Buffet Cars

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fhs man 2

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What TOC's still use buffet cars because they seem to be getting removed, I like buffet cars because they provide more choice than the trolley and are quite nice to go to, Do you think these could go the same way as the restaurant cart ? :(
 
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ainsworth74

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I'm not too worried about buffet cars going the way of the dinosaur just yet. All the true long distance operators (EC, VT, FGW, GA, EMT and Scotrail on their sleepers) other than XC have them and I think XC would still have them if it weren't for the credulously short length of their Voyagers. I'm aware that EMT don't use them any more but I guess that's more to do with Rail Gourmet more than anything else (and there has been no discussion of removing them either). A change we might see is the introduction of more micro buffets that are basically just a fixed trolley with a bit more choice and stock as found on 180s and 444s for example.
 

Bridge189

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From the top

East Coast- Buffet and trolley
Virgin - "
East midlands- selected services
Chiltern mainline
Great Western
Grand Central
Arriva trains Wales (MK3s)
Great Anglia

Not many have no buffets. It's only really XC that don't use them at all/ have none onboard.
 

fhs man 2

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I'm not too worried about buffet cars going the way of the dinosaur just yet. All the true long distance operators (EC, VT, FGW, GA, EMT and Scotrail on their sleepers) other than XC have them and I think XC would still have them if it weren't for the credulously short length of their Voyagers. I'm aware that EMT don't use them any more but I guess that's more to do with Rail Gourmet more than anything else (and there has been no discussion of removing them either). A change we might see is the introduction of more micro buffets that are basically just a fixed trolley with a bit more choice and stock as found on 180s and 444s for example.
From the top

East Coast- Buffet and trolley
Virgin - "
East midlands- selected services
Chiltern mainline
Great Western
Grand Central
Arriva trains Wales (MK3s)
Great Anglia

Not many have no buffets. It's only really XC that don't use them at all/ have none onboard.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-17310289
 

trc666

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The buffet is rarely if ever used now on SWT, most if not all services with catering for all or part of the journey is a trolley service.
 

Bridge189

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Correct and even if one fails they normally have a spare one. You still see the odd full kitchen buffet turn up on the Bristol/Cheltenham terminators.
 

chrisdmadd

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I think newer trains will continue to have a buffet car of sorts but they will merely be a 'kitchen' basically a quarter car length. A small shop in other words. The more seats on a train the more money there is to be made.
I'd be interested to see some figures on the returns that companies make from these shops on board. Gotta be quite decent returns on what they spend.
 

ainsworth74

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I think newer trains will continue to have a buffet car of sorts but they will merely be a 'kitchen' basically a quarter car length. A small shop in other words.
What you're describing there is a micro-buffet. A small area just to sell similar items to what could be found on a trolley (but normally with a bit more variety and of course higher stock levels). I suspect what will see is what we've had on things like the 390s and 222s a buffet area (or shop as Virgin insist on calling it) in standard class whilst there is a full kitchen in the first class driving vehicle there to deliver the first class service (be it full meals or just snacks).
 

Lrd

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Is the buffet ever used on SWT 444s any more?
Occasionally. The steward(ess) sometimes take refuge in there if the train is rammed and just operate the trolley from there. They also store more stock for their trolley in there.
 

pitdiver

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Can anybody tell me if in the past were there any coaches that were just kitchens through the whole length of the vehicle Are there any pictures I could look at.
 

DarloRich

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What you're describing there is a micro-buffet. A small area just to sell similar items to what could be found on a trolley (but normally with a bit more variety and of course higher stock levels). I suspect what will see is what we've had on things like the 390s and 222s a buffet area (or shop as Virgin insist on calling it) in standard class whilst there is a full kitchen in the first class driving vehicle there to deliver the first class service (be it full meals or just snacks).
but does the kitchen area on a pendo not use up space that otherwise would be vacant like in the a standard class driving car?

Is this space not the "crumple" zone? I had been told that passenegrs could not be accomdated in this area but that staff could be.

All intercity trains should offer a proper buffet!
 

jopsuk

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The Pendolino 1st class Kitchen is in the middle third of the carriage- at the other end of the train, this space is occupied by Standard Class passengers
 

D1009

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Demand for on-train catering has generally declined, until the 1980s almost every long distance train had full restaurant facilities with silver service. The expansion of food outlets at major rail stations has also had an effect.

The move to take away the shops from XC voyagers was controversial at the time, but I am told they are selling much more food and drink from the trolleys than they ever did from the shops. Some people on here seem to think that most XC passengers go from Edinburgh to Plymouth or from Manchester to Bournemouth. Some do, but not very many, their average journey length is much shorter, and the catering reflects that. The problem from the passenger's point of view is as stated previously it's hit and miss whether the trolley gets to you when you need it. I'm typing this on a journey from Bristol Parkway to Sheffield in the leading coach of an HST, we've left Birmingham and no trolley yet.
 

AJP62

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Can anybody tell me if in the past were there any coaches that were just kitchens through the whole length of the vehicle Are there any pictures I could look at.
There were a few Mk1s like this. As non-passenger vehicles they had 8xxxx numbers from memory. As mentioned above there are still some in charter trains.

From my earliest spotting days in the mid 70s I don't recall seeing any in normal service trains but do remember them in charters back then. There must have been a regular use for them when they were built as I think there were about 30 of them. Not sure if they were converted from other stock or built that way. As Mk1s they would be old by the 70s so the need for them in service trains may have declined. Perhaps they featured in expresses in the 50s and 60s when there may have been a buffet car as well as kitchen facilities - I've certainly seen photos of trains with two catering vehicles.
 

delt1c

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The 8xxxx series you refer to were Rk which had full kitchen facilities and no buffet, they gerely were used with an RMB and wer4e still in use in the mid 70's on service trains all allocated the LM. The charter coaches you efer to in use today were actually built with buffet counters and numbered in the the 16xx 17xx or 19xx series and appart from 16xx had seating but have been altered and renumbered for current use. in the 70's we had a great variety of catering vehicles both 1st and 2nd class.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
sorry meant 15xx had no seating
 

D1009

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There were a few Mk1s like this. As non-passenger vehicles they had 8xxxx numbers from memory. As mentioned above there are still some in charter trains.

From my earliest spotting days in the mid 70s I don't recall seeing any in normal service trains but do remember them in charters back then. There must have been a regular use for them when they were built as I think there were about 30 of them. Not sure if they were converted from other stock or built that way. As Mk1s they would be old by the 70s so the need for them in service trains may have declined. Perhaps they featured in expresses in the 50s and 60s when there may have been a buffet car as well as kitchen facilities - I've certainly seen photos of trains with two catering vehicles.
I think the full kitchens were built for trains with an unusually heavy demand for food such as first class only full dining specials, which is for what they are still used. The largest kitchens in everyday use were the RKBs which had 3/4 of the length of the vehicle as a kitchen, the rest a buffet bar but no seating. They were numbered 15xx, and I beleive there are a number on preserved lines. There may well have been occasions when full kitchens were substituted because of shortages.
 

bignosemac

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Correct and even if one fails they normally have a spare one. You still see the odd full kitchen buffet turn up on the Bristol/Cheltenham terminators.
And occasionally Bristol starters as well. Had a Travelling Chef last Weds on the 0700 off Bristol TM as well! Problems at the depot early doors with the set due to go up to Hereford. Problem fixed in time for set to go on the 0700 diagram. Rather then send Chef home and cancel a later Travelling Chef service he worked up to Paddington and then his usual turn back.
 
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As far as I can remember the restaurant car was all seated. The food was carried from the buffet car kitchen, which had just a few tables the far end.
In the late 60's early 70's we used the Golden Hind (5.00am Penzance) to Paddington. That's when you could buy a Cheap day return!
The buffet restaurant car and several more coaches inc 1st class was added at Plymouth, making up to 15 coaches!
Full English breakfast at Dawlish! good plateful, even some chips!!:D
Going home, (17.30) We would book dinner, by the time we got our ticket it was the third sitting!
The 1st type seating is ideal for a restaurant, giving 2 covers, 4 covers and 6 covers dining. Quite plush!
The food was good quality, very far removed from the famous BR buffet pork pie!!
I remember a Steward entering the coach with a large bowl of trifle in each hand, and he slipped and landed on his back, still holding the trifles!! The Chief Steward just said, at least you didn't spill them, they were the last 2 - get up!
Happy days! :D
Then came 125's, then Golden Hind became a 'business persons' train, CDR removed, and 2nd class banned from the restaurant, and reserving seats for the journey in it!! :(
 

matchmaker

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2012-04-10-17-09-36.jpg

A real buffet car - 1930's teak bodied LNER coach still in use in the 1970's on a Glasgow Central - St Pancras via Kilmarnock and the Settle & Carlisle.

And kitchen cars were very common in pre-nationalisation days. More so than buffet cars.
 
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