Goodbye National Excuse

Railways, trams, buses, etc.
BLAKEY
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Postby BLAKEY » Tue 17 Nov, 2009 10:43 am

Phew - what a good job I wasn't going to Belgium today on my specified compulsory Eurostar train. Seemingly there has been some sort of de-railment at Neville Hill Depot very early today, and the cancellations are unavoidably wicked, London , Selby and York trains and others all being affected. Hopefully al will be well tomorrow, and my "inside agent" tells me that the 1005 is a Kings Cross depot train so fingers crossed.
There's nothing like keeping the past alive - it makes us relieved to reflect that any bad times have gone, and happy to relive all the joyful and fascinating experiences of our own and other folks' earlier days.
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tyke bhoy
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Postby tyke bhoy » Tue 17 Nov, 2009 10:57 am

BLAKEY wrote: Came home by train this evening from Leeds, and the departure screens showed everything on time except for three trains - yes that's right, a couple a few minutes late and another over half an hour, and all "Cross Country" so Mr. Branson wasn't the only one seemingly unable to pull those services into shape. Possibly a deeper individual problem than we know about ??Off to Belgium Wednesday for a week, and I'm banking on "Downing Street Rail" to be spot on - the ECML is usually a very efficient and reliable service indeed. Blakey as you were posting this I was just getting off a Leeds-Sheffield stopper at Outwood running 15 minutes late as the crew had exceeded their hours getting into Leeds and were on an enforced break. They had probably been initially delayed being held up to let a Cross Country train through. The Leeds – Sheffield/Doncaster stoppers are badly affected by Cross Country’s inability to run on time although I have to say there was an immediate improvement when they took over from the even worse Virgin. I think the issues are not just the bottlenecks that Uno Hoo mentions but unrealistic timetables based on the trains achieving top speed for most of the journeys. Unfortunately I think they are working on the top speeds unladen, which as you have pointed out is contrary to their often overladen state.On my outbound journey on Sunday we pulled out if the station adjacent to a Kings Cross bound train. The Livery was the predominatly GNER blue and red, with the white stripe applied by NE and East Coast stickers strategically positioned on those white stripes.
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BLAKEY
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Postby BLAKEY » Tue 17 Nov, 2009 4:57 pm

[quotenick="tyke bhoyOn my outbound journey on Sunday we pulled out if the station adjacent to a Kings Cross bound train. The Livery was the predominatly GNER blue and red, with the white stripe applied by NE and East Coast stickers strategically positioned on those white stripes.Yes, I for one will never forgive NEEC for daring to supercede the dignified and elegant GNER livery with their garish diagonal striped nonsense - a feature widespred nowadays throught the bus, coach and train scene thanks to the misguided "marketing" fraternity. Then there is the unjustified cost of early repainting also. Mercifully NEEC packed in before all the fleet was "cheapened."
There's nothing like keeping the past alive - it makes us relieved to reflect that any bad times have gone, and happy to relive all the joyful and fascinating experiences of our own and other folks' earlier days.
Trojan
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Postby Trojan » Tue 17 Nov, 2009 5:22 pm

BLAKEY wrote: Reginal Perrin wrote: They should just give it to Branson for nowt. Let him run it and take a cut of the profits. With the greatest of respect sir, I dread to think of such a thing. When Virgin ran the Aberdeen to Penzance services through Leeds the performance was abominable. Late running and cancellations were legion, and just out of interest eventually I used to always scan the screens in Leeds for the ten past the hour southbound departures -"47 minutes late", "cancelled" and so forth were almost routine.    Also the trains were (still are under the present franchise) totally inadequate. Due to too few carriages, criminal overcrowding to rival the London tube was routine, and the coaches themselves are claustrophobic and have totally inadequate luggage space for such very long jouirneys - often, if just nipping to Wakefield, I've found the gangways full of heavy luggage and loads of long distance people standing. IN my experience this is true. I travelled from York to Leeds one Sunday morning and it was like a cattle train, the train clearly wasn't big enough. I also travelled from Wigan to Bristol with Virgin in 2005 and the same applied as far as Birmingham, it was mayhem. Far too few coaches for those travelling.
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Cardiarms
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Postby Cardiarms » Tue 17 Nov, 2009 5:33 pm

I used to travel to B'ham with work regulalrly in the 1990s and it has got much worse since Virgin introduced their dinky toys. The overcrowding is terrible. It used to be an HST set, now it's four carriages. There were supposed to be a min of 6 when they started but it was 're-evaluated'. last time I went ( a while back) I got a train to sheffield and changed to a Midland Mainline HST (I think). Totally empty and only 20 mins later than the virgin experience.
Cardiarms
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Postby Cardiarms » Tue 17 Nov, 2009 5:35 pm

And another thing - Is there an express to B'ham anymore? They all seem to stop at Burton, Tamworth etc. I'm sure it used to be 1.5 hrs, now it's nearer 2.
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Postby raveydavey » Tue 17 Nov, 2009 9:49 pm

There is a crosscountry service to Glasgow that passes through Wakefield Westgate at (around) 17:47 on it's way to Leeds and then north via Newcastle.This is notable as it's nearly always mentioned as running late on the travel news on Radio Leeds as I'm driving home. Today for example it was due at Wakey at 18:26.In the days when I caught the train to work, the local to Cross Gates was held at Leeds for a late running north bound XC service 3 or 4 nights a week.Back in the old days of BR (late 80's) I had a job interview just outside Oxford which I travelled to by train. HST to BNS (full, but I got a seat), then a 31 (I think!) plus a rake of Mk2's to Oxford (loads of room, got a full table to myself and opening windows!) and a second generation DMU to Charlbury.Then the return was a HST from Charlbury to Oxford (ample room) and then a 47 plus Mk2's to Leeds, complete with a proper buffet car. That got full approaching BNS and again approaching Leeds but was otherwise acceptable. Proper full size trains with adequate facilities for all on board.As I understand it, the idea with Virgin XC was to run lots of shorter new trains, effectively doubling frequency and capacity and releasing the HST's for use elsewhere. Unfortunately after the new Voyagers were ordered, Failtrack (or whoever was in charge that week) said there weren't enough slots to run that level of service and they were left with lots of short trains and virtually the same number of time slots.I suppose we should be grateful that crosscountry still call at Leeds and Wakey, as opposed to Virgin who when faced with late running would run straight through to York dumping Leeds bound passengers at Sheffield or Donny to catch someone elses train.
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tyke bhoy
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Postby tyke bhoy » Tue 17 Nov, 2009 10:37 pm

BLAKEY wrote: Yes, I for one will never forgive NEEC for daring to supercede the dignified and elegant GNER livery with their garish diagonal striped nonsense - a feature widespred nowadays throught the bus, coach and train scene thanks to the misguided "marketing" fraternity. Then there is the unjustified cost of early repainting also. Mercifully NEEC packed in before all the fleet was "cheapened." And do these services need marketing. In most cases both the buses and trans have a monopoly on the route and even if I had a choice the livery would be low down on my list in decision making. Service, punctuality, reliability, comfort........... count for much more
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BLAKEY
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Postby BLAKEY » Tue 17 Nov, 2009 11:23 pm

[quotenick="tyke bhoy]And do these services need marketing. In most cases both the buses and trans have a monopoly on the route and even if I had a choice the livery would be low down on my list in decision making. Service, punctuality, reliability, comfort........... count for much moreYou are absolutely right sir - I often say that the industry has completely lost the plot. The latest craze now on gaudy buses is to plaster what bit of panel and window space remains with "Connecting Kirklees" and similar nonsense - one is bound to ask "what are the destination displays for ??" Its a safe bet that absolutely no-one reads any of this untidy bilge as an aid to picking the right departure. I really do despair now and, despite 44 happy and absorbingly interesting years in the industry, I'm glad I'm out of it.
There's nothing like keeping the past alive - it makes us relieved to reflect that any bad times have gone, and happy to relive all the joyful and fascinating experiences of our own and other folks' earlier days.
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cnosni
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Postby cnosni » Wed 18 Nov, 2009 12:55 am

[quotenick="dogduke"] Reginal Perrin wrote: They should just give it to Branson for nowt. Let him run it and take a cut of the profits.The high prices are just additional back door taxes on business. If I want to get to London afor a meeting of anykind I need to get a £200 train, the company pays. [/quoteOn privatisation Branson took on the worst 2 franchises of the lot.The West Coast Main Line and the Cross Country.Either a very brave or a very foolish man West coast was for 25 years,with aproviso that he bought new trains and that the Wst Coast would be upgraded to 140mph by a certain time,or Virgin would recieve a multi million pound compenstion package for procuring and paying for 140mph stock.The cost of upgrading to 140mph was far more than paying Branson,so the government scrapped the upgrade and compensated Virgin.Cross Country had a huge subsidy which was to be cut dramatically come rebid time.Branson had moaned (during the Virgin tenure)that he would hand back the keys if the government didnt up the subsidy.they didnt and Branson didnt get the Cross Country refranchise.££££££££££££££    
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