Best and Worst First Class

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Jturner98

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I'm interested to know what everyone's opinions on what the best and worst first class is on UK rolling stock.

in my opinion once of the best is the class 379 first class and one of the worst is the class 377/6 & 7.

Let me know your opinions below...
 
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I think the 390 First Class is the best but I like the MK4 First too.

The worst or most disappointing would be that of the TSGN or Southeastern Electrostars to me, or on the Class 745
 

py_megapixel

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The worst first class surely has to be the suburban ones which literally just put an antimacassar on a standard class seat and call it first.
A close runner-up is to be the Desiros on the southern WCML. Firstly, the allocations can be random so you're not guaranteed to even get a unit with a first class compartment in the first place; secondly if you do the seats are actually worse than the standard ones IMO.

Best - probably XC Voyager, simply because you can get away from the chronically overcrowded standard section :D
 

Wolfie

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Best: 390/Pendolino

GWR's refurbished HSTs were good too.

Worst: 350/1 - actually worse seats than standard.
 

DustyBin

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I quite like Grand Central’s first class, their HSTs were excellent and the 180s are decent too. LNER HSTs and MK4s were/are also good.
 

Journeyman

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Best - I liked LNER HST and Mark 4 first class a lot, but sadly I won't get to travel in that again. Pendolino and Voyager is great, although there's not enough single airline seats.

Worst - Southern and Southeastern Electrostars, where it's a standard seat with an antimacassar if you're lucky. Especially bad if it's a unit with ironing boards. Completely pointless travelling in it. Given that Electrostars are generally very nice to travel in, it's a major shortcoming of them in my opinion. There's never been an effort to provide anything worth paying for, unlike Southern's Turbostars, which have nice 2+1 first class sections.
 
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bramling

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I'm interested to know what everyone's opinions on what the best and worst first class is on UK rolling stock.

in my opinion once of the best is the class 379 first class and one of the worst is the class 377/6 & 7.

Let me know your opinions below...

For a commuter EMU, 365 is pretty nice. Comfortable and secluded from people passing through.
 

Huntergreed

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Best: Avanti 390, best complimentary food service and very nice carriage atmosphere.

Worst: LNWR 350/1. The seats used actually give for a less comfortable ride than in Standard Class.
 

Bletchleyite

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Worst: Southern Electrostar, same as Standard with antimacassars, not even a partition.

Second worst: Desiro. Seats actually worse and less legroom than Standard, but at least it is partitioned off.

I think it should be mandatory for there to be one seat fewer across the width and at least say 10% more legroom (not pitch, actual base to back legroom) than Standard to be able to call it 1st.

Best: Pendolino. Just needs a few more individual seats.
 

py_megapixel

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Worst - Southern and Southeastern Electrostars, where it's a standard seat with an antimacassar if you're lucky. Especially bad if it's a unit with ironing boards. Completely pointless travelling in it.
I agree. I guess the selling point is supposed to be that fewer first class ticket holders will result in less crowding and therefore more space, but even that seems a bit of a stretch given there's only a few first class seats on any train and no dividing door between the standard and first sections..
 

py_megapixel

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I think it should be mandatory for there to be one seat fewer across the width and at least say 10% more legroom than Standard to be able to call it 1st.
I don't think it's unreasonable to call 2+2 First on a commuter service as long as the seats are of a significantly higher spec than the standard ones.
 

Devonian

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First Great Western's GWR First Class wins my top spot: it was like a completely different train, let alone class, when compared to the austere Standard. They managed to create an interior that looked elegantly expensive with its sober colours and stitched leather seating details, looked distinctly 'train' rather than 'plane' with its winged chairs, didn't have a heavy corporate brand over it (apart from small purple spots in the carpet), and which had innovative details like adaptive lighting. I miss it greatly, and Scotland is lucky to have the use of those carriages now.
 

FirstclassHST

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Best: 390/Pendolino

GWR's refurbished HSTs were good too.

Worst: 350/1 - actually worse seats than standard.
Yeah honestly they were that’s why I have their first class seats at my house for decor !

First Great Western's GWR First Class wins my top spot: it was like a completely different train, let alone class, when compared to the austere Standard. They managed to create an interior that looked elegantly expensive with its sober colours and stitched leather seating details, looked distinctly 'train' rather than 'plane' with its winged chairs, didn't have a heavy corporate brand over it (apart from small purple spots in the carpet), and which had innovative details like adaptive lighting. I miss it greatly, and Scotland is lucky to have the use of those carriages now.
Thankfully I managed to get their train seats (double pair) to retain the memory
 

306024

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........ in my opinion once of the best is the class 379 first class and one of the worst is the class 377/6 & 7.

With you on class 379s. Best EMU first class, bit posh for Tottenham Hale to Meridian Water where they now find themselves relegated to. Previously the best were also on Stansted Express with the 317/7s, (which were similar to the Anglia Railways 170s). Huge armchairs, luxury, especially when used to be put on the Romford - Upminster service :) Most of the rest are fine, but yes anything where the difference is just a hankie on the seat isn’t great.
 

Clansman

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Best is definitley GNER Mallard, worst is probably the failed attempt on the 380s.

I think ScotRail HSTs with the ex-GWR layout is massively overrated. The leather seats are rock hard, slidey, and the legroom at tables of four is not as much as other TOC's HSTs (probably due to the glass partitions or the thickness of the seat backs).
 

Iskra

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Best: TFW/ATW Premier Service. Proper carriages, comfy seats and a complimentary food service that's actually worth bothering with.

Worst: Class 185- ambience is ruined by people traipsing through to get to the toilet all the time.
 

Wolfie

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With you on class 379s. Best EMU first class, bit posh for Tottenham Hale to Meridian Water where they now find themselves relegated to. Previously the best were also on Stansted Express with the 317/7s, (which were similar to the Anglia Railways 170s). Huge armchairs, luxury, especially when used to be put on the Romford - Upminster service :) Most of the rest are fine, but yes anything where the difference is just a hankie on the seat isn’t great.
The TPE 350/4s were pretty decent too...

Worst: Class 185- ambience is ruined by people traipsing through to get to the toilet all the time.
Try the 350/1s. Same issues over toilet placement and crap (literally worse than standard) 2+2 seats too!
 

43096

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Worst: the Gatwick Express 387s. A doilie placed on the back of an ironing board seat and with fares through the roof. They are an offence under the Trades Description Act.
 

Bald Rick

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Best now is 390s

Best ever was LNER Mallard Mk 4s

Best non long distance is the 379s; I’d happily travel long distance in them

Worst - 365s. So uncomfortable, and smelly. Preferred standard.

It’s more than just an urban legend that HM doesn’t like 387s!

Are you calling our Monarch ‘urban?’ ;)
 

Hadders

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Best now is the 390s. Mallard Mk 4s and GWR HSTs were absolutely excellent.

387s on GN a complete waste of time, the seats are exactly the same as standard. Not even any extra leg room.
 

bramling

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Best now is 390s

Best ever was LNER Mallard Mk 4s

Best non long distance is the 379s; I’d happily travel long distance in them

Worst - 365s. So uncomfortable, and smelly. Preferred standard.



Are you calling our Monarch ‘urban?’ ;)

This has come up before, however I still don’t get your dislike for 365 first, I’ve never known anyone who uses/used it complain at all, on the contrary I’ve only ever heard praise for it.

One I forgot to mention was 317/6 first, that was pretty nice when the units were fresh from refurbishment. WAGN were quite clearly attempting to resemble the 365s, and it worked reasonably well.
 

fgwrich

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Worst - 365s. So uncomfortable, and smelly. Preferred standard.

At least the 365's didn't suffer from the perma-irritant that was the cooling Fan in the 166 version. Most of the GW units have rather excessive and whining fans which sadly make travelling in that section rather off putting now.

On the Intercity front, I would have to rate it along the following lines:

Best - Has to be the GWR / ScotRail HST First Class. For the reasons outlined in the above comments, they really did set the benchmark high with those.

The worst - It has to be a toss up between VTEC and the IET. The VTEC refurbishment did the opposite to the GWR refurbishment, it splashed Virgin Red & Black everywhere. It made the Primarius seats have the appearance of an aftermarket boy racer car, while the rest of it felt well, lacking in something. As for the IET - need I say more? Especially on the GW front. From a Warm, Welcoming, Luxurious FC with warm muted lighting and colours to a Cold, Harshly lit, Dull colour palated, Rock Hard seats and all in all something frankly not worth the upgrade costs for.

On the suburban front, I agree with those mentioned the 377/6,7 & 387. I'm also not so keen on the relocated 450 FC either - it worked as it's own separate compartment, now it feels rather condensed and squashed in.
 

Journeyman

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Whilst the IET first class isn't as good as what came before it, I think it's pretty good myself, and will happily fork out to travel in it.
 

FirstclassHST

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Best is definitley GNER Mallard, worst is probably the failed attempt on the 380s.

I think ScotRail HSTs with the ex-GWR layout is massively overrated. The leather seats are rock hard, slidey, and the legroom at tables of four is not as much as other TOC's HSTs (probably due to the glass partitions or the thickness of the seat backs).
Honestly in my opinion I would disagree , I own a pair of these seats at home and they are very comfortable (I work in them everyday) and whilst I can’t say much about the legroom these seats are definitely iconic and very comfy and frankly I don’t have the slidey issues maybe just my seat though?

At least the 365's didn't suffer from the perma-irritant that was the cooling Fan in the 166 version. Most of the GW units have rather excessive and whining fans which sadly make travelling in that section rather off putting now.

On the Intercity front, I would have to rate it along the following lines:

Best - Has to be the GWR / ScotRail HST First Class. For the reasons outlined in the above comments, they really did set the benchmark high with those.

The worst - It has to be a toss up between VTEC and the IET. The VTEC refurbishment did the opposite to the GWR refurbishment, it splashed Virgin Red & Black everywhere. It made the Primarius seats have the appearance of an aftermarket boy racer car, while the rest of it felt well, lacking in something. As for the IET - need I say more? Especially on the GW front. From a Warm, Welcoming, Luxurious FC with warm muted lighting and colours to a Cold, Harshly lit, Dull colour palated, Rock Hard seats and all in all something frankly not worth the upgrade costs for.

On the suburban front, I agree with those mentioned the 377/6,7 & 387. I'm also not so keen on the relocated 450 FC either - it worked as it's own separate compartment, now it feels rather condensed and squashed in.
Agreed
 

antharro

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Best: FGW (not GWR) HST, 442 in NSE/SWT days, and I grew to like the 444 2+1 1st (disliked it immensely when they took over from the 442s), but would have appreciated lower colour temperature lighting.

Worst: GatEx 387s. What the heck were they even thinking? GWR IEP, just plain terrible. On a slightly less terrible level, 444 2+2, it's not as bad as the 387s but it's a downgrade on the 2+1 and less comfortable than standard.
 
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