Best Mark 3 Coach

Who has the most comfortable Mark 3 coaches?

  • Greater Anglia (Refurbished by 'one')

    Votes: 3 2.6%
  • East Midlands Trains

    Votes: 9 7.9%
  • First Great Western

    Votes: 14 12.3%
  • East Coast (Refurbished by GNER)

    Votes: 25 21.9%
  • Virgin Trains (Pretendolino)

    Votes: 3 2.6%
  • Chiltern Railways (Refurbished by Wrexham & Shropshire)

    Votes: 34 29.8%
  • Grand Central

    Votes: 11 9.6%
  • CrossCountry

    Votes: 9 7.9%
  • Other - Please Comment

    Votes: 6 5.3%

  • Total voters
    114
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SprinterMan

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Simple question. Mark 3 coaches are probably one of the most comfortable railway vehicle ever built, but who has the nicest ones. Which operator has refurbished theirs to the highest standard?
Adam :D
 
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CC 72100

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Good idea for a poll.

I've heard rave reviews about the Chiltern Mark 3s, but as I haven't travelled on them I don't have any first hand experience. I'm going to go for the XC mark 3s. Yes, XC have done something right! :P Look very smart, comfortable seating, enough tables, pretty good lining up with windows of airline seats, and the lighting is just about right too. Shame everything gets scuffed with the trolley coming down the aisle, but that's about it in term of faults.

The FGW mark 3s are always smart and well presented, but those seats are a bit too high backed for my liking and airline seating can feel a bit claustrophobic.
 

fgwrich

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Good idea for a poll.

I've heard rave reviews about the Chiltern Mark 3s, but as I haven't travelled on them I don't have any first hand experience. I'm going to go for the XC mark 3s. Yes, XC have done something right! :P Look very smart, comfortable seating, enough tables, pretty good lining up with windows of airline seats, and the lighting is just about right too. Shame everything gets scuffed with the trolley coming down the aisle, but that's about it in term of faults.

The FGW mark 3s are always smart and well presented, but those seats are a bit too high backed for my liking and airline seating can feel a bit claustrophobic.

Except the stupid LED Seat Reservation screens that never work, and the PA Screens that when they do work, seem to show somewhere your never near as the destination. :roll:

As for the trolleys on XCs HST Services - its a shame they didnt go in for a Mini bufet idea as per FGWs HSTs, rather than the bizzare set up chosen.
 

CC 72100

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Except the stupid LED Seat Reservation screens that never work, and the PA Screens that when they do work, seem to show somewhere your never near as the destination. :roll:

On all of my journeys they've gone retro and used paper reservations - which not only work but are also a lot clearer than any mini LED screen. Those PA screen are a waste of space though, the other day it was convinved that our next station was 'Plymouth, our destination station'. We had this all the way from Penzance to Exeter. Just turn the thing off! <D
 

317666

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I would say the Greater Anglia Mk3s. They still have nice, dim lighting and the comfort of the original IC70 seats. The best HST Mk3s I find are First Great Western ones, I don't really like the lighting on the East Midlands ones, at least the high-back seats on Great Western block the harsh lighting out to a degree.
 

Failed Unit

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For my interest batching them up.

Grand Central, Virgin, EMT and East Anglia should all be the same because of the seats and the layout?
Likewise XC and East Coast? or are the slightly different?

Not done Chiltern or WSRC to know if they are still IC70 or another seat in them, or the layout?
 

317666

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The XC Mk3s have a different internal layout to the EC ones with less tables and less legroom I believe, the GC Mk3s have a similar layout to the Chiltern/WSMR Mk3s I think, both have IC70 seating. The GA Mk3s vary, some have 'high density' layouts with predominantly airline seating, but some have the original layout that they were in under VWC. The EMT Mk3s also have much brighter lights than GC, VWC and GA Mk3s.
 

YorkshireBear

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Having only experienced 4 i have to say EC, FGW is just a bit bright for me although it is nice, XC is good but not as good as EC and EMT is good again but not as good as EC. To be fair, i like all MK3s.
 

Max

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Has to be the ex-W&S Mk3s, which turned the outdated BR interior into something positively luxurious. The ex-GNER Mk3s are an admirable second place.
 

ryan125hst

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I have only traveled on East Coast and East Midlands Trains Mark 3's (EC's EMT set), so I have based my views on the other interiors on photographs and videos that I have seen.

Many people complain about the FGW's refurbishment due to the bright lights and high density layout. While XC's seats are the same as EC's, the seating is high density- a toilet has been removed from each coach to make room for more seats IIRC.

EMT's interior seems alright, although they are using the IC70 seats, as are Grand Central and Greater Anglia.

While the Pretendolino's refurbished interior has made the coaches look more modern (and fit in with the fleet of Pendolino's), and Chiltern's interior does look good (a close second maybe), I have always found the Mallard interiors to be good. They are bright and comfortable, there seem to be plenty of tables and overall, it feels welcoming.

I've never traveled for longer than about 1 hour 45 minutes in a Mallard interior HST (or 225). Can anyone comment on whether it is comfortable to travel from Kings Cross to Inverness?

My opinions might change when I get the chance to travel on other TOC's Mark 3's.
 
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YorkshireBear

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While XC's seats are the same as EC's, the seating is high density- a toilet has been removed from each coach to make room for more seats IIRC.


I've never traveled for longer than about 1 hour 45 minutes in a Mallard interior HST (or 225). Can anyone comment on whether it is comfortable to travel from Kings Cross to Inverness?

In reference to XC yes they have removed a toilet but it is a good move, I think chiltern have done the same and that is seen as a good decision. Especially considering the overcrowding on XC.

And i have travelled on EC from doncaster to edinburgh 2hr 10 and leeds london 2hr 30.

Both found very comfortable. To be fair a human sitting in the same seat for over 5 hours no matter how comfy, is hard to do.
 

trentside

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My personal preference is for the East Coast MK3s. Although I find the lighting can be too harsh at night, I find the seats relatively comfortable for long journeys with plenty of legroom. The way the interior has been designed also makes it feel bright and fresh.

I also quite like the East Midlands Trains interiors, obviously which are more 'traditional' in their layout and appearance. I don't like the IC70 seats as much, but can still sit comfortably in them for longer journeys - the GA sets are similar, though much more tired in their current condition.
 

SprinterMan

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You missed off the 442s...

442s are close to being Mark 3s, but aren't really. One could also argue I should include other Mark 3 based multiple units such as 150s or 321s, but it's just too confusing. Same reason I didn't include ScotRail, ATW or the Irish Mark 3s; its just easier this way :P

What strikes me odd about this poll currently:
No one at all has voted for the Pretendolino
Greater Anglia not only has some votes, but is ahead of EMT!
Despite being hated on here most of the time, FGW are third and only a little behind the top 2.

Adam :D
 
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4SRKT

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When introduced the second class mk III coaches had 64 seats, all around tables, all aligned to the windows, and because the window profile was the same for first and second class mk IIIs (unlike mk Is and mk IIs), the legroom was as generous as in a first class coach. This takes some beating IMHO.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
442s are close to being Mark 3s, but aren't really. One could also argue I should include other Mark 3 based multiple units such as 150s or 321s, but it's just too confusing. Same reason I didn't include ScotRail, ATW or the Irish Mark 3s; its just easier this way :P

What strikes me odd about this poll currently:
No one at all has voted for the Pretendolino
Greater Anglia not only has some votes, but is ahead of EMT!
Despite being hated on here most of the time, FGW are third and only a little behind the top 2.

Adam :D

Surely 442s are as much mk IIIs as the REPs they replaced were mk Is?
 

MidnightFlyer

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I have to say, as much as I like EC and ex-WSMR Mk3s, the FGW HST takes it for me, I really like the seating and layout.
 

bronzeonion

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If only there were 2nd and 3rd place voting options. I voted Chiltern Railways, but if I could second place would go to East Midlands Trains and then Greater Anglia.
 

D6975

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Having recently done M'bone-Moor St return for 50p on the special offer, I have to say that the Chiltern MK3s are superb. Very nicely done out and very clean. 10/10 to Chiltern.
Living in Bristol I'm accustomed to travelling on FGW MK3s and these are pretty awful compared to Chiltern.
 

TDK

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I put other as I would have voted for Chiltern but Chiltern were nothing to do with the refurbishment of the stock so cannot take the glory if they win the poll. WSMR is my first choice.
 

sprinterguy

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When introduced the second class mk III coaches had 64 seats, all around tables, all aligned to the windows, and because the window profile was the same for first and second class mk IIIs (unlike mk Is and mk IIs), the legroom was as generous as in a first class coach. This takes some beating IMHO.
As far as I know, and drawing on the written sources I have to hand, right from the introduction of the prototype HST trailer vehicles the length of the saloon windows was designed, as you say, to match the length of a first class seating bay around a table, so that eight bays of 2+1 seating arranged around tables all lined up perfectly with the windows.

This was not the case for the standard class vehicles: Even on the prototype vehicles the standard class trailers seated 72; with 8 bays of 4 seats around tables and two pairs of airline seats, one either side of ther central divider, on both sides of the carriage. Hence not all seats lined up perfectly with the windows. This design was perpetuated for the production HSTs, and also for the loco hauled mark 3s. Mark 2E and Mark 2F TSO carriages seated 64, but not mark 3 vehicles. The late eighties Intercity refurbishment upped the total seating in the mark 3 TSOs to 76.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
While the Pretendolino's refurbished interior has made the coaches look more modern (and fit in with the fleet of Pendolino's
The interior of that thing has been refurbished? :shock: It's the ropiest looking mark 3 rake out there! Excluding perhaps the Greater Anglia fleet, but if it isn't worse then it's not far off being on a par with them. The standard class interior of the Pretendolino looks like it has been dragged kicking and screaming out of the eighties, with no TLC between then and now. It certainly looks nought like a Pendolino, and just for a change, I don't mean that in a derogatory sense towards Pendolinos.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
In reference to XC yes they have removed a toilet but it is a good move, I think chiltern have done the same and that is seen as a good decision. Especially considering the overcrowding on XC.
The Chiltern mark 3s still retain two toilets per carriage, retaining the standard length of passenger saloon for seating. I can't say whether this has been altered with regards to the new power door fitted set though. The removal of one toilet from the Crosscountry TSOs has allowed them to extend the length of the passenger saloon available to them and I agree, has been a very positive move.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
442s are close to being Mark 3s, but aren't really. One could also argue I should include other Mark 3 based multiple units such as 150s or 321s, but it's just too confusing. Same reason I didn't include ScotRail, ATW or the Irish Mark 3s; its just easier this way :P
The 442s are in essence an Intercity EMU that largely uses the standard 23 metre mark 3 body shell with end doors over older Southern region traction equipment, so IMO they very much can be judged to be part of the mark 3 design lineage. This is in stark contrast to the likes of the 150s and 321s, as while the construction of their body shells is derived from the mark 3 carriages, IMO the likeness ends there: They are commuter multiple units with shorter, 20m body shells and 1/3 + 2/3 doors, so cannot be fairly compared to mark 3 coaching stock.

Certainly, including Scotrails' mark 3s in this poll could have been complicated, as it would be difficult for people to vote on the comfort of beds against the seating found in other types of mark 3 stock! :D
 
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