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Old 26-04-09
Rayq81
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Trains

Well today I decided to go to the Bristol Automotive festival by train

We arrived at Yeovil Penn Mill station at 0915 to catch the 0938 train to Bristol, 2 minutes after we purchased our tickets it was announced that the train was delayed by 42 minutes , ok I remain calm and go for a cup of tea . 42 minutes later the train is now 1 hour late on the board, still calm we wait on a now crowded station for the train. It turns up at 1042 we are on our way, first station approaching .............train grinds to a halt and the conductor walks through the train explaining that there is now a further delay as the train is too big for the platform allocated and we have to wait until a BIG platform is available. Eventually a BIG platform is available and we trundle in (Yipee) off we go again admiring the countryside and the lovely scenery, but still looking at my watch, Westbury station next............stop, sorry for the delay to the already delayed train but we are waiting for the signal to clear then we will be on our way, at this point the conductor appears to explain that the original delay was caused by them trying to attach two carriages to the original train which resulted in a power failure, oh how I laughed, the train moves again (yipee) only to spend the rest of the journey at about 15mph. Arrived Bristol 1200.

Now I am always banging on about public transport and how its great, but today was a leason learned, our trains are no better than they were 30 years ago, maybe it was just a bad experience but if I had to put up with this on a daily basis I would go mad, I am going to my depot on Monday to drum into my drivers heads the importance of running a good reliable service, If I thought for a minute that I run buses the way **** run trains I would give up.
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Old 26-04-09
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Re: Trains

Awaiting the arrival of HSTDriver to the thread, likely to be a delay though
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Old 26-04-09
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Re: Trains

Originally Posted by EddieGTA View Post
Awaiting the arrival of HSTDriver to the thread, likely to be a delay though
He is not finished work yet...........leaves on the line I think
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Old 26-04-09
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Re: Trains

Very frustrating
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Old 26-04-09
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Re: Trains

trains suck ...they only run at certain times..theyre always crowded (where i roam) and they take at least 2 hours more than a car journey, plus they pee me off....
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Old 26-04-09
HSTDriver
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Re: Trains

Originally Posted by BOREDQ81 View Post
Well today I decided to go to the Bristol Automotive festival by train

We arrived at Yeovil Penn Mill station at 0915 to catch the 0938 train to Bristol, 2 minutes after we purchased our tickets it was announced that the train was delayed by 42 minutes , ok I remain calm and go for a cup of tea . 42 minutes later the train is now 1 hour late on the board, still calm we wait on a now crowded station for the train. It turns up at 1042 we are on our way, first station approaching .............train grinds to a halt and the conductor walks through the train explaining that there is now a further delay as the train is too big for the platform allocated and we have to wait until a BIG platform is available. Eventually a BIG platform is available and we trundle in (Yipee) off we go again admiring the countryside and the lovely scenery, but still looking at my watch, Westbury station next............stop, sorry for the delay to the already delayed train but we are waiting for the signal to clear then we will be on our way, at this point the conductor appears to explain that the original delay was caused by them trying to attach two carriages to the original train which resulted in a power failure, oh how I laughed, the train moves again (yipee) only to spend the rest of the journey at about 15mph. Arrived Bristol 1200.

Now I am always banging on about public transport and how its great, but today was a leason learned, our trains are no better than they were 30 years ago, maybe it was just a bad experience but if I had to put up with this on a daily basis I would go mad, I am going to my depot on Monday to drum into my drivers heads the importance of running a good reliable service, If I thought for a minute that I run buses the way **** run trains I would give up.

Sounds like a crappy day, Ray, sorry to hear that.

But I do hope you're not judging an entire service on a single experience?
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Old 26-04-09
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Re: Trains

Another interesting 'fred? Nationalised v Privatised? Get the skate wheels a' spinning.:
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Old 26-04-09
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Re: Trains

Anyone who travels by train with any frequency will have experienced similar. I can just about cope when it's work's time I'm wasting but when it's my own it really winds me up.

I would rather travel to work by train than car, it's quicker and I don't have to fanny about with parking. However, trains from my local station are only hourly and it times which make it completely impractical if I have to drop my kids off. Plenty of trains go through en route to my destination but only 1 stops - why? One by-product of this is that if anything goes wrong and a train has to be cancelled, the next one is so busy that you can't get on it. Things do go wrong in life and I have no problem with that, it's the complete lack of a plan B that is frustrating.

Cost is also an issue. Last November I dragged my daughter to the classic car show at the NEC. I had the bright idea of travelling by train rather than car until I investigated the cost. How expensive can it be on a sunday I thought. As it turned out it was well over £60 compared to £25 in petrol and a fiver to park.
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Old 26-04-09
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Re: Trains

We travel to town London, off-peak sometimes and quite enjoy the experience. : How I hated pulling that leather strap Sunday's at midnight before that Catterick Camp flyer departed from KingsX. Conversely I enjoyed the trip at a later period from Waterloo to Andover.

But my favourite rail journey at that time has to be from the Hook of Holland/Hanover/Fallingbostel, that was a really enjoyable experience, especially after the North Sea crossing on the SS Parkstone.:

How things have changed all around us? Hum! de Tum! I'm a happy chappie on the rails now?
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Old 26-04-09
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Re: Trains

The problem with the railway is the way we manage these situations when they arise.

We can get people to their destination on time 9 times out of 10, and really serious delays (an hour, for example) are really quite rare, I've had probably half a dozen in almost 7 years, but we've got the knack of being absolutely s***e at dealing with customer care and information when those serious delays occur.
In my experience, people can deal with delay ok, as long as they're kept informed, and are made to feel like they're actually being dealt with in a professional manner by the staff on the scene.

Generally (although not always) managers go to ground when the s**t hits the fan,. and leave the lowliest staff to deal with the irate punters, and when the staff really need some back-up there's all too often none to be found.

It's a shame that we shoot ourselves in the foot when things go wrong, because people odn't remember the 9 times out of 10 that they were on time, they only remember the one they were late.

(As an aside, this situation isn't solely the realm of the railway. Airlines in my experience are even worse, and the delays usually much longer)

And it often still beats travelling by car, I'll tell you all one day about my 6 hour gridlocked wait on the M4, on one of the hottest days of the year
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Old 26-04-09
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Re: Trains

Went to London twice last year on the train and both times the service was excellent. Also a big fan of the tube!
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Old 26-04-09
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Re: Trains

HST imagine if you will no more cruising across on the SS Parkstone, slung in a hammock, and then having to adjust to flying on a Viscount was it? from: Hanover to Gatwick, which at that time was a sort of tea and sandwiches only airport? Yes indeedy times are a changing. For the better, or worse? :
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Old 26-04-09
Rayq81
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Re: Trains

Originally Posted by HSTDriver View Post
Sounds like a crappy day, Ray, sorry to hear that.

But I do hope you're not judging an entire service on a single experience?
No its a common occurance on this line, the conductor was very chatty and said it was a better Saturday than most he has to endure on that particular run, a few of the passengers were also saying that they dont even bother complaining now beacause its just normal , I do sympathise with the staff though it cant be much fun going to work knowing that you are probably going to be having to apologise to passengers all day. I suspect that a lot of train operators have actually got their act together as I noticed in the 90 minutes I spent at the station on the way home that ALL of the cross country services were running on time (which is a good sign)
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Old 26-04-09
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Re: Trains

Originally Posted by BOREDQ81 View Post
No its a common occurance on this line, the conductor was very chatty and said it was a better Saturday than most he has to endure on that particular run, a few of the passengers were also saying that they dont even bother complaining now beacause its just normal , I do sympathise with the staff though it cant be much fun going to work knowing that you are probably going to be having to apologise to passengers all day. I suspect that a lot of train operators have actually got their act together as I noticed in the 90 minutes I spent at the station on the way home that ALL of the cross country services were running on time (which is a good sign)
I take it you were travelling with First Great Western, Ray?

Should have spoken to me first. I'd have told you to take your car

I don't sign the road via Yeovil (no London drivers do) but I get through Westbury en-route to Exeter, and I work to Bristol. I know where you're about.
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  #15 (Post Link)  
Old 26-04-09
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Re: Trains

haven't been on a train in years. used to do manchester-london a few times a year - the journey down was usually ok but i don't think i was EVER on time on the way back prior to that i used to go by train to my parents place in anglesey and it was an unmitigated disaster every time i went - crappy carriages, delays, cancellations, bus replacement services... total and utter garbage. i'm sure they've improved since then but personally i'll still be going by car, thanks

the only journey i would consider by train is london, now that they do it in 2 hrs or whatever it is


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  #16 (Post Link)  
Old 26-04-09
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Re: Trains

Originally Posted by ACAPULCO AL View Post
haven't been on a train in years. used to do manchester-london a few times a year - the journey down was usually ok but i don't think i was EVER on time on the way back prior to that i used to go by train to my parents place in anglesey and it was an unmitigated disaster every time i went - crappy carriages, delays, cancellations, bus replacement services... total and utter garbage. i'm sure they've improved since then but personally i'll still be going by car, thanks

the only journey i would consider by train is london, now that they do it in 2 hrs or whatever it is
That's the problem we face now though, many people who had bad experiences in the past and won't go by train again. Shame really. I can't particularly blame people, especially with the price of walk on fares (although booking in advance can be uber-cheap)

As I said, it comes down to how the delays are managed as to the effect on the people suffering the delays.


Equally, why is it that people never rant on internet forums when they've been stuck in traffic for an hour on the motorway or at the airport yet they're the first to do it when they're delayed on the railway?

In my experience, car delays are far more common than train delays, yet we just accept them. Funny people, the travelling public
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Old 26-04-09
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Re: Trains

Originally Posted by HSTDriver View Post
The problem with the railway is the way we manage these situations when they arise.

We can get people to their destination on time 9 times out of 10, and really serious delays (an hour, for example) are really quite rare, I've had probably half a dozen in almost 7 years, but we've got the knack of being absolutely s***e at dealing with customer care and information when those serious delays occur.
In my experience, people can deal with delay ok, as long as they're kept informed, and are made to feel like they're actually being dealt with in a professional manner by the staff on the scene.

Generally (although not always) managers go to ground when the s**t hits the fan,. and leave the lowliest staff to deal with the irate punters, and when the staff really need some back-up there's all too often none to be found.

It's a shame that we shoot ourselves in the foot when things go wrong, because people odn't remember the 9 times out of 10 that they were on time, they only remember the one they were late.

(As an aside, this situation isn't solely the realm of the railway. Airlines in my experience are even worse, and the delays usually much longer)

And it often still beats travelling by car, I'll tell you all one day about my 6 hour gridlocked wait on the M4, on one of the hottest days of the year
HST...i just cant agree with this...i live on the outskirts of london..the train costs me £7 for a return trip into town before i use the tube, which will cost a further £X to get to where i need toget to...i dont work in London but have to get there for various other reasons...i never use the car as the train is my only serious option (congestion charge and parking add up there)...but i resent the fact that it would probably cost a little more to get there by car...
i work a good 120 miles form home....the train journey itself costs roughly £50 for a return journey..but i still have to link trains with the underground in London...so lets say around £54...
thats a full tank of petroleum for the Spider..
i get around 350 miles at least out of that tank...and that certainly goes a long way to helping with the individual journeys i make locally in Kent during the working week ie. Margate to Canterbury etc...
if i were to factor in further trian journeys within that area then im looking at spending another £25/week at least...that already puts me up to around £80/week...but i manage this all on £50 with the car/ parking is a cinch for me (luckily)

i havent even started on how long each journey would take...but i neednt stress that the car takes a lot less time...
the basic journey of 120miles takes twice as long by train..

its a no brainer for me...


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Old 26-04-09
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Re: Trains

the worst bit with most delays i've had on trains was the complete lack of communication when the train comes to a standstill in the middle of nowhere with no announcements. what's going on, have we broken down? is it a red signal? are the points jammed? has the driver nipped out for a poo in the bushes?
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Old 26-04-09
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Re: Trains

Originally Posted by broom_zoeyellow View Post

its a no brainer for me...
But you're not everyone. It may not work for you, but there are plenty of people that it does work for.

Rail passenger numbers are the highest since the 1960's so it's certainly working for plenty of people.
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Old 26-04-09
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Re: Trains

We often use the Train, to travel to Cardiff and London, its so much easier ( and cheaper ) than going by Car. I've not had any problems at all over the last few Years with the Great Western service......
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Old 26-04-09
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Re: Trains

Originally Posted by ACAPULCO AL View Post
the worst bit with most delays i've had on trains was the complete lack of communication when the train comes to a standstill in the middle of nowhere with no announcements. what's going on, have we broken down? is it a red signal? are the points jammed? has the driver nipped out for a poo in the bushes?
Exactly. (although not the last bit ) it's how situations are dealt with, not the fact that the situations have arisen in the first place.
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Old 26-04-09
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Re: Trains

Originally Posted by HSTDriver View Post
But you're not everyone. It may not work for you, but there are plenty of people that it does work for.

Rail passenger numbers are the highest since the 1960's so it's certainly working for plenty of people.
i dont disagree, but you cant deny that prices in many areas are extortionate...and seem to be competing directly with the price of petroleum.
IMHO they should be decently cheaper (like in most European countries) so as to encourage more people to travel by public transport to avoid shorter journeys especially..
thats not the case here....and though rail passenger numbers are higher than in the recent past, the british public are charged far too much...
i wouldnt mind travelling more by train if it made financial sense, but (for me at least), it doesnt....and i wonder if it makes sense for several others, or whether they have to just put up with it?

we still are a long way off from having a seriously comparable rail service to our Euro neighbours...but I will say thats we're a lot closer now than we were 15 years ago
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Old 26-04-09
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Re: Trains

Originally Posted by broom_zoeyellow View Post
i dont disagree, but you cant deny that prices in many areas are extortionate...and seem to be competing directly with the price of petroleum.
IMHO they should be decently cheaper (like in most European countries) so as to encourage more people to travel by public transport to avoid shorter journeys especially..
thats not the case here....and though rail passenger numbers are higher than in the recent past, the british public are charged far too much...
They are charged too much, and pretty much all the frontline staff will agree with that, but it stems from the privatised industry. Profit rules all, even at the cost of service, and dare I say safety too.

Fares have changed recently, more inline with low cost airlines, so there are some stupidly cheap fares available, but of course they're all off peak, and they're all advanced booking only. Those who use and need the railways most (commuters) still get stung, and suffer the highest fare increases year on year.
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Old 26-04-09
Rayq81
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Re: Trains

Originally Posted by HSTDriver View Post
I take it you were travelling with First Great Western, Ray?

Should have spoken to me first. I'd have told you to take your car

I don't sign the road via Yeovil (no London drivers do) but I get through Westbury en-route to Exeter, and I work to Bristol. I know where you're about.
Yes you are right HST, and I agree that things can go wrong on any journey on any type of public transport, this particular operator seems to run their trains with the same skill that they run their buses down here , I wont be put off though as I plan to take the train down to Cornwall in a couple of weeks, I will let you know how it goes.
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Old 26-04-09
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Re: Trains

i dont like trains and even if they were free to use then id still rather drive. although buses trump trains when it comes to my personal hatred
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