mostly be doing lead host duties, which means acting as a competent person on the 10-car trains to assist the Train Manager.  Also, they will be acting as a Covid marshalls on the stations which involves helping keep premises safe for customers and staff.

............as long as they are still able to practice decanting Port occasionally, I can't see any objections!  Wink
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grahame
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« Reply #1580 on: January 22, 2021, 10:01:54 am »

They will mostly be doing lead host duties, which means acting as a competent person on the 10-car trains to assist the Train Manager.  Also, they will be acting as a Covid marshalls on the stations which involves helping keep premises safe for customers and staff.

............as long as they are still able to practice decanting Port occasionally, I can't see any objections!  Wink

Having been employed to provide refreshments on trains - many in "buffet car" days, the roles of many GWR catering staff have changed significantly in recent years, and all the more so in the last year.  The alternative jobs that many have been doing are doing suit some, but not others, and there's an element there who really don't like it - they would object except there's really no alternative.  Sadly, a few of them find it difficult to hide their unhappiness from none-staff people they come in (distanced  Cheesy ) contact with in their current safety role.
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« Reply #1581 on: January 22, 2021, 10:43:00 am »

They will mostly be doing lead host duties, which means acting as a competent person on the 10-car trains to assist the Train Manager.  Also, they will be acting as a Covid marshalls on the stations which involves helping keep premises safe for customers and staff.

............as long as they are still able to practice decanting Port occasionally, I can't see any objections!  Wink

Having been employed to provide refreshments on trains - many in "buffet car" days, the roles of many GWR catering staff have changed significantly in recent years, and all the more so in the last year.  The alternative jobs that many have been doing are doing suit some, but not others, and there's an element there who really don't like it - they would object except there's really no alternative.  Sadly, a few of them find it difficult to hide their unhappiness from none-staff people they come in (distanced  Cheesy ) contact with in their current safety role.

Given that many who work in hospitality (which is effectively what rail catering/refreshment staff do), they may wish to consider themselves fortunate that their employer has been able to find them alternative work in the current climate, given the fate of so many of those in similar jobs employed in pubs/restaurants?
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« Reply #1582 on: January 22, 2021, 11:44:41 am »

They will mostly be doing lead host duties, which means acting as a competent person on the 10-car trains to assist the Train Manager.  Also, they will be acting as a Covid marshalls on the stations which involves helping keep premises safe for customers and staff.

............as long as they are still able to practice decanting Port occasionally, I can't see any objections!  Wink

Having been employed to provide refreshments on trains - many in "buffet car" days, the roles of many GWR catering staff have changed significantly in recent years, and all the more so in the last year.  The alternative jobs that many have been doing are doing suit some, but not others, and there's an element there who really don't like it - they would object except there's really no alternative.  Sadly, a few of them find it difficult to hide their unhappiness from none-staff people they come in (distanced  Cheesy ) contact with in their current safety role.

Given that many who work in hospitality (which is effectively what rail catering/refreshment staff do), they may wish to consider themselves fortunate that their employer has been able to find them alternative work in the current climate, given the fate of so many of those in similar jobs employed in pubs/restaurants?

100% agree.  I suspect that there are some who would have considered themselves fortunate to have been able to take a break from working (be it through furlough or other mechanisms) rather than having to do a different (somewhat) job they didn't enjoy.  For some, the grass is greener on the other side.
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« Reply #1583 on: January 22, 2021, 02:38:37 pm »

They will mostly be doing lead host duties, which means acting as a competent person on the 10-car trains to assist the Train Manager.  Also, they will be acting as a Covid marshalls on the stations which involves helping keep premises safe for customers and staff.

............as long as they are still able to practice decanting Port occasionally, I can't see any objections!  Wink

Young sir, you are again prone to a little exageration.
Only vintage port needs decanting. Vintage port should be stored on its side to avoid the cork drying out, and not disturbed. A few days before the vintage port is to be served, ones butler should bring it from the cellar and stand the bottle upright in a cool room.
With the bottle still remaining upright and undistubed, the cork should be gently removed. The wine may then be gently poured into the decanter with the absolute minimum of disturbance. A lit candle or low powered electric lamp should be suitably placed in order that the wine may be closely observed, and decanting stopped before any sediment leaves the bottle.
In the case of a rare or expensive vintage, the cork should be attached to the neck of the decanter with a small piece of string. Some guests may like to inspect the cork.
Non vintage port may be decanted if desired, but there is no need to do so.
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.

The port served on trains these days is non vintage and may be served direct from the bottle.

Back in the good old days, vintage port WAS served on trains. Decanting was done ashore and the filled decanters placed on board. A train is a most unsuitable place to store, handle and decant vintage port.
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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 #1584 on: January 22, 2021, 03:04:43 pm »

Maybe we can also hope for a return to the splendid show of the restaurant car team serving soup from the tureen, legs well splayed for stabilty as the Golden Hind thunders  over the points somewhere west of Reading ?
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broadgage
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« Reply #1585 on: January 22, 2021, 03:44:07 pm »

IIRC serving of soup from a large tureen was discontinued some years ago. Such a large volume of scalding liquid does sound rather risky.
Soup was still served, but each dish was filled in the kitchen and taken to the customers table.
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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.
bobm
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« Reply #1586 on: January 23, 2021, 08:48:39 am »

Maybe we can also hope for a return to the splendid show of the restaurant car team serving soup from the tureen, legs well splayed for stabilty as the Golden Hind thunders  over the points somewhere west of Reading ?

..and never pouring wine at Cogload Junction on London bound services.
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« Reply #1587 on: January 23, 2021, 05:11:44 pm »

 I seem to recall that a good number of the old timers on the Restaurant cars were ex- Navy, and so pouring wine or serving soup  from a tureen in a rocking restaurant car would be second nature to them. Most of them were on there for years. Does anyone remember any of the personalities? My favourite was Jack, a Plymouthian, who I believe started as a lad on the original GWR, served all the way through BR(W) and retired well into his 60's in FGW times.
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bobm
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« Reply #1588 on: January 23, 2021, 08:38:21 pm »

I well remember Jack.  Always smart in his waistcoat.  He retired a few years back after many many years? service. 

Last I heard he was still going strong but not seen him for a fair few years.

Until the early 70s he?d have been part of crews who worked up a morning service and then stayed with the train to go back to Old Oak Common where they prepared the fresh vegetables for the return trip in the evening.  Long shifts by dedicated staff.
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broadgage
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« Reply #1589 on: January 23, 2021, 10:02:20 pm »

I recall a restaurant manager Alan Trout, who retired AFAIK after many years working the Pullmans.
A new recruit became known as "T T" alleged to stand for "trainee Trout"

I think that Mr Trout started or popularised the nickname "wendy houses" for HSTs with small and inadequate kitchens, intended for buffet services rather than the large kitchens intended for restaurant service.
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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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