“Scotlands best ever railway”

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Mingulay, 21 Nov 2018.

  1. Deltic1961

    Deltic1961 Member

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    As someone who isn't involved with the rail industry I find it hard to believe how they can cancel services not just at the moment but in general. Every time I go for the bus it turns up, every time I go to Tesco Metro it's open, but a train ........

    Obviously the penalties for not operating services are not tough enough. I have had had horrific experiences this year (Dyce) and it seems they don't even need an excuse to cancel services.

    I don't thing the government realise the cost to the economy of having so many people late, displaced, having to arrange alternative transport, late for work, late to pick up kids etc. Seems no-one is interested to put it bluntly, and no-one is putting pressure on Scotrail to ensure they have adequate rolling stock and staff. Above that Network Rail just make things worse with constant signalling issues.

    It's a total mess right now.
     
  2. mikey9

    mikey9 Member

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    Just to put an another viewpoint. I am about 2.5 hours to the West of you and commute into Inverness on the Far North commuter services. I also travel to the central belt a couple of times a month and other occasional trips.
    My experience (and that is all it is - but that makes is very valid - to me) is pretty much the exact opposite, we have tidy infrastructure, very few cancellations recently, cheap commuter tickets. Stock is OK - but reading some of the concerns of others on here - it sounds like we are pretty lucky with the 158s. Yes the refurb seems to have knackered the WIFI but - my expectations of that were never high.
    Central belt travel is fine - 170s do the job but I always choose the LNER HST for return trips - and will try to use HST diagrams when they appear on the Highland Line or Aberdeen services. For Inner Moray Firth Commuters - we have good services running well and on time enough - we desire better and improvements could be facilitated with infrastructure (Lentran Loop) - but what we have probably is better than ever before.

    Occasionally we do encounter cancellations - but reliability seems to be pretty solid from my experience. Just lucky perhaps - but I probably represent quite a number of folk using similar services.
     
  3. Stopper

    Stopper Member

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    They’re managing to squeeze an extra 2tph through Newbridge without increasing the Linlithgow service.....

    At the height of the morning peak there is actually 5tph to Edinburgh... 2 7-car trains, 1 8-car train, 1 5-car train and 1 4-car train. Every single one is full and standing from Linlithgow, bar the odd occasion that all Dunblane-Edinburgh services are actually running (which spreads loadings from further north). So this clearly isn’t enough and is exactly why both the Dunblane and Cumbernauld services should call at Linlithgow. It has the most Edinburgh commuters (outside Glasgow) in Scotland!
     
  4. Journeyman

    Journeyman Established Member

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    I suspect it isn't possible to stop them both at Linlithgow, as the time penalty for stopping them will affect capacity and reliability, especially in a year or two when (hopefully) Winchburgh station will be up and running.

    Out of the Cumbernaulds and Dunblanes, it makes sense to stop the former rather than the latter, as they're likely to be less busy out of Linlithgow in the mornings.
     
  5. Deltic1961

    Deltic1961 Member

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    Looks like the RMT dispute has been settled. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-46456970

    Another total meltdown on the GLA/EDI service tonight because of a broken down train at Croy. Chaos at GLC with little staff or announcements.
     
  6. Highlandspring

    Highlandspring Established Member

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    GLA? EDI?
    Glasgow Central?
     
  7. Deltic1961

    Deltic1961 Member

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    Apologies, it's Queen Street. My bad.
     
  8. dtaylor84

    dtaylor84 Member

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    Trying to get home from Edinburgh to Bridge of Allan, and it's completely hopeless tonight.

    1727, 1734 and 1904 all planned to be cancelled as of this morning.

    1805, 1835 both cancelled because of no staff.

    So there's 5 trainloads of people waiting on/around the cancelled 1835 (neé 1805) service in the hope it might go somewhere.

    Edit: now they've kicked us off that train and told us to wait beside (but not board!) what was the Glasgow Queen Street service, which has also had all its passengers turfed off. Ho hum.
     
  9. 47271

    47271 Established Member

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    I'm not defending Abellio, I'm as fed up of the cancellations as everyone else, but this thread continues to revolve around the personal interests of two or three individuals, and so continues to be attracting off topic posts in my view.

    Staying off topic but on the subject of the new timetable - crowded trains out of Linlithgow in the morning, I'm very sorry to have to reveal that this is what happens when everyone wants to go to work at the same time. Unbelievably the same thing happens on the roads into Edinburgh in the morning - there's bad congestion, but no sane individual would suggest that more and more capacity is added so that noone gets held up. But I think that this is what's being asked of Scotrail here?
     
  10. Stopper

    Stopper Member

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    It doesn’t revolve around the personal interests of 2 or 3 individuals. Unless somebody is commuting all over Scotland, the posters in question are always going to use their own line as examples.

    As for the overcrowding – trains are still full and standing at Linlithgow following the first capacity increase, so much so that it seems unlikely that the second capacity increase, aka an extra carriage, will improve this. If services are still full and standing, what will they be like in 5-10 years with further growth? It seems very short-sighted (likely enforced I know) and I am praying the Almond Chord is built in the future to bring some sanity (and trains that aren’t full and standing daily) to the E-G.
     
    Last edited: 5 Dec 2018
  11. Mingulay

    Mingulay Member

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    Even by Scotrail standards

    What utter b@llocks ! A few individuals grievencies. ? By which you mean DUNBLANE moaners ! You clearly are not enduring tonight’s disaster there are hundreds of passengers delayed bewildered loaded onto 2 Carriages stored in cramped conditions for a 15 mins off loaded. Stored in 3 carriages. Then canceled again. You are so trying to blame a few moaners. We are all fed up but only a few speak up. I am one of the few that voice it on here. So when you hear from me you here from many. It’s ludicrous of you to blame a few critics from Dunblane . I am surrounded by very very angry very very delayed passengers from along the route.

    I was fortunate tonight to bump into Alex H in Waverley. I introduced myself and offered him my heartfelt advice that he needs to keep his head down given the hostile atmosphere. He appeared to appreciate my concern gave me his card. He knew all about the meeeting in DUnblane and was apologetic. He says the union issue has been agreed this afternoon. No idea if that is a scoop or not.

    But now on my third train and as normal it will be terminated at Stirling , no idea when I will get home to Dunblane. Train failure a Croy blamed. 385 ?

    Staff are now in open revolt siding with passengers given the announcements scripted or unscripted on trains. Hugely telling !

    So for you to say this thread is about me and a one or two others is just deluded nonsense. There are hundreds of us.

    By all means be objective and offer credit to Scotrail when merited but to blame me and a few other trouble makers is just head in the sand stuff as unfair criticism. It’s not unfair as Scotrail from the very top to the bottom agree with me !

    I’m taking a holiday for rest of the week now. No compensation to me my business and the tax we pay . So when you blame a few vocal critics. Think about the hundreds of people who can’t get to work or home and the effect on the economy. Not just 3 commuters who pop there head over the parapet to get shot off!

    Yours standard in Stirling at some point
     
  12. Stopper

    Stopper Member

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    I’m pretty much done complaining as it has got me nowhere. This is my last week commuting with ScotRail anyway.

    However I do agree with the above post by Mingulay. There seems to be a general view on here that it is only a handful complaining. You only have to look on Twitter to see the large numbers of Linlithgow, Polmont, Dunblane, BofA and even Larbert passengers complaining to ScotRail. And given the fact a packed full public meeting took place in Dunblane would suggest that these are widespread complaints. Not everybody has an account on here, most people don’t.
     
  13. Class385

    Class385 Member

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    An agreement has been made in regard to RDW although I would imagine disruption would still continue for the next few days while crew get trained on new traction and staff start working rest days again.
     
  14. Chrism20

    Chrism20 Established Member

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    Bang on.
     
  15. 68000

    68000 Member

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    I commute into Glasgow Central low level and generally it is a great service, 6 car in the peak and only a few times delayed over a couple of minutes
     
  16. Southsider

    Southsider Member

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    In fairness to Mingulay it’s his thread so difficult to see how he is off topic. Having said that, huge improvements are being implemented which, in my opinion, will deliver what Scotrail claim. It’s been a bumpy ride but we’re getting there.
     
  17. 68000

    68000 Member

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    Maybe so, there is more to the railway service in Scotland that the Dunblane / Linlithgow service
     
  18. mcmad

    mcmad Member

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    But his point is that the "huge improvements" aren't being felt by those who have endured the greatest disruption. I travel from Larbert to Glasgow. Under the new timetable the train in the morning comes from Dundee so no change, my train home at night is a couple of minutes less but since the current one sits at Larbert Junction for anything up to 5 minutes awaiting the preceeding Edinburgh train it's not really any quicker. Looking at the timetables all they've done is remove the engineering allowances. Its supposed to be 3 car 385, not any longer than a 3 car 170 and shorter than the 4 car 156's that used to run the service. An thats without commenting on the last couple of weeks where its been a lottery as to what, if any, trains actually turn up.
     
  19. Mingulay

    Mingulay Member

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    Bang on indeed !

    My journey from Edinburgh was bang on 3.5 hrs tonight

    Bang on to Scotrail they turf me out at Stirling to get train no 4 .

    Bang on to control who refused the next train north to Aberdeen to do the decent thing and stop at Dunblane to help the refugees despite plea by conductor on Aberdeen to help us given the following train to Dunblane was already cancelled and the following service after that delayed. . Bang on zero concern to mitigate the delays for passengers already hours late

    Bang on Stirling station which was deserted of staff who care nowt for abandoned passengers.

    I joined this forum to understand why as a passenger the railway is as bad as it is. It's now apparent that all forms of social media , it just encourages polarisation. . Its now the norm. Remainers hate brexiteers . Those who want independence those who don't spit at each other on forums .Trump lovers trump haters in the US , no common ground .We all end up further apart. I find common ground with my fellow passengers, it's simply not mirrored here by train enthusiasts

    I'm done with it. There is no room for rail passengers on this forum who complain . You just get attacked. Despite the fact the rail industry is here to serve us passengers. Passengers experience and frustrations are dismissed as whining nimbies

    Thanks to those who have informed me on the workings of rail

    The fate of this Franchise will be decided by us passengers and I'm one of legions of passengers who have been let down by Scotland's best ever railway.

    For those who are happy , that's good. Great shame there is little empathy for those getting a raw deal. But that's the way society is going .
     
  20. Chrism20

    Chrism20 Established Member

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    And BANG ON is what you have done. On and on and on. Thread after thread has ended up in a debate about the timetabling of trains from Dunblane and Linlithgow.

    You have had meetings with ScotRail where you appear to have debated with them about ridiculous things such as why a train is timetabled to take longer going from Stirling to Dunblane than it does from Dunblane to Stirling to the point that they went on the offensive with you. That was explained to you on here to the point that someone almost had to explain gravity to you.

    You have written to your elected representatives and they have stopped responding which is really no surprise if the content of said letters/emails is of the standard of what you have written here. They probably got fed up repeating the same thing to you.

    I have plenty sympathy for anyone caught up in the current ScotRail timetabling fiasco this week, I've been caught up in many excessive delays and cancellations over the near on twenty years that I have been commuting. My sympathy only goes so far though particularly with perpetual complainers who use public forums to castigate train operators for delays of only a few minutes and refer to themselves as refugees. That to be blunt is right up there with the "Absolutely disastrous" twaddle that was posted on here yesterday.

    As someone who spends three hours a day on a train commuting and pays £12,900 a year for a season ticket I wouldn't be happy with the nonsense thats went on and I would certainly speaking with my contact in the MDs office at my usual TOC.

    If you want to provide a running commentary on your daily commute put it in the trip review thread.
     
  21. GusB

    GusB Established Member

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    The forum attracts people from a range of backgrounds - railway staff, rail enthusiasts, passengers looking for advice on purchasing tickets, passengers looking for help when they've been caught without one, and loads more besides. I'm not a commuter, nor staff - I just have an interest in transport and general geekery. If you were looking to find a place where everyone would rally round and support your cause, this forum isn't it, I'm afraid. That's not to say that different opinions aren't welcome, it's just that the seemingly constant stream of complaints about Dunblane and Linlithgow has become very wearing, and especially so when those gripes spill across multiple threads.

    I don't think there is little empathy - I'm sure there are many people here who, if stood in your shoes, would be able to understand. I certainly wouldn't relish a 3.5 hour commute home in the evening when it should be much quicker. There's not really much we forumites can do about it! Yes, there are railway staff here, many of whom are also at the sharp end and would rather the situation was sorted. As someone who has worked in customer services for various organisations, it can be very demoralising when the proverbial hits the fan and you're there on the front line trying to make the most out of a bad situation. Imagine what it's like to deal with constant criticism at work, then deal with the same on the forum after work!
     
  22. Altnabreac

    Altnabreac Established Member

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  23. 47271

    47271 Established Member

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    Fair enough, I suppose the OP is entitled to turn the thread into whatever they want it to be!

    But I'll just try to re-explain my point, because it certainly wasn't intended to be divisive or blindly defend the industry.

    l think I'm discussing whether or not Scotrail, or the Scottish Government if you prefer, can legitimately claim to be in the process of delivering Scotland's best ever railway. I don't think that claim can be judged on Abellio's dire performance over the past two weeks, or even the last two years. There are so many facets to what 'best ever railway' could mean - trains, electrification or timetables for example. The state of the service to Linlithgow and Dunblane, now or in the future, could be an indicator of whether the claim is valid or not, but it can't be the sole measure.

    I've tended to stand up for Scotrail and its excellent front line staff or even, perish the thought, Abellio on here over the past few years because I can only go on the evidence of my own eyes as a user of the Highland Main Line into Edinburgh and Glasgow. Abellio didn't introduce inadequate stock to the route, the main complaint we have up here, that was a decision taken even before devolution. The service they've provided to me has generally been no better or worse than that delivered by First, and is 95% okay. It's nosedived over the past two weeks and I've been particular to describe that in this thread. HST refurbs have turned into a shambles but, as it stands now, noone can definitively say that those trains won't deliver the best every service that Scottish intercity routes have ever experienced.

    I hope this helps, and I'm sorry if I've upset anyone by trying to be objective about the question asked.
     
  24. kilonewton

    kilonewton Member

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    A few points:

    “Scotlands (sic) best ever railway”. Whenever I’ve seen in print or heard Alex Hynes say the tag line, it’s “... to build the best railway that Scotland has ever had.” Which means it’s a work in progress. Whilst we’d all like the various projects that make up the overall improvements to have been completed yesterday, and in most cases should have been, but things are moving in the right direction. Patience is in small supply in vocal parts of the community, and not just this tiny one online.

    Personal experience does not mean that you can extrapolate that to the whole country. I for one find the idea of a Scottish Republic outwith the EU a horrible concept, but I know people who yearn for that. I don’t have the arrogance to think that everyone does, or even should, agree with me.

    Social media is a poor place to look for information to back up your argument. All of us on the various platforms self curate what we see, and most of the time it is just an echo chamber. People are far more likely to go online to vent and moan about something, particularly as they can go hard at a “faceless” target without any personal repercussions.

    Likewise, a community meeting will not attract the contented or disinterested. I would only bother to turn up to something I was particularly interested in, as I have a Firestick in my home, and of course this forum, to keep me entertained pretty much on demand. I don’t need to spend time with angry people who will not be placated whatever is said.

    I write this as someone who was caught up in the chaos at Queen Street last night, and also is directly affected (for the next few months) by the timetable change on the Linlithgow - Dunblane axis. Indeed, like Stopper, I will be in the car when on that route, but in the interests of transparency, I get back on expenses only the cost of the train ticket, whilst 45p a mile is more financially beneficial. With the timetable change I can justify the extra expense to the client.
     
  25. Journeyman

    Journeyman Established Member

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    I suffered a delay of almost two hours travelling from Glasgow to Linlithgow last night, for the second time in a week, so I'm decidedly miffed about that, but don't tar me with the "Linlithgow moaner" brush!

    Generally all is pretty good on the E&G, and I hope this is an uncharacteristic bad patch.
     
  26. David M

    David M Member

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    Bonus!
    Since day 1 you've done nothing but moan, often politically motivated and, often, simply for the sake of it. It started off with Milngavie then spread to Linlithgow and Dunblane.
    Yesterday a 365 suffered pantograph damage at Croy.
    Queen St was unable to fit any more 7 or 8 car trains in due to the platforms that could accommodate them being occupied already.
    But, hey, you have a good old moan at Scotrail.
    Might be more constructive if you offered an idea as to how they could better have resolved or dealt with yesterday's chaos instead of simply complaining.
     
  27. ER158715

    ER158715 Member

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    Dear Mingulay, here’s a novel idea. Why not apply for a job on the railway and help improve it, seeing as you seem to moan so much. I’m sure you have plenty of good ideas to turn the company around?
     
  28. Stopper

    Stopper Member

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    Condescending posts like this, and many more, are not really necessary at all. Mingulay travels on one of the most unreliable, short-formed and skip-stopping services out there, so he has a right to be annoyed. Whether you think he moans too much or not, posts like this offer absolutely nothing.
     
  29. ER158715

    ER158715 Member

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    It’s a genuine question actually. How would you or anyone else, like someone constantly attacking what you do professionally? The only other place I have seen such constant sniping is the motor trade. The staff are doing the best they can with the limited resources available. Do you honestly think that ScR are going out their way to make things awkward for the customers? It’s a unique set of circumstances that have brought about this last few weeks of disruption. I’m sure that once all the stock situation settles down and training is done then there will be an improvement. It’s going to be a tough task up till then but hopefully worth it.
     
  30. Stopper

    Stopper Member

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    I think Mingulay has made it clear that his disruption is not only in ‘the last few weeks’. It affects the poster’s life and they likely pay a lot of money for it. If the service is not up to standard (which the Dunblane service in particular hasn’t been for over a decade) then they have the right to complain. Asking them to apply for a job at the railway to sort it out themselves is a bizarre response.
     

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