Barry Doe

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In the latest Rail Barry Doe points out the virtues of First Great Western pausing only very briefly to remind us of their moment of infamy back in 2007 blaming this solely on the DFT. Surely First were at fault here as well for agreeing to the terms?

Barry then states that National Express and Arriva taking over the operation would be a disaster which I agree with. He seems to think it acceptable for Stagecoach to take over, however, which seems to contradict his praising of the buffet car and fine dining on FGW. Didn't EMT opt for a trolley service as preferred choice?

Barry in the past has moaned a lot about the high density seating on the HST yet First brought this in.

Perhaps it is more a case of the lesser evil.
 
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Greenback

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It is just the man's opinion, which I am sure not everyone will agree with! I'm sur eit won't be long before someone says it is because he is paid by Stagecoach and First.
 

junglejames

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Barry in the past has moaned a lot about the high density seating on the HST yet First brought this in.
Its because Barry is looking at the current FGW management, and beyond the refurb. It was the previous management that brought about the awful refurb, and according to Barry himself, the current guy in charge doesnt like it, but arrived too late to do anything about it.
So no, he doesnt like the refurb much, but he is sensibly looking beyond that, and taking the current management into consideration.
So sounds quite a sensible and intelligent way of looking at it if you ask me.
 

Greenback

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Its because Barry is looking at the current FGW management, and beyond the refurb. It was the previous management that brought about the awful refurb, and according to Barry himself, the current guy in charge doesnt like it, but arrived too late to do anything about it.
So no, he doesnt like the refurb much, but he is sensibly looking beyond that, and taking the current management into consideration.
So sounds quite a sensible and intelligent way of looking at it if you ask me.
I agree, I have similar thoughts on the refurb and the previous management! FGW has improved a great deal since the nadir of 2007.
 

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I did not realise the person in charge does not like the HST refurbishment. If different management were in charge would this have made a difference as I thought it the decision of First.
 

David10

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Problem with Barry is that he bangs on as if the downgrading of catering in first class is the greatest problem facing the railways today. Memo to Barry: it isn't.

His column is about the travellings of an inward looking toff stuck in a time warp who has failing to see that the world has moved on since BR days.

He also does consultancy work for some TOCs and its pretty obvious who with his gushing praise, or at very least ignoring shortfallings, yet doesn't declare the conflict of interest.

His best work was when he was invited by East Coast to road test their first class catering. Everyone says it doesn't hold a candle to Virgin's with EC being fairly tight, but he wrote up how wonderful it was and couldn't see what people were on about. It then came out through this board that he had been played by EC, who had put up a picture of him at the catering sign-on points and instructed staff to give him special service.:oops:
 

Yew

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In EMT most journeys by HST are around the 2 hour mark or lower, so a full restaraunt or pullman fine dining service isnt really practical as by the time you get your pudding and coffee you might have missed your stop. So their breakfast and all day menus for first class are jsut about right. I admit maybe some more options for hot food in standard would be nice, maybe bacon rolls and toasties? However I think that the trolley is okay, and it comes right past your seat, possibly giving more chance to buy than having to walk to the buffet.
For longer services to cornwall I would hope any stagecoach operation would buid upon first's progress, maybe putting some lower backed seats in the HST's too for those who dont like as much priviacy. (although grammer seats cna make a train claustrophobic, the definately give lots of priviavy)
 

Greenback

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Problem with Barry is that he bangs on as if the downgrading of catering in first class is the greatest problem facing the railways today. Memo to Barry: it isn't.
He has always been itnerested in railway catering, he has been writing about it for many years, but I don't remember him ever being particularly obsessed with first class catering - restaurant cars yes, but he has always said he wanted those to be open to non first class ticket holders.

His column is about the travellings of an inward looking toff stuck in a time warp who has failing to see that the world has moved on since BR days.
I disagree. As far as I know he is not from the upper classes! But you are free to disagree with his opinions!

He also does consultancy work for some TOCs and its pretty obvious who with his gushing praise, or at very least ignoring shortfallings, yet doesn't declare the conflict of interest.
I thought it wouldn't take long! ;)
 
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His best work was when he was invited by East Coast to road test their first class catering. Everyone says it doesn't hold a candle to Virgin's with EC being fairly tight, but he wrote up how wonderful it was and couldn't see what people were on about. It then came out through this board that he had been played by EC, who had put up a picture of him at the catering sign-on points and instructed staff to give him special service.:oops:

But they hadnt, he took a quote from this very forum about management putting a picture of him up, assumed it was from a EC employee, when in fact it was from a FGW employee :roll::roll:. The error was pointed out via email but i guess you cant really lose face a 2nd time. :oops: doesnt cover it.
 

scotsman

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It then came out through this board that he had been played by EC, who had put up a picture of him at the catering sign-on points and instructed staff to give him special service.:oops:
No, it came out through this forum that he had c*cked up rather embarrassingly, slandering East Coast in the process. He took a quote out of context/never checked his facts and stated what you claim, however it was posted by a FGW Guard who very much implied that he did not work for EC.
 

tbtc

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Problem with Barry is that he bangs on as if the downgrading of catering in first class is the greatest problem facing the railways today. Memo to Barry: it isn't.
The same could be said of a number of posters on here though - I bought a chocolate bar from a trolley last year, but otherwise I cannot remember the last time I bought any food/drink on a train (and I've never had a "restaurant" meal on a train).

There are a lot of people who equate "good food (especially for First Class passengers)" with "running a good service. Look at how WSMR and GNER get fawned over, whilst NXEC and AXC were The Bad Guys. I really don't think most passengers care (as long as they can get tea/coffee/confectionary at their seat).
 

aylesbury

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He can be a stirrer he bangs on about getting rid of bus passes and says that we can all afford full fares especialy the older members of society as we have wonderful index linked pensions.His articles are interesting but can be confusing with references to highly technical matters regarding timetables.His website is quite useful and gives a lot of detail.He does always travel first class and claims to never buy advance tickets and still get a bargain!
 

junglejames

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No, it came out through this forum that he had c*cked up rather embarrassingly, slandering East Coast in the process. He took a quote out of context/never checked his facts and stated what you claim, however it was posted by a FGW Guard who very much implied that he did not work for EC.
He went on more than just the quote on the forum, which we are guessing was the quote on here, but has been denied. Coincidence though it was. Remember he also got told other stuff. He saw internal memos stating rations etc. He must have been had by EC, so he came out and slandered them for it. He was clearly being offered more than is the norm. So he corrected his original piece once this came out.

If he did take the quote from this forum, then that is unfortunate, but it wasnt the only thing.
 

David10

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A railway journalist praising a TOC that has paid him or given him a freebie? Never, I simply refuse to accept that ever happens.
Maybe when his current assignment comes to and end, Lord Leveson can hold an inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the British rail industry trade press. Should only take him until 2016 to wrap up his current project.:D Just think of who he could invite along!
 
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fgwrich

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Its because Barry is looking at the current FGW management, and beyond the refurb. It was the previous management that brought about the awful refurb, and according to Barry himself, the current guy in charge doesnt like it, but arrived too late to do anything about it.
So no, he doesnt like the refurb much, but he is sensibly looking beyond that, and taking the current management into consideration.
So sounds quite a sensible and intelligent way of looking at it if you ask me.
Going off on a slight tangent for a moment, i believe Mr Hopwood is a fan of the seating as fitted to standard class EC / AXC HST Refurbishements, So whether or not come another FGW term, the seating get's replaced as another High Speed Train (or IEP) comes in i dont know, however i have heard it being mooted...
 

jon0844

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Maybe when his current assignment comes to and end, Lord Leveson can hold an inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the British rail industry trade press. Should only take him until 2016 to wrap up his current project.:D Just think of who he could invite along!
Any inquiry that is rail related will end up costing ten times as much as planned, overrun by years and just when it seems like he's getting somewhere, a new guy will take over and start all over again - before it all falls apart and people conclude that it would never have happened pre-privatisation.
 
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