Train Graphic
Great Western Passengers' Forum Great Western Coffee Shop - [home] and [about]
Read about the forum [here]. Register and contribute [here] - it's free.
Random Image
Train Running @GWR Twitter Acronyms/Abbreviations Station Comparator Rail News GWR co. site Site Style 1 2 3 4 Chat on off
August 20, 2018, 05:35:46 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Forgotten your username or password? - get a reminder
Most liked recent subjects
[106] What the Dickens?
[105] IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent pe...
[94] How wide do you define "London"?
[56] Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption el...
[34] Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since Septemb...
[30] London to Reading, London to Heathrow, service patterns under ...
News: A forum for passengers ... with input from rail professionals welcomed too
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 18
  Print  
Author Topic: Chiltern Mainline: Nice & Fast!  (Read 71635 times)
Btline
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 4782



View Profile
« on: September 05, 2011, 11:50:09 pm »

As promised, here is a review of "The new way to get to London - Chiltern Railways!"

After an intense and nail biting set of engineering works, the Chiltern Mainline launched today, with commuters celebrating up and down the route. Upon boarding the 8.09am to Marylebone, audible gasps were heard when the list of stops was announced. Or should I say, LACK of stops! "At last - they've AXED all stops south of Warwick Parkway." "I always knew that stop at Dorridge was always a waste of time..." There was a buzz onboard - these people had had an extra 40 mins in bed and now were speeding to the capital at 100 mph in a clean and comfortable Clubman train.

Regrettably, a catastrophic set of signal failures (fault of the contractors not Chiltern) threatened to derail the timetable and turn the days commute into CHAOS! Luckily, emergency engineers screeched to a halt in Network Rail vans at the signals and fixed the problems. Nevertheless, the crawl through Haddingham and Thames Parkway (branded the "new station for Oxford") caused many a commuter to mop their brow - not knowing whether they'd see the M25 this side of Christmas. Result - 10 minutes late arrival, but still an impressive 2 hrs 30 mins after departure (1hr 20 for Warwick!).

Returning on the 6.07pm, savvy commuters noticing a loco hauled train in platform 3 jumped the queue to board before the notorious and much feared daily "crush" when the Kidderminster train is announced. However, thanks to the new timetable - Banbury and Leamington Spa commuters now have a 6.10pm service, taking the pressure of the normal "sardine" conditions of the 6.07pm. Regrettably, staff made no announcement that the these stops had been axed until after departure, resulting in a near RIOT. Nevertheless, the train left and all was going well until DISASTER STRUCK! Signal failure at Ruslip. Luckily only 15 mins delay, then we sped on, passing through station after station with evidence of Chiltern's multimillion pound investment in car parks. At Gerrards Cross, who's new multi-storey was at bursting point, the bulldozers were ready to create more space. Of course - who couldn't resist the new sub 20 minute journey time and new rolling stock?

All in all - the mood was good on the train, with commuters no longer having to endure the torture of stopping everywhere after Banbury. The 6.07 had pretty much ALL seats round a table plus had a buffet car and business zone - a great initiative by Chiltern that threatens to derail the entire First Class system. Unfortunately, the onboard WiFi was unusable. Fellow commuters struggled to stay online, but had to switch to their Blackberry's or "The Metro" for entertainment. Commuters chuckled at the headline advert for Chiltern: "Still a Virgin? Try us!" The tables have been turned on Virgin, who's appalling Chiltern SNAILways adverts were slammed. At Warwick Parkway, tired commuters literally skipped down the platform, as they realised that (despite the delay) they'd get home to their families earlier from then on. The Banbury ones trudged over to Platform 1, vowing never to board a train again, without reading the departures board first...

An impressively fast run across Anyho - a perfect example of Chiltern's well targeted investment - turned to NIGHTMARE conditions as we got stuck behind a Centro all stops service. Commuters jaws dropped as we crawled through places who's names we never through we see or hear of again! "Widney Manor, Olton? Oh no!". Luckily, someone in the signal box had the sense to hold the stopper at Snow Hill to let the express service pass. As the Chiltern service pulled up alongside the LM stopper at Snow Hill there was a near SCRUM as passengers rushed to transfer to a decent train. A good run meant we arrived in Kidderminster less than 10 minutes late.

Summary: Nice & Fast?

Nice? Most certainly!
Fast? Definitely - especially once the infrastructure is more reliable.

Virgin, LM and FGW - watch out!
Logged
bignosemac
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 15800


Question everything.


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2011, 12:53:55 am »

Should anyone else wish to experience the new Mainline service in the coming weeks then Chiltern have a special offer running until 23rd September with fares on the fast peak services at ^1 each way. Limited availability. Once they're gone, they're gone.

http://www.chilternrailways.co.uk/content/%C2%A31-offer-booking
Logged

Former FGW/GWR regular passenger. No more. Despicable company.
willc
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 2330


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2011, 01:37:09 am »

Ah, welcome to the parallel universe, where late trains each way equals a triumph, where signal testing over-running by two days, even after this phase was postponed earlier in the year due to a fear of over-running, is "an intense and nail biting set of engineering works", where things going wrong are the fault of the contractors and nothing to do with the company that hired them, a whole new station appears (maybe that's why it's the "new station for Oxford"?) - I take it you were trying to type Haddenham & Thame but were clearly over-excited - passengers get over-carried due to lack of timely information on the day of a major timetable change, tired (how, after all that extra time in bed?) commuters literally skipped down the platform (oh come off it) and my personal favourite
Quote
business zone - a great initiative by Chiltern that threatens to derail the entire First Class system
- if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...

Chiltern are a train operator - a good one - but not the answer to life, the universe and everything. And not all their passengers are happy with the new timetable, but then they use intermediate stations and don't all want to go to London, so who cares what they think?
Logged
bignosemac
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 15800


Question everything.


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2011, 03:22:53 am »

Morning 'Mainline' services arriving into Marylebone on Monday 5th September (times ex Birmingham Moor Street):

0546: On time
0619: 5 late
0655: 3 late
0733: 8 late
0815: 8 late
0825: 5 late
0855: 10 late
0915: 3 late
0955: 8 late
1015: 20 late
1055: 8 late
1115: 11 late
1155: 1 late

For the rest of the day only 4 'Mainline' arrivals into Marylebone were on time.



Afternoon/evening 'Mainline' services arriving into Birmingham Moor Street (times ex London Marylebone):

1437: 7 late
1507: On time
1537: 3 late
1607: 3 late
1630: 4 late
1650: On time
1707: On time
1737: 3 late
1807: 18 late
1810: 10 late
1915: 11 late
1937: 8 late
2010: 5 late

For the rest of the day, 8 services into Birmingham Moor Street were on time.


Out of a total of 62 'Mainline' services, only 16 had on time arrivals at either Marylebone or Moor Street. An inauspicious start.

....turned to NIGHTMARE conditions as we got stuck behind a Centro all stops service. Commuters jaws dropped as we crawled through places who's names we never through we see or hear of again! "Widney Manor, Olton? Oh no!". Luckily, someone in the signal box had the sense to hold the stopper at Snow Hill to let the express service pass.

And the reason the 1807 was stuck behind that Centro service? Because you were already running, on average, 10 mins late from South Ruislip onward. So the delays through to Birmingham and onward to Kidderminster were not the fault of London Midland (Centro). In fact holding the stopper at Snow Hill made it 12 mins late into Worcester Shrub Hill. So arguably, not a good decision by the signal box. Two late trains instead of one.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2011, 03:37:26 am by bignosemac » Logged

Former FGW/GWR regular passenger. No more. Despicable company.
devon_metro
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 5174



View Profile
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2011, 11:38:44 am »

Btline, I can't seem to find the Press Release from the Chiltern Website that you have quoted. Perhaps you can direct me to it?

 Lips sealed
Logged
Btline
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 4782



View Profile
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2011, 03:42:08 pm »

D/M: Credit to you for seeing the tongue in cheek of my post, which was meant to be lighthearted in nature. Wink

Willc: For goodness sake - chill out! It can't be good for your health. Nothing more to say.

BNM: Whilst there were delays, these were down to a plethora of signal failures not the timetable or "mainline" concept. I therefore feel the launch was pretty successful. There are issues for local commuters, but that'll be a matter of adding a stop here, axing a stop there, making one service 4 to 8 car, another 8 to 4, etc. It won't affect "Mainline". The B'ham trains always missed out stops, and in fact the new timetable has some longer distance trains (e.g. 6.10) stopping at places like Beaconsfield.
Logged
willc
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 2330


View Profile
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2011, 08:14:25 pm »

You're so right. Trying to rebut your one-eyed, distorted view of things is utterly pointless, since you are so obviously right and all the rest of us are just so wrong. I've nothing more to say except goodbye.
Logged
bignosemac
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 15800


Question everything.


View Profile
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2011, 08:31:22 pm »

BNM: Whilst there were delays, these were down to a plethora of signal failures not the timetable or "mainline" concept.

No signal failures logged as far as I could ascertain. There were (and still are) TSRs in some places, as the engineering was late finishing. Other delays were down to train faults and non-ascribed, i.e. just late running.
Logged

Former FGW/GWR regular passenger. No more. Despicable company.
bignosemac
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 15800


Question everything.


View Profile
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2011, 09:36:03 pm »

Another offer from Chiltern. This time one offering a weeks free travel from "Oxford's other station", Haddenham & Thame Parkway, to Marylebone, along with 3 weeks free car-parking.

The offer is available to anyone with an existing monthly or longer season ticket on a non-Chiltern route to London.

Further details:

http://www.chilternrailways.co.uk/haddenham
Logged

Former FGW/GWR regular passenger. No more. Despicable company.
Btline
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 4782



View Profile
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2011, 11:19:54 pm »

No - there were signal failures. Chiltern twitter and the Chiltern/Network Rail confirmed this, as did the guard on both my trips. There were some TSRs, but they had little impact, as we didn't slip behind much more.

One bad thing was that the driver of the loco + coaches constantly crawled into every station stop at about 5mph. Not sure that was needed - we could have made up time.

You're so right. Trying to rebut your one-eyed, distorted view of things is utterly pointless, since you are so obviously right and all the rest of us are just so wrong. I've nothing more to say except goodbye.

Groan - the above quote says more about you than about me. As I said, my post was light hearted. As for you - every time anyone says anything you disagree with or anyone says anything you think is stupid/ignorant, you attack them with vitriol. Other people have different opinions - deal with it.

What do people think about Chiltern branding Haddenham as Oxford's new station? Is it quite a way away, but could tempt commuters who drive to OXF through rush hour traffic.
Logged
grahame
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 21309



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2011, 07:05:36 am »

Ah gosh ... let's not let the passionate drift too much into the personal (I know it's all too easy for it to happen).
Logged

TransWilts Rail - Linking North to West and South 9 times a day. [see here]
eightf48544
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 4071


View Profile Email
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2011, 09:19:40 am »

Re the crawling into stations could be the type of ATP. Aas I understand it the Chiltern system doesn't have the advanced trigger that the GWML has thus you don't get a release until close to the signal.
Logged
Btline
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 4782



View Profile
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2011, 10:55:46 am »

Re the crawling into stations could be the type of ATP. Aas I understand it the Chiltern system doesn't have the advanced trigger that the GWML has thus you don't get a release until close to the signal.

That would explain it, except it happened all the way to Kidderminster - which doesn't have ATP. If it is necessary, then they need to account for it in timetables.
Logged
Rhydgaled
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 1341


View Profile WWW
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2011, 11:37:05 am »

Re the crawling into stations could be the type of ATP. Aas I understand it the Chiltern system doesn't have the advanced trigger that the GWML has thus you don't get a release until close to the signal.

I don't know how acurate the BVE train sim trains I have are, but the braking distance of the top & tail WSMR mark 3 rake with 67s is much longer than the other trains I have on it. If this is the case with real 67s, maybe the drivers are being extra cauious and slowing earlier to ensure they don't miss the stop?
Logged

----------------------------
Don't DOO it, keep the guard (but it probably wouldn't be a bad idea if the driver unlocked the doors on arrival at calling points).
devon_metro
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 5174



View Profile
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2011, 04:42:12 pm »

67s/DVTs don't have ATP.

It will most likely be a defensive driving policy/unfamiliarity of stock.
Logged
Do you have something you would like to add to this thread, or would you like to raise a new question at the Coffee Shop? Please [register] (it is free) if you have not done so before, or login (at the top of this page) if you already have an account - we would love to read what you have to say!

You can find out more about how this forum works [here] - that will link you to a copy of the forum agreement that you can read before you join, and tell you very much more about how we operate. We are an independent forum, provided and run by customers of Great Western Railway, for customers of Great Western Railway and we welcome railway professionals as members too, in either a personal or official capacity. Views expressed in posts are not necessarily the views of the operators of the forum.

As well as posting messages onto existing threads, and starting new subjects, members can communicate with each other through personal messages if they wish. And once members have made a certain number of posts, they will automatically be admitted to the "frequent posters club", where subjects not-for-public-domain are discussed; anything from the occasional rant to meetups we may be having ...

 
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 18
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.2 | SMF © 2006-2007, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
This forum is provided by a customer of Great Western Railway (formerly First Great Western), and the views expressed are those of the individual posters concerned. Visit www.gwr.com for the official Great Western Railway website. Please contact the administrators of this site if you feel that the content provided by one of our posters contravenes our posting rules (email link). Forum hosted by Well House Consultants