A long journey home....

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Daniel

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Went to the West Somerset Railway for my birthday on Monday, but it all took a bit longer than expected.....

Firstly I got up, dressed etc. and read 'ONE' Railways website, too make sure the train I was booked on was still running..... and lo-and-behold! Over-running engineering works....
After a chat with TC about it, we left sharpish, heading to Turkey Street for a diverted train. Walked round the corner, and... the lines were down!! Lucky us, me and Rob thought - our train was the first through after the e/w.

We pulled into Taunton spot on time.... unfortunately, out coach didn't! So, after a 45 minute bus journey, we get to Watchet station 14 minutes late, with around 3 mins to spare!!!

We bought our tickets, etc, and were told that the next train would be a DMU. Rather dis-appointed, we went and sat down outside, on a bench. About 2 minutes later, out comes a class 33! So much for a DMU.

We spent most of the day on the railway: Diesel to Minehead, Steam Minehead - Bishops, last train of the day Bishops - Watchet. At Watchet, our coach arrived on time, despite the driver of a different service that we had an hour wait, instead of a 7 minute one....

Anyway, fast-forward to Taunton. Que - torrential rain :D. Mix in one delayed train..... and a 66 :). The 18:31 pulled in at around 18:38. We got on, found our seats, and had a nice smooth journey........ until Westbury.

"Ladies and Gentlemen. As you probably know, we have been waiting for a while just outside Westbury. This is due to a slight problem with the petrol system, which the driver is now rectifying."
Rob and me were not fooled... so we approached the Train Manager. She told us that the real problem with with the lights, but mainly that the speedometer was stuck on 0mph... but we weren't to tell anyone ;).
Even later, with my head stuck out of the window, (trying, and failing, to take a picture of out train - it was on a curve - but managing only to capture the big '1' on the side!), I spotted the driver, walking down the track! After a quick chat, he confirmed what the Train Manager had told us. As far as everyone else knew, at this point, the front power car had failed!

The train manager soon announced that we would be turning the train around, via the Trowbridge Triangle, "a process which usually takes about 40 minutes". Hearing this, I go and speak to the train manager about my tickets - I was booked on a train from Liverpool Street and was surely going to miss my connection (she re-endorsed my tickets to allow travel on a later train). Later on, we were approached by the staff, asking if we had seen anyone "suspicious" walking along with a blue bag - (we heard them suggesting that we were asked about this, as we had been "walking through alot"), as Michelle (the trolley attendant) had had her bag stolen, money removed, and bag deposited in the toilet......

Anyway, after a run around on the triangle - and everyone on the HST laughing at those on the 166 we were holding up :lol:, we once again arrived into Westbury, where our driver was to walk around a final time and drive, in reverse formation, to Paddington. Here, some drunken idiots tried to bash one of the doors in (apparently), at the end on the train, as to get off.... this caused an announcement by the staff asking passengers no to try and dis-embark.

Anyway - long story short (after everything i've already typed!?? - we arrived at Paddington at the time me and Rob were due to arrive at Enfield Lock, 1005. Reason: The headlights (White lights) were stuck on red, so the power care was deemed "unsafe to use". Also the speedometer broke. Oh, and also, the family carridge's lights broke - EMERGENCY GLOW STICKS FOR ALL!!!!!

Final comments: I am making a complaint against fGW, and attempting to get my money back - only because the TM told me too, though... but also putting a note in to say how well the staff handled it all... plus, they never seemed to run out of "complementary" (a.k.a. FREE) cokes on the First class trolley service! :D.
Despite all this, I would definatley travel on fGW First Class again.

*phew*. Thats alot of typing!!!
 
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Tomnick

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Anyway - long story short (after everything i've already typed!?? - we arrived at Paddington at the time me and Rob were due to arrive at Enfield Lock, 1005. Reason: The headlights (White lights) were stuck on red, so the power care was deemed "unsafe to use". Also the speedometer broke. Oh, and also, the family carridge's lights broke - EMERGENCY GLOW STICKS FOR ALL!!!!!
They were quite right to describe it as a 'failure', because it was! Both faults (headlight failure and speedometer failure) were enough to fail the set.
 

Daniel

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Yup.

Can understand that it was taken out of service, as with no real headlights, it was dangerous. The whole set will also have to be removed from service, to have its glow sticks replaced.

However - BOTH Cl43's were screaming... so the "failed" car was acctually operational..
 

devon_metro

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More problems today for first, 1C88 15.05 London Padd-Penzance encountered signal problems then further delays at Westbury, then powercar problems at Exeter! 30 mins late at Newton Abbot!
 

TheSlash

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Memorex, the Paddington station fitter would of been able to replace the glow sticks on arrival at Paddington
As stated by TomNick, either of the faults you describe would of been enough to cancel the train, but at least they tried to avoid cancelling it by turning the train so the defective cab was at the rear {This would of given them time to organise a set swap at Paddington}.
The speedo works by taking an average from probes on several axles, so i suspect the driver was looking for any damaged cables and also any signs of further damage {you could of struck an object on the track and the only indication would of been the damaged speedo}
As for the tail lights, i suspect HST's may of been fitted with automatic direction detectors for the head and tail lights. The idea is that the driver doesn't have to waste time walking to the back of the train if the previous driver hasn't switched the lights from white to red. A colleague who works in Fleet Maintenance for a TOC which uses Electrostars told me they have alot of trouble with the system, so it's probably the same with other TOCs and even FOCs
For the record though, i blame Sprog :glasses2: ;)
 

Tomnick

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That's about the shape of it. Just because it's a 'failure' (in the technical, rulebook-esque meaning of the word!) doesn't mean it's not capable of moving and indeed operating near-normally. Means it's not allowed to do so!
 

Nick W

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I never knew there were HSTs that ran on petrol.

Can't people just be honest about why a train's late?
 

66526

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If the train manager says there is a fault with the brakes or a fault with the speedo then the passengers would probably panic.
 

devon_metro

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Precisly, I was surprised when the TM announced we had powercar problems on 1C88 at Exeter.
 

Coxster

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We had a probable lie the other day at West Drayton. The boards said our train was due on time and just as it's departure time came, a Turbo (which it would have been) rounded the corner but didn't stop. The boards then went blank. No more Turbos went passed, just freights, 180s and HSTs. An announcement then came over the CIS saying the train had failed at "airport junction" so was cancelled. The thing is "airport junction" is further down the line so it would have stopped at West Drayton before it reached the point it was meant to have failed at! Very suspicious ;)
 
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