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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    Increased comfort (allegedly) and legroom.
     
  2. Journeyman

    Journeyman Established Member

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    Plus the current interiors are pretty dated and a bit shabby. I'm sure there's quite a lot of broken fixtures and fittings.
     
  3. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    Yes, I read that elsewhere a few weeks ago.

    Presumably from only the 11-car sets though?

    The way the divide First and Premium Economy with only 3 coaches will be interesting to see, I suspect a fluid arrangement would be more workable than fixed cars for each class, unless the DMRFO and MFOD become First and the TFO Premium Economy? Would give a similar balance of seats.
     
  4. TT-ONR-NRN

    TT-ONR-NRN On Moderation

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    I only hope Seatfrog upgrades will continue to count for the proper first class service and not this premium thing. I return between London and Crewe once or twice a month and make good use of the great value upgrades which save me having to go out of my way to pick up unhealthy fast food as I can enjoy a hot meal on the train.
     
  5. matacaster

    matacaster Member

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    Isn't comparison to european first class 2+2 seating in first a little unfair as the continental gauge is somewhat wider and hence carriage width / seating corridor greater than uk?
     
  6. pt_mad

    pt_mad Established Member

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    Although what would happen if the First class weekday full meal offering was unavailable due to machine breakdown or shortage of staff? Wouldn't there be some people expecting to be reimbursed down to the cheaper rate of the new middle ground class?
    Or can a customer ask for the difference in fare when full hot catering is not available as things stand today? Or if there is no weekend service?
    If not ,if it's classed as (complementary?) then surely it'd be hard to justify a middle option where you aren't entitled to a hot meal that is (complementary?).
     
    Last edited: 10 Dec 2019
  7. MKB

    MKB Member

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    I'd estimate that about a third of my regular first-class Sat/Sun journeys with VT over the past two years have already been first class without any service!
     
  8. jagardner1984

    jagardner1984 Member

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    I’d work more on the basis of an attempt to downgrade First Class Service than anything else. To be frank it’s always seemed incongruous to me to sell the box of crackers and a banana as the same “service” as a full meal, even if it’s normally priced differently accordingly on an Advance. It does make me wonder if this was brought in pretty quickly and sales of the “mid” no service option outstripped those in First, with people mainly picking up an M&S sandwich beforehand, whether this might be a convenient route to removing catering service from the Pendolinos in the refit (“changing customer demands”). And offering the government some “extra” capacity in precisely the same trains and seats.

    Slightly OT but has there been any confirmation we are condemned to the Ironing Board atrocities in the Pendolino upgrade, or is there some hope of a seat designed outside a torture facility ? As someone who finds the current seating very comfortable in Pendolino 1st Class, I imagine those seats would be great news for British Airways domestic services.
     
  9. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    They are dated, but I haven't found a massive issue with the condition of them, unlike say EMR's 222s which are very tatty particularly in 1st.
     
  10. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    1st seat frames are not being replaced, only the cushions - probably a bit like what's been done to the Voyagers, I'd imagine.
     
  11. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    It isn't much different, surprisingly. A 26.4m RIC coach is 2.825m wide, while a Mk4 is 2.73m - 10cm per side doesn't gain you a lot. And sometimes the same seats are used as in the UK - for instance Railjet and PKP FLIRT Standard uses Grammer IC3000s, the same as ex-GWR HSTs. They tend just to go for a slightly wider aisle rather than making the seats bigger.

    Only in countries with huge coach widths (e.g. India or China) do you get 2+2 First and 3+2 Standard with acceptable seat widths. Though to me this is less attractive than the UK as I like the 1 side.
     
  12. SquireBev

    SquireBev Member

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    Aren't the Pendolinos narrower than normal UK coaches, to accommodate the tilt? Or have I made that up?
     
  13. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    2.73m, same as the Mk3, it's just tapered upwards and I think the sidewalls are slightly thicker. 80x are actually narrower (2.70) due to the 26m vehicles.

    Classes 444 and 185 are the narrowest current UK passenger stock at 2.68m.
     
  14. Randomer

    Randomer Member

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    They don't have the taper towards the sole bar level that UK stock has (Mk4 being even worse than normal due to passive provision for tilt in the body shape for a follow on WCML order).

    Certainly the PKP Flirts (and the Slovenian ones for that matter) feel much wider than UK stock. It's quite interesting how much wider the TPE Mk5 feel than a 185 if you travel on both in one journey.
     
  15. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    They do, but apparently they are 2.75 which is only 7cm wider. 20m Mk3 based EMUs and DMUs are widest at 2.82m.
     
  16. boxy321

    boxy321 Member

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    Will class 1.5 be an overflow for 1st? 9 coach pendolinos are full during peaks in both classes as it stands now - take the 1650 from New St to Euston for example. There is simply no room on these trains for any additional class whatsoever unless seats are fitted by the toilets or the driver, so it sounds like Weekend First under another name to me.

    Several years ago a hot food smell would waft through coach K during the evening. The first class meal is now a wrap or sandwich, OR cheese and crackers with a bag of crisps and a banana. Total cost: about £2.

    The majority of local seasons in 1st are pay when challenged - sit in 1st then upgrade for £1.50 if they check tickets.
     
  17. Three-Nine

    Three-Nine Member

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    Didn't BR have something called "Silver Service" once upon a time?
     
  18. Journeyman

    Journeyman Established Member

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    Yeah - it was for full-fare Standard Class ticket holders, i.e. what would now be called Anytime. Standard class seat with at-seat meal service. This is sort of the opposite - first class seat with minimal catering.

    I suspect it will be quite carefully quota-controlled, and may only be available off-peak or shoulder-peak. It's interesting to see where passengers come from - existing First Class travellers who don't particularly want the catering "freebies" and are happy to save the money, or Standard Class travellers who want a better seat at a lower price?

    If it is what it seems - a first class seat at a lower price, with a lesser catering offer - I'll find it very attractive. I can only travel in first class if there's a cheap advance available, but I do place a great value on the extra space and quiet you get there. The catering is not really anything to write home about these days, so I can take it or leave it, really.
     
  19. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Or if it simply has the current First Advances and First Off Peaks put into it, with Anytime only in "proper" First Class, which is how it was in the early days of privatisation. (Before privatisation there was only First Open and Weekend First, nothing else).
     
  20. Journeyman

    Journeyman Established Member

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    Possibly. It might be hard to police, but we'll see, I suppose. I can only travel in first class if I can get a decent-priced Advance, so I guess I might get put into that lower tier, but that's alright by me. The freebies are nothing special at all these days.
     
  21. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    As long as the space used is currently first class I have no problem. If it reduces cattle class provision I am dead against it.
     
  22. Journeyman

    Journeyman Established Member

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    It seems blindingly obvious to me that it's a way of putting bums on otherwise-unoccupied first class seats, which actually does standard class passengers a favour, as it will free up space there.
     
  23. Furrball

    Furrball Member

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    Basically what Seatfrog is doing currently
     
  24. Journeyman

    Journeyman Established Member

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    Yeah, but I'd argue not very effectively, and Seatfrog offers the full first class product, with catering, which this new idea would not include. It seems to be making the process more predictable and more affordable.
     
  25. Furrball

    Furrball Member

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    Would say that my £24 Glasgow to Euston upgrade was pretty affordable!

    Once you get to know the journeys it's pretty predictable what you will pay. 90% of upgrades are confirmed as soon as a submit my 'bid'
     
  26. Journeyman

    Journeyman Established Member

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    I've had absolutely no joy with Seatfrog at all, on the LNER services I regularly use. It's all far too unpredictable for my liking. Only time it's ever worked for me, I used an "upgrade now" option for £48 from London to Edinburgh. It felt like quite a lot, but the on-train reservation system went down, so it was worth it to avoid the carnage in Standard. :)
     
  27. thenorthern

    thenorthern Established Member

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    Won't this cause a headache for the ticketing system having to have three classes of travel.
     
  28. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Who bets it'll have "Standard" in its name so it can be sneaked through company expense policies, a la Eurostar?
     
  29. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Depends how they do it. If done as a flat rate upgrade (with a "free upgrade" for certain tiers of Advance) that should be workable - a bit like the Chiltern business zone.
     
  30. Journeyman

    Journeyman Established Member

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    Not really. CRS can already cope with various quotas and price points, so it just makes use of that.
     
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