Class 700 - Removal Of Rear 1st Declassifed Section

Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by fkofilee, 2 Jul 2019.

  1. fkofilee

    fkofilee Member

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    Hi All

    More specifically for the TL Insiders within Govia if they know :)
    On the way home from STP this evening on a HRH bound service - The rear of the train showed that this area was for "1st Class Ticket Holders Only"

    I thought this was going to remain declassified until the end of the franchise? It didn't occur on my journey this morning and showed this area was for Standard Class Customers.

    Any idea if the policy has changed?
     
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  3. gazthomas

    gazthomas Established Member

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    I thought it always said that "first class was at the front of the train", with no reference to the rear. Most odd.

    Interestingly, I was at City Thameslink this evening and an announcement said that "first class is not available on this train". It was the usual 700, with first class accommodation at the front and rear, though one of the windows at the front was damaged, but the first class area was fully occupied.
     
  4. fkofilee

    fkofilee Member

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    I actually think it was an error on the train PIS boards.
    Sutton Loop never have 1st Class I believe...

    I will check on Thursday when I go back into work but this morning there were no issues lol...
     
  5. Skimble19

    Skimble19 Established Member

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    Oddly enough some of the RPIs have been saying recently that they’ve been told this is the case, however I’ve seen nothing official to confirm it. I would guess it’s just a case of crossed wires. Will try and find out, though hopefully someone else will be along shortly who may be able to confirm.
     
  6. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    Could be a case of driver entered the wrong code?
     
  7. James H

    James H Member

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    I sat in first class on a Sevenoaks train on Sunday which was advertised as standard class only but the PIS displayed the message mentioned in the OP indicating that first class was operational
     
  8. Saperstein

    Saperstein Member

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    I really think this one needs sorting, it’s caused a lot of aggro on the suburban networks, Thameslink, Southern and Southeastern. And now pax don’t know which way to turn!

    At the end of the day on these sort of services if there is first class, and it is in operation, a first class ticket holder *might* get a seat, and if she/he does they can relax with the antimatter with a ‘1’ on it that any child of about 4 can draw!

    Come on GTR sort it out!

    Does this happen in other parts of the country?

    Obviously long distance services is excluded from my statement above!

    Saperstein
     
  9. Aictos

    Aictos On Moderation

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    The only services which don't have First Class are the Luton to Rainham/Orpington, St Albans to Sutton via Wimbledon/Wimbledon via Sutton or the London Blackfriars to Sevenoaks services - all the other services are still declassified for the rear 1st Class in the direction of travel.

    More then likely a wrong PIS code was entered by mistake as mistakes DO happen!
     
  10. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    It simply requires a permanent sticker on the First Class dividing door stating the policy. Done.
     
  11. mpthomson

    mpthomson Member

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    Not sure I'd be relaxing with my head resting on antimatter.....
     
  12. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    Not when the 8 car fleet mixes between fully declassified and rear-only declassified routes.

    The whole thing is a mess - frankly fully enforce first class or remove it entirely to save all the aggro.
     
  13. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    You just need to explain it - the 319s I'm pretty sure used to have ones saying "On Thameslink CityMetro services this area is available to Standard ticket holders".

    TBH this would be my inclination, if you won't fill it reduce First Class fares until you do. Or just get rid of First Class on commuter services generally.
     
  14. westcoaster

    westcoaster Established Member

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    No change in policy, rear compartment is declassified on main line routes. All the time, we always input a 1 on the pis code to do this. ( Bedford/ Brighton/Cambridge/Horsham/Peterborough)
    No first class on metro routes at all (Sutton/rainham and sevenoaks/Orpington)
     
  15. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    I don’t really see the problem. It’s something for regulars, and in all fairness that’s quite reasonable. Providing the driver inputs the right code, which apparently the vast majority of the time they do, it all seems to work reasonably well. At peak times it is well filled with commuters, and likewise at off peak times enough people seem to have twigged - in any case at off-peak times the main purpose seems to be to provide a de-facto mobile staff messroom for the vast numbers of GTR staff who travel “pass” for one reason or another.

    If *everyone* knows about it then it wouldn’t work as there would be masses of people making a beeline, so the “need to know” setup works just fine.

    I agree that first should probably be ditched on these routes, and the whole train should be done out more like first (which to be fair isn’t actually too bad, unlike the ghastly standard class). However I can’t see it happening - places like Haywards Heath, Cambridge and Royston no doubt would kick off. Chiltern managed it, but did so by providing a heavily enhanced standard class - the class 700 in their current form doesn’t do that!
     
  16. notverydeep

    notverydeep Member

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    Passengers without first class tickets will be annihilated!
     
  17. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    No, it's not. It's for everyone who wants to sit there.
     
  18. Royston Vasey

    Royston Vasey Established Member

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    Antimacassar not antimatter! I know you knew this, but funny autocorrect.

    The seat back/large tables are a clear commuter benefit. I suppose in the land of the blind the one eyed man is king!
     
  19. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    So if you want to be certain of one, buy a First Class ticket.

    There is no case at all for wilfully keeping it secret. If anything, it harms the sale of First Class season tickets.
     
  20. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    Yes I know that, but if *everyone* wanted to sit there then it wouldn’t work. In practice it offers an olive branch especially for those making longer journeys (as those who board first are more likely to find an empty seat). And for those who take it up it benefits others by freeing up seats elsewhere in the train.

    If it was widely publicised and advertised then it would cause more problems than it solves, whereas in its current form it works reasonably well - even if I completely agree that the circumstances leading to it are rather daft.
     
  21. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I genuinely don't believe it would do anything of the sort. People would board and sit there until it was full. They would then go and sit somewhere else. Regulars get to know their own train, and get to know where it is worth or not worth standing.

    It's better than standard (unlike LNR where first is worse than Standard). But it's not that much better that people are going to bother with a bunfight, any more than they do (they don't) for the priority/extra legroom seats or the wide-spaced table at the outer end of a Class 350. Those seats go first, sure, but people don't fight over them.
     
  22. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    Same could said for things like the first on most Electostars, which is barely different to standard. Paying for first gives access to an area of the train from which others are excluded, and that’s what most people on these routes pay the extra for. I don’t necessarily think that’s how it *should* be, but it’s now what it *is*.
     
  23. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    It would cause problems if a disproportionate load of people suddenly hear an announcement or whatever and decide they want to use it, as it could mess up dwell times. Especially on a route like Thameslink where there is no London terminus as such.
     
  24. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    If they announced it, yes, but I'm not suggesting they announce it by the minutes. Just have a clear sticker on the door and on the windows stating the policy so you don't have to know. (Having it on the PIS only inside that section about once every 3-4 minutes is so obscure that you might as well not bother).

    "This area is available to Standard Class passengers where it is at the rear of any Thameslink train, or where the train terminates at Luton northbound or runs via the Sutton loop southbound. At other times it is for First Class passengers only".

    FWIW, on the regular occasions when LNR declassify 1st out of Euston (this is usually done just before departure so the actual 1st passengers get first dibs) there is no massive rush for it. That said, that may be because it's rubbish; I'd never pay extra for it, and if I had a 1st Advance as it was the cheapest ticket I'd still sit in Standard.
     
  25. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    The above isn’t exactly simple, and all it really achieves is advertises it to those in the immediate vicinity - i.e. those in the last carriage. I suspect the current setup works exactly as GTR intend, you wouldn’t want it being too heavily used (especially off-peak) and being trashed for the next trip when it *is* first. It’s already noticeable that there’s a lot of window etching in first on these trains compared to standard.

    Where things do become daft is that somewhere like Stevenage one could board a 700 where the first is declassified, yet the next train could be a 365 or 387 where it isn’t. There’s certainly scope for confusion there.
     
  26. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    TBH I'd decomplicate it and stop declassifying on the Sutton loop, it's silly and unnecessary. 1st at the front only at all times is clear enough. Or bin it off entirely.
     
  27. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    Peak trains now definitely have some element of 'competition' for seats in rear first class as a result.

    Off-peak trains are usually dead there, as fewer people travelling off-peak tend to know about it.
     
  28. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    Well yes, it doesn’t really sit well with all that we read about how the trains are designed around squeezing every last drop of capacity out of the system. If the whole train had the same seat cushions as first, a bit more legroom and a small amount of spacing between the seats then it would all work reasonably well.

    I’ve yet to see a decent explanation for why the 8-car versions have the same amount of first as the 12-car versions, which seems to be the root cause of the situation - especially as both the GN and Midland sides have some fairly outwardly arbitrary 8-car diagrams on what would otherwise be 12-car routes.

    Even on the 12-cars there’s quite a lot of first compared to the way it seems to be going elsewhere with many trains having had their first class provision reduced over the years.
     
    Last edited: 3 Jul 2019
  29. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    Off-peak it’s the staff messroom! Especially between Hitchin and Finsbury Park.

    I can’t resist adding that there is, of course, a rather more civilised way to make some GN-side journeys, on trains which offer better facilities in standard than even first on the 700s, with no need to compete for a limited section of the train! ;)
     
  30. thewaistcoat

    thewaistcoat Member

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    Indeed when travelling on a Saturday evening from WGC to KGX, 50:50 I get the section to myself in rear declassified or share it with a staff member. Sometimes people will get on at Hatfield as the carriage is directly in front of the station entrance (I guess it's a longer walk at the other stations).

    Peak weekdays I get the slow train WGC->KGX that calls at New Barnet which is totally declassified. In front declassified the PIS states 1st class tickets are required (incorrectly) or isn't working at all. Perhaps there's not a code on that route unlike the Wimbledon ones.
     
  31. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

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    ...or care - I rarely go and sit there unless I want to use a plug or table - I am perfectly happy to sit in the seats nearest to where I board.
     

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