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Author Topic: Squeeze up pleeease  (Read 4391 times)
martyjon
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« on: October 17, 2007, 09:42:28 am »

17/10/2007.

06:50 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 10:40
This train has been revised.
Service will be formed of 1 Coach today.


Probably not all the way though as message only appeared on my desk at 0940, probably from BRI» (Bristol Temple Meads - next trains) only.
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vacman
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« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2007, 05:48:36 pm »

and 153's aren't allowed to Portsmouth either!
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Timmer
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« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2007, 05:52:16 pm »

and 153's aren't allowed to Portsmouth either!
Anyone know why?

As someone has already mentioned elsewhere they were once 155s that operated Cardiff-Portsmouth. Sure they werent the best units in the world for long distance travel but the service seemed a lot better than it does now.
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Shazz
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« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2007, 06:33:25 pm »

and 153's aren't allowed to Portsmouth either!

thats rather odd, as theres several 3 cars that come through here all the way from portsmouth, they tend to be 158's +153s coupled
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Jim
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« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2007, 10:06:37 pm »

and 153's aren't allowed to Portsmouth either!

thats rather odd, as theres several 3 cars that come through here all the way from portsmouth, they tend to be 158's +153s coupled

Is there, when?
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crwydryn
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« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2007, 11:22:48 am »

It looks like the dreadful squeeze is going to continue for at least two years - and increasingly in stock unsuited to longer hauls.    In reply to a complaint last week about one week's cancellations, short running, severe overcrowding and insanitary - or locked out - toilets on this route and its effect on me, I received a prompt reply. Some of what FGW (First Great Western) then replied to me is already known, and here is part of it:

"We asked to extend the lease on a number of "158" trains which we had on 'short leases' until December this year. Unfortunately the units have been allocated to another Train Operating Company and we have not been able to secure this type of train from any other source. We continue to try and are working with the Department for Transport on this. In the meantime we have leased a number of "142" trains as a stop gap these trains have been allocated to a number of branch lines in Devon and Cornwall and the "150" services used there reallocated for the Cardiff to Portsmouth Route.,,
I am sorry for the concern that this has caused and I would reiterate that we are continuing to work with the Department for Transport to lease more "158" services, but it is likely that these trains will be in use for the next two years."

The mention of the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) is interesting - I have tried, so far unsuccessfully -  under Freedom of Information (FoI) legislation to see what influence DfT and Welsh assembly may or may not have had on the further downgrading of this sad overcrowded line.  Maybe other forum members would wish to add to the pressure by other FoI requests to see how these and other related decisions are made?

In the meantime, it seems that the height of FGW's ambition is to get some  ageing 158s back by 2009 or 2010.   

I've also had some pretty useless correspondence with Passenger Focus who do not appear to have any real concern with the increasingly manifest everyday failures of FGW on what could be a cross country mainline.
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Lee
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« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2007, 11:33:01 am »

"We asked to extend the lease on a number of "158" trains which we had on 'short leases' until December this year. Unfortunately the units have been allocated to another Train Operating Company and we have not been able to secure this type of train from any other source. We continue to try and are working with the Department for Transport on this. In the meantime we have leased a number of "142" trains as a stop gap these trains have been allocated to a number of branch lines in Devon and Cornwall and the "150" services used there reallocated for the Cardiff to Portsmouth Route.,,
I am sorry for the concern that this has caused and I would reiterate that we are continuing to work with the Department for Transport to lease more "158" services, but it is likely that these trains will be in use for the next two years."

Welcome to the forum.

Could you possibly confirm that the section highlighted by me above was exactly how the FGW (First Great Western) reply read?

The mention of the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) is interesting - I have tried, so far unsuccessfully -  under Freedom of Information (FoI) legislation to see what influence DfT and Welsh assembly may or may not have had on the further downgrading of this sad overcrowded line.  Maybe other forum members would wish to add to the pressure by other FoI requests to see how these and other related decisions are made?

We already have. See link below.
http://www.dft.gov.uk/foi/responses/2006/september06/swindonwestburytrainsservice/
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crwydryn
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« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2007, 11:44:47 am »

Hi - yes that part of the para surprised me too.   Here's a full cut and paste of the reply - with the relevant sentence coming in the fourth to last para, near the foot of the email:

QUOTE:

First Great Western
Customer Services Team
FREEPOST
SWB40576
Plymouth
PL4 6ZZ

Tel: 08457 000 125
Fax: 08456 008 363
fgwfeedback@firstgroup.com

www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

Ref: 3541993



I was concerned to hear that your journey from Cardiff Central to Bath Spa on 22 October was disrupted while you waited for a replacement member of the train crew. We do everything we can to make sure our customers travel safely and arrive on time, so I am sorry about this.

We try to make sure we have "spare" staff who can step up and replace someone from the original crew when necessary. Unfortunately though, while we do our best to maintain a full crew it isn't always possible when we have little or no notice. We did replace the staff member as quickly as we could, but I appreciate there was an inconvenient delay.

Having enough well-trained staff is one of our top priorities, which is why we have one of the largest recruitment and training programmes of all the UK (United Kingdom) Train Operating Companies. So I can only apologise that this problem came up while you were travelling with us.

Thank you for sending us your comments. I have passed them on to our senior managers, who will take them seriously as they refine our plans for recruitment, training and staff deployment. I hope all your future journeys with us will be trouble-free.

I will of course investigate for you and see whether we can offer you compensation, but I'm afraid I haven't been able to because I need your original journey tickets. So if you would please send them to me quoting reference number 3541993, I will look into it for you straightaway.

I was also concerned to hear about the delays to your services between Cardiff Central to Bath Spa on the 23 October and from Fareham to Cardiff Central on the 29 October. Unfortunately you have not specified at what time you were travelling so I have been unable to investigate these delays further. If you could contact me and provide the times at which you were travelling I would be more than happy to look into this matter further. However I do apologise for these delays and I can understand how frustrating these can be.

We do our best to make sure our customers travel safely and arrive on time. Whenever one of our trains suffers from any kind of failure we look very carefully at what has happened and take steps to stop it happening again. There is a nightly inspection of all our trains and a regular programme of maintenance and repair. However, I realise that did not prevent the problem with your train and I am very sorry.

I believe you will see improvements coming through, as we have fewer mechanical failures than before and our High Speed Train (HST (High Speed Train)) units are currently undergoing a refresh including replacement engines which are twice as reliable.

I was very sorry to see that the crowding on the Bath Spa to Cardiff Central service spoilt your journey. As with all our new or revised services we are carefully monitoring passenger numbers. So your comments will be very helpful when we come to review how things have gone, and whether we need to make changes. That said though, I appreciate that it was annoying and I do apologise.

I know it can cause short-term problems, but before we make any changes we have to make sure they are the right ones. We know from experience that passengers often alter their journey patterns in the first few weeks of a timetable change, and then gradually settle into a new routine. So if we rush our decisions we could make unnecessary changes, or ones that make matters worse. It is still a little too early to conclude that certain aspects of the timetable are not working as we had expected, so all I can do is ask you to please bear with us.

On top of that, we did have some train failures and we could not use some of the carriages we had planned to. Admittedly, it caused some one-off overcrowding and we are very sorry. Thankfully things are now back to normal.

We never want any service to become uncomfortable, but we don't turn passengers away until there's a danger that the service will become unsafe. There's no set number of passengers for this, just as there is no legal limit to the number of people we can carry on a train. We leave the decision to the professional judgement of the Train Manager and the driver. Although they decided that this service was perfectly safe, I can certainly understand your frustration.

There has been some changes to rolling stock on a number of routes and this does mean that we will be changing the type of trains we use between Cardiff and Bath Spa.

This was not our original plan. We asked to extend the lease on a number of "158" trains which we had on 'short leases' until December this year. Unfortunately the units have been allocated to another Train Operating Company and we have not been able to secure this type of train from any other source. We continue to try and are working with the Department for Transport on this. In the meantime we have leased a number of "142" trains as a stop gap these trains have been allocated to a number of branch lines in Devon and Cornwall and the "150" services used there reallocated for the Cardiff to Portsmouth Route.

I am sorry for the concern that this has caused and I would reiterate that we are continuing to work with the Department for Transport to lease more "158" services, but it is likely that these trains will be in use for the next two years. If it proves possible to replace them sooner we will do so.

Thank you once again for contacting First Great Western and I am sorry for the circumstances that caused you to write into us. I can assure you this type of service is not indicative of First Great Western and we do welcome your feedback as we use this in regular reviews, which enable us to try and improve our all round customer service.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely

Stephen Auburn
Customer Services Advisor

FirstInfo Limited, registered in England and Wales
Registration number: 2180352
Registered address: 50 Eastbourne Terrace, Paddington, London, W2 6LX



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Lee
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« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2007, 11:52:25 am »

Thanks for that. One further question - what exact date was that e-mail sent?

Another avenue that I would suggest you try is to pose a question on this to Insider. See link below.
http://indefenceoffirstgreatwestern.blogspot.com/2007/10/im-back.html

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crwydryn
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« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2007, 11:57:58 am »

the email was received early today, 1 November
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Lee
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« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2007, 02:14:19 pm »

Quote from Andrew Griffiths , who for those new to the forum is FGW (First Great Western) Regional Manager of the Severn / Solent area  :

"I can say quite categorically that no Cardiff-Portsmouth services (or the Brightons) are booked for a 150 - all are 158. 142s not diagrammed for Cornwall either, only Barnstaple-Exmouth-Paignton triangle."

He is going to update the Customer Services Team........
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Timmer
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« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2007, 06:26:57 pm »

Quote from Andrew Griffiths , who for those new to the forum is FGW (First Great Western) Regional Manager of the Severn / Solent area  :

"I can say quite categorically that no Cardiff-Portsmouth services (or the Brightons) are booked for a 150 - all are 158. 142s not diagrammed for Cornwall either, only Barnstaple-Exmouth-Paignton triangle."

He is going to update the Customer Services Team........
Hmmmmm one word sticks out like a sore thumb on this quote from Andrew Griffiths...BOOKED. That doesn't mean that 150s won't be seen on this route more than they do at present and I suspect that they will be used as 'add ons' to make 4 coach services at peak times instead of using two 158s.

Lee, am I right in saying that it takes around 7-8 158s to operate the Cardiff-Pompey service on a daily basis?
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Lee
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« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2007, 11:01:47 am »

Hmmmmm one word sticks out like a sore thumb on this quote from Andrew Griffiths...BOOKED. That doesn't mean that 150s won't be seen on this route more than they do at present and I suspect that they will be used as 'add ons' to make 4 coach services at peak times instead of using two 158s.

Lee, am I right in saying that it takes around 7-8 158s to operate the Cardiff-Pompey service on a daily basis?

The draft December 2007 diagram summary has seven 2 - coach Class 158 units plus one 3 - coach Class 158 unit down to provide Portsmouth - Cardiff services. There are also two further 2 - coach Class 158 units marked down for peak strengthening.

However , AG received updated diagram summaries yesterday morning. I obviously havent seen these but if any forum members have , then please feel free to post.....
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Timmer
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« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2007, 06:04:34 pm »

The draft December 2007 diagram summary has seven 2 - coach Class 158 units plus one 3 - coach Class 158 unit down to provide Portsmouth - Cardiff services. There are also two further 2 - coach Class 158 units marked down for peak strengthening.

However , AG received updated diagram summaries yesterday morning. I obviously havent seen these but if any forum members have , then please feel free to post.....
Thanks Lee. As we all know thats not nearly enough stock to meet the current demand on this line.
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