Avanti West Coast - Three classes of travel to be introduced

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Worldwide, 9 Dec 2019.

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  1. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    The seating layout of the 390s is not changing. This has been confirmed multiple times, and is due to the high cost of rewiring the reservations system if they did.
     
  2. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Yes, it is. Indeed, what it will involve is First Class seats being sold as the interim class but without service.

    The Pendolino internal layout is not being changed.
     
  3. HamworthyGoods

    HamworthyGoods Member

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    Bearing in mind that was on a far less frequent service does it now show how much the UK railways have come on in popularity terms?

    A half full coach whilst comfortable isn’t good for the economics of operation, if that was Ryanair they would have cut the route!
     
  4. HamworthyGoods

    HamworthyGoods Member

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    Similar to first class on many regional and urban routes in counties such as Germany and Belgium where it’s the same 2+2 seating layout...
     
  5. Grumpy Git

    Grumpy Git Member

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    I've only ever witnessed 2+1 on German trains in 1st, (inter-city / ICE and RMV anyway).

    Speaking of RMV, our regional railways could learn a lot from their new DD trains.
     
  6. GarethW

    GarethW Member

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    Scum Class a la Top Gear train, mind you that was quite roomy iirc.:D
     
  7. Parham Wood

    Parham Wood Member

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    Sorry you are correct but the sentiment is the same. Not sure why I thought they were Virgin, too much wine!
     
  8. randyrippley

    randyrippley Established Member

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    A bit like Weekend First then, but during the week
     
  9. HamworthyGoods

    HamworthyGoods Member

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    On IC/ICE/Dostos yes.

    Get any of the new regional/urban Flirt units both DB and Private Operator’s are introducing and it’s 2+2 these days in 1st. One set of DB units that do some long distance runs and have done so far quite a long time with 2+2 configuration are the 612 tilting DMUs.

    There again you could always argue in a lot of European Countries it’s 6 seats to a compartment whether 1st or 2nd.
     
  10. Tom Maddox

    Tom Maddox Member

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    Will this involve removing any First Class cars from any of the sets? Someone’s just mentioned it in a chat group I’m in. First I’ve heard of it but doesn’t seem to make sense to me given the rest of this thread.
     
  11. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Sort of, yes.
     
  12. MotorcycleAlan

    MotorcycleAlan Member

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    What is a "normal" person in railway terms may I ask? If I decide to spend my hard earned on a more comfortable seat/environment, whereas some might spend theirs on booze, cigarettes, expensive holidays etc., does that make me abnormal?. With the massive price difference between 1st and standard for walk up fares, why not try a middle way? If it does not work or sell seats just scrap it. No harm in trying it out.
     
  13. Mathew S

    Mathew S Established Member

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    Yes. I much prefer the Voyagers for that reason. Mind, there are trains I find more claustrophobic than Pendolinos. But anyway, said claustrophobia is why:
    For a reasonable price, I think this is a very good idea. When I've paid the extra for first it's been for the extra space, more than anything. That, and to avoid drunk footy fans.
     
  14. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I agree if the price (and flexibility[1]) is right. I find "freebies" poor value and just want the better seat.

    [1] I won't give up walk-up tickets to use Advances for this. There will have to be a reasonably priced upgrade on board, or a walk-up ticket valid via any Permitted Route even if only valid in Standard on other TOCs, otherwise I'm flat not interested.
     
  15. Parham Wood

    Parham Wood Member

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    I see rail travel as a public utility and it should be affordably priced so I can just turn up and take my wife or family somewhere for less than it costs in the car ( and I am talking petrol only here as there are lots of other costs involved if you do not have your car at the other end quite often). Sadly UK rail travel is not like that but we must be mindful that we will have to reduce our travel, certainly by car in order to reduce emissions so rail travel has to become cheaper (I know that the knock on effect is that there will not be enough rail capacity without investment). I have no problem how you spend your money but essentially UK rail travel is more geared around making money for TOCs (why else would they want to do it?). For most normal people we would like a cheaper rail system, a basic seat at a reasonable price not one that is geared to maximise profit. If this new option means a reduction in first class seats and is not at the expense of the current second class seats then I would not be so bothered about this, but it does seem a way of over complicating things which normally adds to cost. Before someone berates me about wanting a cheaper service which they will say is impossible I am yet to be convinced that we get value for money out of our railways in terms of design, procurement of technology, lack of standardisation and cost of staff. It always seems to be short term investment not long term joined up thinking. Happy to be proved wrong (well not happy as that means costs would remain high) of course.
     
  16. transmanche

    transmanche Established Member

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    A bit different from the sound of it. Silver Standard was getting a first-class-style service in a standard-class seat. This proposal looks more like getting a standard-class-style service in a first-class seat.
     
  17. WatcherZero

    WatcherZero Established Member

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    Wasn't one of the things the government asked bidders to do was to consider reducing first class seating to increase overall seating capacity?

    Perhaps this is their compromise, keep the same seating layout but price it more aggressively to get more bums on seats.
     
  18. Snow1964

    Snow1964 Member

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    What was the last 3 class in UK
    I know Southern Region had 3 class on boat trains in 1950s

    I also think the Atlantic Coast Express had some tri-composite coaches at one time.

    Not that new lot are planning all 3 classes in same vehicle
     
  19. stepho

    stepho Member

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    They might even allow you more than one triangle of toast for breakfast without scowling at you.
     
  20. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Yes, I believe so. Similar to Eurostar "Standard Premier" by the sounds of it.
     
  21. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    RENFE does that with the AVE, there is Preferente with 2+1 seating and meals on weekdays, Turista Plus which is the same as Preferente but no meals and Turista which is 2+2 seating. On weekends, Turista Plus and Preferente differ only on price.

    Will Avanti offer meals in First Class on weekends though?
     
  22. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    That's an interesting question. I wonder if it might be that it will offer only two classes (Standard and "premium economy") on weekends, with "proper" First Class being available on weekdays only?

    If you look at the present Advance fare levels, that's sort of what's going on anyway (without dedicated coaches) - they are a gulf apart.
     
  23. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    The other thing I'm curious about is whether specific sections of the current First Class will be split into First and the new Premium Economy or if they arrange it so as many seats as needed can be used.

    The point about having proper First only on Mon-Sat is a possibility, certainly if the meal service is weekdays only and the new Class effectively negates the need for 'Weekend First', it might be the best option to fill those seats more efficiently
     
  24. Facing Back

    Facing Back Member

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    I must admit my experience of travelling on Virgin at the weekends is that weekend first was already fairly popular and the first class seats (on trains from Manchester and Warrington to Euston) were fairly efficiently filled.
     
  25. Worldwide

    Worldwide Member

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    A staff member the other day implied one first carriage was being removed the trains.
     
  26. Journeyman

    Journeyman Established Member

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    It sounds to me like it's just a way of selling surplus first class capacity on trains where it's not normally busy. There doesn't seem to be a plan to change layout or configuration. It's actually a very sensible idea, given that a lot of off-peak services are full in Standard and empty in First. A lot of people aren't attracted by the "free" food, but like the space and comfort. If it's priced right and called something that doesn't include the word First, it'll also allow people to use it on business, where first class travel is often not permitted. By shifting people into an otherwise empty part of the train, it frees up space in Standard.

    If done properly, it could work very well, and I'd certainly be keen to try it.
     
  27. MarlowDonkey

    MarlowDonkey Member

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    If they aren't reconfiguring the seating, they have the choice of a fixed or variable approach. By this I mean that they could designate what are now the first class carriages as "new first" and "premium economy" either as a fixed allocation, or by varying the number of seats in each by demand and perhaps route or time of day.
     
  28. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    This sounds sort of like the abortive Blue Zone, or perhaps the way BR did Weekend First - it was only available in one coach, typically the half-buffet.
     
  29. Journeyman

    Journeyman Established Member

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    Exactly, allowing the mix of classes to be varied on each service to make best use of space.
     
  30. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

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    The alternative view, of course, is that all travel should reduce, whether by car or any other form of transport. At the extreme, even walking and cycling aren't good for the environment (due to an increased need for air and human emissions).

    Back on topic, if the seating layout of the Pendolinos isn't changing, why is it necessary to replace the seats at all? Seems like a colossal waste of money.
     
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