Chiltern Mainline,best TOC?

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by cambsy, 26 Oct 2011.

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  1. cambsy

    cambsy On Moderation

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    just had day sampling the new Chiltern Mainline services,sampled the Mk3 Silver Service and the 16.30pm unit non stop Marylebone to Warwick Parkway,we did Warwick Parkway in just under 68 mins,and 50 mins to Banbury on Silver Service,all trains been punctual,the staff been friendly,no over crowding,and it is definitely quick,but would say quite a lot of the way u can't tell it been upgraded in terms of track works unlike Trent Valley and Rugby etc,think it cost 250,000,000,and it competes well with Virgin Bendy trains,the Mk3 are great to ride on,good refurbishment,I'm impressed with Chiltern based on today,how have others found Chiltern to be?
     
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  3. MidnightFlyer

    MidnightFlyer Veteran Member

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    A good TOC, not the best IMO, but far from the worst. But don't just judge them on the Silver Trains, the way stations in NW London have been left is unacceptable.
     
  4. seventh-heaven

    seventh-heaven Member

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    So what is the issue at the NW London stations?
     
  5. Cherry_Picker

    Cherry_Picker Established Member

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    You could argue very strongly that some stations, especially the two Sudbury stations dont get a frequent enough service. Chiltern would argue that these stations, especially the two Sudbury stations are well served by alternative lines. I think the sign up at Sudbury Hill Harrow to change there for the Piccadilly line is actually a gentle reminder of this rather than a message to people that Sudbury is a good interchange.
     
  6. t0ffeeman

    t0ffeeman Member

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    Sudbury & Harrow Rd to Central London is far far quicker than the very long Piccadilly line route via Hammersmith and Sudbury can be very busy.
     
  7. trentside

    trentside Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    My experiences of Chiltern have been very positive, but I don't travel regularly enough to say where the fall on the scale of best/worst.

    My last journey was on the loco hauled service between Marlyebone and Birmingham Moor Street. The train was punctual, comfortable (even though it was busy) and immaculately clean - the staff were also friendly. Certainly was a positive experience and one I'm keen to repeat. I've also used their trains over the Metropolitan line during LU engineering works. Despite how busy the train was, the travelling environment was still ok and the 165 was very clean.
     
  8. RPM

    RPM Established Member

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    There are two main issues with the two Sudbury stations, firstly they are on a busy section of two track main line so it is hard to fit in the required stopping services within the timetable and the effect upon other services during disruption is severe. Secondly both stations are located within the area covered by the Travelcard Agreement so Chiltern have no financial incentive to increase services because they won't make any money from it.
     
  9. starlightEXPRESS

    starlightEXPRESS Member

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    A few questions on Chiltern:

    Has the new Evergreen 3a timetable 'settled down' now? Is the overcrowding at High Wycombe and Beaconsfield now better managed? (I understand there have been a few minor service tweaks.)

    Any news on when the Evergreen 3b TWA order will go through?
     
  10. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    More tweaks are going to happen for December. The TWA is meant to go through at the end of this year/beginning of next.
     
  11. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    The OP is only sampling the "flagship" service, which is a bit like sitting in the declassified "First Class" on a Northern Rail 180 and using that as a benchmark for the whole franchise.
     
  12. Mojo

    Mojo Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    It might be good on the Birmingham service, but even 7 years ago Chiltern were doing all they can on the Birmingham line whilst largely forgetting about and annoying the commuters to other destinations.

    Despite living in Birmingham for a few years (although not consecutively) and having reason to visit London on a semi-regular basis, I have still never travelled on Chiltern from Birmingham to London as:
    - unless you can catch one of the fast trains, they are not actually that quick
    - they are less frequent and/or do not tend to run at times that are convenient for me
    - I have been able to travel on cheap Advance fares on Virgin
    - there are engineering works on their route (and I avoided them last Saturday due to this)
    - the price differential for walk up fares isn't that much more compared to splitting and going on Virgin (for which the difference is less than 10%), or buying a London Midland ticket (which is cheaper)

    I may one day get on then soon if they are running a train at a time convenient for me that is cheaper than the equivalent service on Virgin, and saves enough time for me to not go on London Midland
     
  13. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Also, they ran the 1555 BMO-MYB yesterday with the lead coach having no interior lights!
     
  14. Cherry_Picker

    Cherry_Picker Established Member

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    Aye, it got locked out after Banbury. Would have went back as the 18:07, which is a very busy train as it is, and running as a four car it would have been busier still. Spoke to the guard on the platforms at Marylebone about it, dunno whether she decided to declassify the business zone or not but its a decision I guess that is difficult to make until you close the doors and leave the station.
     
  15. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Doesn't surprise me; we bailed at Leamington with darkness approaching. My London it would have been pitch black.

    It was kind of surreal though!
     
  16. Cherry_Picker

    Cherry_Picker Established Member

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    You did pick the worst coach to sit in if you sat up front btw, it was the only one which wasn't an ex WSMR refurb and not quite as nice as the rest of the train (even without the fault).
     
  17. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    It was the only one with a spare bay of four - loadings were higher than I thought they'd be.

    Actually the darkness of the carriage wasn't altogether unpleasant from a bashing perspective - plenty to see outside with no interior reflections.
     
  18. Chafford1

    Chafford1 Member

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  19. Peter Mugridge

    Peter Mugridge Established Member

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    Is that 12059?

    Last Wednesday I used the 13.37 Marylebone - Moor Street and 15.55 return and sat in 12059 by choice because the lights in the refurbished ones were too bright - gave me a headache. Also, 12059 has more airline seating in it than the refurbished ones.
     
  20. SS4

    SS4 Established Member

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    Agreed although I travelled with them when the WCML was being upgraded (they had longer trains to compensate which was nice) and occasionally in Central Trains days when there wasn't a through service to Euston. I also find their [Chiltern's] last train from London is absurdly early of a weekend (20:00 on Saturday) although this seems to be more common among TOCs than it used to be.

    The crux of the matter IMO is that LM are cheaper (and often emptier until after NMP/MKC) and Virgin are faster.
     
  21. hick

    hick Member

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    This is due to Network Rail engineering works. The normal last Birmingham train is 2200 Saturday and Sundays.
     
  22. Mojo

    Mojo Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I will be travelling on Chiltern tomorrow. It's around £1 cheaper than Virgin (splitting at Milton Keynes and Coventry) and the journey is slower, although I'm in no hurry.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Broadcasting live from a 168/2 on my way to London!

    Train was fairly busy from Moor St - Solihull and a few more customers have got on at intermediate stations en-route although it's not that busy. The train is a lot noisier than a Pendolino (obviously being a diesel) but it wins in the lack of vibrating panels stakes. The main plus point is the free Wi-fi.

    Another customer opposite me was travelling on an Off-peak Travelcard and the Train Manager allowed him to alight to catch the following service with no excess.
     
  23. MidnightFlyer

    MidnightFlyer Veteran Member

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    Sorry for the bump. I believe that at one of the Sudbury / Harrow named stations, benches have had to be removed and replaced with tip-up seats to stop them being used as beds by tramps in the night! Further, I do believe amounts of rubbish and human excrement have been found there in the past. Plus the relatively poor service to some of the stations despite the timetable change and I think you'll see what I mean!
     
  24. Cherry_Picker

    Cherry_Picker Established Member

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    Four months in, and I wonder what people make of the new service now the dust has settled. Passenger numbers seem to be up, especially at Warwick Parkway. The 600 space car park which didn't even exist about a decade ago is now full every day by about 9:30am. I have no idea where the passengers who travel from Warwick Parkway are headed but there are sizeable Birmingham and London commutes from the station. I would imagine the recent explosion in passenger numbers would be from people headed to London who previously might have used Coventry or Birmingham International. It will be interesting to see what the 2012 (first full year of EG3) station usage figures are compared to previous years.
     
  25. giblets

    giblets Member

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    I've been on the service both north and South of Leamington, and both seem good, though I had been under the misapprehension that after the Evergreen scheme finishing in Aug/Sept the work would be over, however, there seems to be bus replacements every weekend since.
     
  26. TDK

    TDK Established Member

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    The bus replacments are not anything to do with evergreen 3 it is to do with the relaying of track between Leamington Spa and Aynho Junction
     
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