Declassified 1st class when trains are advertised as Standard Class only

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Southern

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(This post was posted in reply to another thread about 1st class, and has been split from that topic as it wasn't applicable to that topic)

I was travelling a few months ago and noticed a certain station's LDB advising customers that standard class tickets were valid in first.
 
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AlterEgo

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I was travelling a few months ago and noticed a certain station's LDB advising customers that standard class tickets were valid in first.
Southern do this all of the time. This is because First Class would be declassified on the applicable service.

It is standard practice, and not at all relevant.
 

yorkie

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I was travelling a few months ago and noticed a certain station's LDB advising customers that standard class tickets were valid in first.
Yes, it can be worth checking that First Class accommodation is advertised, as some FCC RPIs have demonstrated incompetence (a particular one springs to mind who illegally attempted to issue a Penalty Fare - one of many errors he has made, and he is still working for the company, so be warned!) by claiming First Class accommodation is provided on trains where, in fact, it isn't. If a service is advertised in the timetable as Standard Class only, then if a type of unit turns up that has First Class area, this is considered to be 'declassified', this can also occur when first class coaches replace standard coaches on HSTs (particularly on FGW & Grand Central, in my experience), the affected coaches are 'declassified'.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Southern do this all of the time. This is because First Class would be declassified on the applicable service.

It is standard practice, and not at all relevant.
Agreed. The only relevance would be if the OP was prepared to tell us what service he/she was caught on, then we could look it up in the timetable. It's unlikely to be a defence in this case.
 

34D

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If a service is advertised in the timetable as Standard Class only, then if a type of unit turns up that has First Class area, this is considered to be 'declassified', this can also occur when first class coaches replace standard coaches on HSTs (particularly on FGW & Grand Central, in my experience), the affected coaches are 'declassified'.
Has there been an 'official' communication on this issue please, perhaps from ATOC?
 

yorkie

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I have split this away from the original (nearly 6 month old) topic, as the title could have confused people.

Has there been an 'official' communication on this issue please, perhaps from ATOC?
To answer the question: I'm not aware of any official communication. Unofficially, yes, ATOC expect TOCs to treat accommodation that is labelled as 1st class to be declassified and act as Standard class, on trains that are advertised as Standard class only. But ATOC, though acting as a 'regulator' in certain aspects are not actually the regulator, and seemingly cannot prevent certain TOCs giving the whole industry a bad name at times. The DfT are the regulator when it comes to fares & ticketing aspects, though they are very bad at it, and the role may change to the ORR (who is the existing regulator for infrastructure).

You can try getting ATOCs official view on the matter, but they are unlikely to give a telling off to TOCs who don't comply. You can also ask Passenger Focus and DfT (both of whom are subject to FOI) for their views, and whether there is a policy that the TOCs must adhere to.
 

Matt Taylor

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We do a lot of this on the 450s on the 'Windsor' lines (not including Reading). Basically if the train is not advertised as having FC any FC must be declassified.
 

DaveNewcastle

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Basically if the train is not advertised as having FC any FC must be declassified.
Wouldn't it be more accurate to expand the meaning of "must" in this statement to indicate that it may be a local or Company policy that unadvertised First Class accomodation 'must' be de-classified, but that there is no Contractural, Statutory or Franchise term that compells a Company to declassify such accomodation?
 

Robinson

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On Southern if a 377 turns up on a Metro service, the PIS at stations and on the train shows that 1st class may be used by Standard ticket holders.
 

Aictos

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With any TOC for example, I cannot see how anyone could enforce First Class if the service was not advertised as such to have First Class despite the using of a train which has First Class.

For example if I boarded the 11:16 FCC from Blackfriars to Wimbledon on Tuesday and a 319/4 turned up which has First Class, what's stopping me from using the seating provided in First Class?

Especially as according to the timetable, that service does not have First Class at all.
 

34D

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For example if I boarded the 11:16 FCC from Blackfriars to Wimbledon on Tuesday and a 319/4 turned up which has First Class, what's stopping me from using the seating provided in First Class?
Well, all the notices etc in First Class telling you that you need a first class ticket.

However, I have a letter somewhere from FCC confirming that their policy is to auto declassify (when a first class unit turns up on a standard only service).
 
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However, I have a letter somewhere from FCC confirming that their policy is to auto declassify (when a first class unit turns up on a standard only service).
I too have something in writing from FCC somewhere telling me that when it is advertised as standard class, first class doesn't apply and all seats are standard.

FCC have recently re-classified first as standard on a number of short-formed trains - announced as such on both journeycheck and the next train indicators at the station - even so, many didn't want to take the risk of seating in what is normally the first class portion.
 

jon0844

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FCC has on many occasions confirmed this on their online forum and will happily give you a letter to carry with you if you ask.

Not every TOC would appear to share the same view (but until I saw that thread about NXEA, I didn't know it could actually vary), but on FCC it's fair to say you'll be just fine. In most cases, an RPI giving you grief will simply not realise it is declassified and apologise when you point it out and move on.

In one case, someone had been given a PF and then came to me and I pointed out it wasn't first class and, to his credit, he went back to cancel the PF.
 

sonic2009

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This happens a lot of the Stroud Valley line with the SWT 158 on loan to FGW turns up. The whole train in standard class, but obviously they have a first class section, a lot of people don't know it's not declassified, and the whole of that section is usually empty.
 

All Line Rover

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I agree with "HLE 13." If the timetable (and NRE) says that there are no First Class seats on a train, there are no First Class seats on that train! Just because a few seats on the train have First Class antimacassars should not change this. NRE, the definitive source of information for all passenger rail services on the National Rail network in England, Wales and Scotland has said that there is no First Class accommodation on the train. End of!

The NXEA case is a load of rubbish. Whilst there is no definitive statement in the NRCoC saying that trains advertised as Standard Class only have declassified First Class accommodation, there is no definitive statement in the NRCoC saying that, on such trains, a Weekend First upgrade should be sold in the week either! :roll:
 

rmt-driver

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Talking of FC trains on SC only routes.. If you search on thetrainline for journeys between Queens Park and Harrow & Wealdstone, and select a London Transport (Bakerloo line) operated service, not a LO one, it gives you the option to purchase a FC fare. It is £8.10 compared to STD £5.30

I am pretty sure there is no FC accommodation on these trains, so why does such a fare exist? Imagine if some hapless tourist purchased this ticket, they would be disappointed. I assume the TVMs would sell the ticket too?
 

ralphchadkirk

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I suggest you read the legally binding terms and conditions of NRE:
You should note however that TISL does not warrant that such information will be error free and the user acknowledges that the information, products, and services published or made available on this Web Site may include inaccuracies or typographical errors.
End of as you would say.
 

34D

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I suggest you read the legally binding terms and conditions of NRE:

End of as you would say.
Very well put Ralph. I've actually emailed abellio (I'm sure I'm not the only one) to pose the question and will post here if/when they reply. Until then, proceed at caution.

Can we go through the TOCs though and see if someone on here has a letter or email (dating from the tenure of the current franchisee) confirming the issue.

I have
Northern Rail
FCC

Issue won't occur on the following (as 100% of their services advertise First class)
EC
TPX
VT
HT
GC
XC (I assume - late night turbos perhaps?)

Leaving
Scotrail
EMT
LM
FGW
Arriva trains wales
SWT
Chiltern
LO (granted, the chance of them hiring stock in is about nil)
Southern
southern
SouthEastern
and I'm sure there's one I've forgot
 

tony_mac

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Virgin do have at least couple of trains per week that are timetabled as standard only - I guess they are obviously declassified.

Do Northern actually have any first-class accommodation?
 

ainsworth74

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Do Northern actually have any first-class accommodation?
Not any more. When they had 180s those had a first class carriage but it was declassified but since they've left Northern don't have any rolling stock with first class accommodation.
 

34D

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Can you share Tony (maybe by PM)?

Virgin do have at least couple of trains per week that are timetabled as standard only - I guess they are obviously declassified.

Do Northern actually have any first-class accommodation?
Not any more. When they had 180s those had a first class carriage but it was declassified but since they've left Northern don't have any rolling stock with first class accommodation.
Class 322s have a (declassified) First compartment with 2+2 chairs opposed to 3+2 elsewhere in those units.

But more generally, they may hire units in from elsewhere on occasion.
 

ainsworth74

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Class 322s have a (declassified) First compartment with 2+2 chairs opposed to 3+2 elsewhere in those units.
I didn't know that, was it classified as first class when they were with Scotrail or is it just a hangover of their origin from down south and the seating layout's never been modified to match the rest of the train, also is the same type of seating as the rest of the train or slightly more comfy/spacious?

But more generally, they may hire units in from elsewhere on occasion.
True but I would be amazed if there was ever an issue of the sort we've seen with NXEA in the past as Northern is a standard class only operation there are no Northern services timetabled to have first class.

Still, I suppose it can't hurt to have some official confirmation.
 

yorkie

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Can you share Tony (maybe by PM)?
If you are asking which trains are Standard Class only (ie, 1st Class coaches are declassified) on Virgin Trains, they are:


If you click on any of the days of operation, and choose 'Detailed' mode you will see the text "Standard Class only"
 

Flying Snail

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If you are asking which trains are Standard Class only (ie, 1st Class coaches are declassified) on Virgin Trains, they are:


If you click on any of the days of operation, and choose 'Detailed' mode you will see the text "Standard Class only"
I haven't been on a standard only VT since the 18.43 was loco-hauled but there was certainly no issue with VT denying access or trying to charge extra on it. As soon as the train was announced a large number of passengers (regulars no doubt) would make a charge for the 1st class coaches which would fill up very quickly.
 

SAPhil

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FCC has on many occasions confirmed this on their online forum and will happily give you a letter to carry with you if you ask.
I can confirm that I have had my standard class season ticket inspected on 3 occasions in the past month while travelling in first class on an FCC service with no first class advertised with no problems whatever.
 

34D

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I didn't know that, was it classified as first class when they were with Scotrail or is it just a hangover of their origin from down south and the seating layout's never been modified to match the rest of the train, also is the same type of seating as the rest of the train or slightly more comfy/spacious?
Much more comfy. As per class 321 first class on GA, FCC or LM. Not sure about scotrail, however the whole of the 322 interior moquette has been redone in standard class FirstGroup moquette, so I suspect they were standard only when on North Berwick.

True but I would be amazed if there was ever an issue of the sort we've seen with NXEA in the past as Northern is a standard class only operation there are no Northern services timetabled to have first class.

Still, I suppose it can't hurt to have some official confirmation.
I had such an issue on Arriva Trains Northern several years ago when TP 158s (which had FC) were occasionally used on local services. So yes, if Northern needed to borrow a 158 from another TOC it could happen again - or indeed the (fabled) transfer of 185 desiros which may (or may not) take place after electrification or the possible merging of the two franchises.
 
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