East Midlands Trains, their C158s are excellent, but their Meridians absolute c**p ?

Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by Justin Smith, 27 May 2010.

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  1. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    I know this. I am not going down the route of suggesting we're all belted in or anything (as mentioned above), but merely stating that as we learn about new technology and science to improve safety, we should use it.

    We should also accept some compromises. If we were talking about leaving off a safety feature because it would cost millions, fine. If we're talking about making a train potentially less safe because people want a nicer view, then I'm sorry but that doesn't sound like a valid reason.

    That is very true. I may look out the window a bit, but I'm just as likely to be reading or watching a film on my phone. My wife often uses the train to rest/sleep and I'd say that most commuters aren't really bothered about the view given they've seen it a million times.

    That leaves the off-peak leisure travellers, who may well travel when there's more room on the train and can move to a seat with a nice view. But, even then, they may well be talking to each other, eating, playing games or so on.
     
  2. Justin Smith

    Justin Smith Member

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    Stop cheating.
     
  3. Geezertronic

    Geezertronic Established Member

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    In fact as the nights get darker as the year moves on, I find that I travel home in the dark meaning that if I look out of the window I only see my reflection - and I 'aint looking at that all the way home :D
     
  4. Justin Smith

    Justin Smith Member

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    Come on me old geezer, you and a significant minority of other passengers may not be bothered about having no view (although most people are, including non rail enthusiasts) but you cannot possibly deny that having seats misaligned with wiindows, esp with wide pillars, is poor design.
    Bearing in mind the whole point of windows is to see through them, if a pillar is in the way, then, by definition, it's poor design.
    Quite apart from anything else, if you're saying that small windows are better because they're safer, and you're also saying that passengers don't mind having no view, then why not have even smaller (even safer) widows ?
    Better still why not get rid of windows altogether, after all, I'm the only one who actually wants to look through them, apparently.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Interesting point, is there any data on the internet as to the actual size of the APTs windows, I actually phoned up The Railway Age and they measured them for me ! Similarly is there the same info on Pendolino windows ?
    Virgin should put it on their website :
    "Our Pendolinos are the safest trains because they provably got the smallest windows !"
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    If passengers aren't bothered about seeing out of the window, why is it that everytime I've got on a Pendolino the worst seats (view wise) are generally the only that are empty ?
    Incidentally whilst watching you film I hope the soundtrack isn't audible to any of your fellow passengers ! ? !
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Err, if you`re striving for absolute safety, why not ?
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I`d certainly agree that having a view is less important after dark, though you do still want to be able to see which station you`re approaching, esp if you want to get off there.......
    Is it any coincidence that I find travelling by train boring when it`s dark ?
     
    Last edited: 2 Jun 2010
  5. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    1. When I watch a film, or listen to music, I happen to use some rather expensive Sennheiser in-ear phones (which I was given, in case anyone thinks I'm some sort of snob), so I can enjoy good sound with good bass and NO sound leakage at all - which in turn allows me to listen at a much lower volume. I can assure you, if you sat right next to me you'd think I was wearing ear phones and not listening to anything at all.

    2. Seat belts just wouldn't be practical unless every train was booked like a plane, with everyone sitting in an allocated seat. I am not sure why, or how, seat belts even got brought up into this thread? We're talking about modifying a train design to give a nicer experience to passengers, at the possible expense of overall safety.

    I will say that you're probably spot on about people opting to take a seat with a window as preference over one without EVEN IF they don't actually look out of it!

    If you made all the trains longer, and ran more trains, you could probably remove more seats and have open areas for bikes, buggies and luggage and give everyone more leg room. You could even go for 2+1 seating throughout. With the increased price to travel, you'd probably end up with a carriage all to yourself!!
     
  6. 37401

    37401 Established Member

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    Ahh so its windows that make a tran good or bad! always knew I was doing something wrong! my whole life wasted going after the sound a train makes when the windows are much more hellfiremylordzzz! ect ect

    As long as you can see, does size matter?
     
  7. asylumxl

    asylumxl Established Member

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    Heh. Do you reckon he'd complain about a partial window view in the Channel Tunnel?
     
  8. Geezertronic

    Geezertronic Established Member

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    You're still living in the enthusiasts world. Regardless of the design of the train, the designers have maximised seating capacity so that they can get as many passengers (or customers) on the trains as possible. That makes good sound business sense and does not compromise safety as a result. So Justin Smith cannot look out of the window from every seat, that is not a big deal. And I am not in the minority, people who travel on the trains regularly are not as bothered as you think.

    You're just being pedantic now, you need to re-read previous posts to contradict your comment about being the only one who wants to look through the windows

    You're the one making the point so you need to do the research

    Another pedantic comment... you don't do yourself any favours with comments like that

    I cannot comment on that, I've only ever been on a Pendolino that empty once and that was a late night service where I was the only passenger in Coach J

    You cannot see what station you are approaching until the train pulls alongside the platform - this applies to whether the train has massive or small windows. Unless you are the driver, you just cannot see that far ahead.
     
    Last edited: 2 Jun 2010
  9. Pumbaa

    Pumbaa Established Member

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    This is just ridiculous - and the last I'll be saying on this topic.

    Seats misaligned with windows is not bad design. Seats aligned with windows is good design, but some compromise is made to maximise capacity, which is desperately needed. We could luggage space or whatever out of what space is left when we take all misaligned seats out, but what's the point in that?

    Faced between no seat, or a seat with a view of the pillar, I know which one the majority of pax are going to choose.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Then your experience as at odds with PF, VT and other industry observations. A good number of people opt for viewless seats, a) to do work and not be distracted, b) to show consideration for others who may want to see out of the window while for them it is not a priority.

    I counted today between Liverpool and Runcorn in two coaches (D and E) that between the two coaches, there were 82 people; a rather full two coaches for off-peak in general, but about average for Liverpool loadings. Of those 112, 30ish sat having no view, including couples with plenty of other seats available.

    Not exact science or proving any worthy point, but you cannot assume that your opinion is a) right and b) the most valid, which you have shown yourself to over and over again in this thread.
     
  10. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Don't get me wrong, I'm quite prepared to compromise. Frankly if it was up to me there wouldn't be any airline seating at all - except on airlines. But I realise there are capacity constraints and business cases etc, so I'm more than prepared to put up with some airline seating if it's planned well - as I've said earlier I enjoyed the 222's when I went on them and I can put up with a limited view as long as there is one - as often seems to be the case these days. And it is not just about windows either. One of the reasons I prefer trad Mk 3 seating is that their limited height makes the whole carriage less claustrophobic.

    However, I draw the line at spending a long distance journey sat next to a blank wall such as the one shown in the photograph posted earlier, and for this reason, if travelling South West, I tend to spend my money travelling on other routes where this is less likely to occur. Don't forget, the City and South London Railway had to replace it's "padded cells" with carriages with full sized windows, even though the journey was short and entirely underground, so people do seem to need a window when travelling.

    With regard to the safety angle, perhaps we are just asking too much from a winding Victorian railway which wasn't designed for very high speeds. As I said earlier, hopefully a high speed line without the need fot tilt will allow for a little more leeway in window design. I haven't noticed any window problems with the Javelins, even though they've always been quiet enough for me to get a table seat when I've travelled on them.
     
  11. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    I agree with yorksrob. I'd be happy on a long distance journey if my seat didn'tne up exactly with a window, as long as I had some way to look outside. Are there really a lot of people who don'tike to glance out a window at all during a journey? Even at night, it's nice to look out at the platofrm, see who;s getting on and off etc.

    The trouble with te Pendolino design is that the pillars are so wide, for reasons already gone into, that a passenger cna hardly see out at all without contorting their body to an impossible degree If you ally that to the high seat backs, it can feel very claustrophobic indeed, which doesn;t make a journey very pleasant at all.

    I don't think it's pedantic to say that if windows are not considered important by many peopel, why not do away with them altogether. Even those of us who like to look out are still customers, and we are entitled to express our feelings on train design, even if they are not universally shared!
     
  12. Geezertronic

    Geezertronic Established Member

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    There's universally sharing an opinion and there's forcing a point to breaking. The fact is out of the seats that are marked as Restricted View on the Pendolinos, very little offer no view at all. As I previously mentioned, Coach A Seat 01A is marked as Restricted View but offers a view without the need to be a contortionist. I'm travelling tomorrow so if I get chance I will check out the Restricted View seats to actually see which provides no view at all.
     
  13. 37401

    37401 Established Member

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    Good point that, why bother with windows on the eurostars? all you see is a dark tunnel and you see even less when its at night, just brick them up I say its not like on a bus where you need to see where you are they say "next station ect ect" on a train.

    God I should work for a TOC, Id blow them away with my ideas!!
     
  14. Justin Smith

    Justin Smith Member

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    Well no, though you can actually see into someones hallway through a letterbox. I don't want to be stooping and craning to get a glimpse of the wonderful world of ours, apart from Birmingham, obviously.

    ONLY JOKING ALL YOU BRUMMIES OUT THERE !

    Err, isn't that a contradiction in terms ?


    Right OK I'm wrong, people aren't bothered about looking out of the window.
    If only all those CMEs designing coaches from 1825 onwards had known they were wasting their time designing big unobstructed windows into their rolling stock.
    And as for BR of the 60s/70s, actually making a coach bodyshell with different window spacings for 1st and 2nd class !
    What a waste of time when nobody was actually interested.......
    Typical nationalised industry see, not really giving the customers what the want, unbelievable !
    It took Virgin to point out the error of their ways.
    In life, fact really is stranger than fiction.

    I think you're absolutely right about that one.
    In fact, to return to the Meridians, the fact the seats are high and joined together (i.e. no gap between them) makes it even worse.

    Sorry perhaps I was unclear, I have done the research (on Pendolinos window size), and I'm telling you that skulking about New St station with a tape measure in ones hand takes a lot of nerve.
    But one has to do these things in the cause of scientific research......

    You've just given me an idea Old Cock !
    Many Heritage railways suffer vandalism with toe rags practicing their stone throwing and hoping for the sound of breaking glass.
    Nobody wants to look out of the windows anyway, so just plate them over !
    Brilliant !
    It'll save the Heritage railways so much money they can buy the WCML and run steam trains on it, hauling windowless coaches, obviously.
    Virgin trains !
    What do they know ?
    Actually putting windows in their Pendolinos ! ? !
    Idiots.

    Most people know more or less where they are as they approach a station, esp if it's their home station, which about 50% of the time it is !
     
    Last edited: 2 Jun 2010
  15. 90019

    90019 Established Member

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    No, just because something isn't good design doesn't make it bad design. There's a difference.


    I thought about this today, and I find it amusing that currently a few people whine on about Pendo's windows being small, but if they'd been larger and the train at Grayrigg had done worse, they'd go on about them being unsafe! :lol:
     
  16. Justin Smith

    Justin Smith Member

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    I wouldn`t.
    Or rather I wouldn`t so long as the coaches didn`t override each other and smash the top sections off the chassis. Then you really would see what a serious accident is, loss of life wise.
    The thing is that hasn`t really been possible since the introduction of the monoque BR Mark 2.
     
  17. asylumxl

    asylumxl Established Member

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    Why not go one step further and have no doors? Make them completely airtight.

    If you managed to board the train you'd get a free single, and if you were alive by the end of the journey, you win a free return.
     
  18. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    Fair enough! The fact is that some people don't particularly care about the view out of a window, and some do. Out of all the trains I travelled on, only the Pendolino's have actually left me disappointed that I found it very difficult to see much out of the window in First Class.

    Now I am not personally interested in TV screens, or wi-fi, but I don't object to them being provided. Everyone has their own persoanl likes and dislikes, and I prefer a decent viewIn the end, it's down to the TOC's and other stakeholders as to how much notice is given to what people want, but one thing is sure, if those of us who aren;t happy about soemthing don't mention it, it will be assumed that everyone is either happy or not bothered! :)
     
  19. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Thankfully we didn't and hopefully never will thanks to the fact we have such strong designs running around the network like the 390. I would always strive for the best economic safety level that can be accomplished, and if that means losing some window space for increasing survivability, so be it. Speaking for myself that is.
     
  20. ChrisCooper

    ChrisCooper Established Member

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    When it comes down to it, a lot of people do like to see out of the windows and the small size of windows and poor window alighnment has been a common complaint from passengers regarding Pendolinos and other modern types (it was the PEPs in the 70s that started it). It is not an enthusiast thing, there are as many enthusiasts who foam over Pendolinos as dislike them. Remember, the hardcore enthusiasts consider anything without opening windows to be "coffins", including aircon Mk2s and 3s (vestibule windows don't count the same). IIRC one of the IEP criteria was to address the issue of window size and alighnment because of complaints. One of the reasons I like travelling by train is for the views, especially when travelling to new areas. A large portion of Intercity travellers are casual users, not commuters, which is why Intercity was the only part of BR that made money as these sort of people travel all day, 7 days a week, not just Monday to Friday peak hours. They should be taken into account as much as the commuters.
     
  21. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    Everyone's views should be taken into account in an ideal world. Some sort of compromise can be made I;m sure in future. After all, it's not as though those who don't care if they have a view or not are going to be inconvenienced if there is one!
     
  22. EM2

    EM2 Established Member

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    Southall?
    Ladbroke Grove?
    Great Heck?
    At what point do you class it as 'serious'? Surely one death is a serious accident?
     
  23. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    It's easy to say that you would accept a higher risk of death for the sake of comfort, but you're not speaking for everyone who doesn't necessarily have that view, or choice.

    We must try and improve safety wherever possible. Exceptional cost might be a valid reason to not do something, comfort is not.

    Of course, if someone could design something so strong and with the ability to have huge windows then great. Nobody has EVER said let's brick up the windows, which seems to me to be the words from someone who is losing an argument.

    Public transport has a certain duty of care for its passengers. Just because you or I might be happy to lose their life doesn't mean everyone is.
     
  24. asylumxl

    asylumxl Established Member

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    In my opinion bad design would be compromising structurally for the sake of aesthetics.

    Justin, you obviously just enjoy arguing. That's why you've argued for 14 pages now :p.
     
  25. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    It just seems to me that if we take this argument to it's logical conclusion, you'd obviously ban all commercial flights where there is an alternative rail route - because people generally have far more chance of walking out of a train crash alive than they would a plane crash. Just because some people want to get from A to B quicker is no reason to compromise on the safety of airline staff and people on the ground.

    And it goes without saying that no road transport should be allowed where there is a competing railway line. Yes people have the right to risk themselves, but should they be allowed to risk their families and other passengers, just because they want the convenience of a door - to - door journey? and what about other road users and pedestrians?
     
  26. Justin Smith

    Justin Smith Member

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    See below.....

    And you are perfectly entitled to your point of view.
    Two things though.
    1 If I'm ever on Pendolino and get a crap seat, view wise, could one of these contributors who are saying they don't mind the minute windows/huge pillars, swap their seat with me ? Then we can all be happy !
    2 None of those saying they're perfectly happy to put up with reduced comfort (in order to increase safety) has said just how small they'd want the windows to become [which would make the trains even safer] before they would start complaining. How small is too small ?

    I can remember watching the TV (I work in what was a TV repair shop, we don't mend many any more ! ) as the immediate aftermath of Ladbroe Grove came on the screen.
    The "experts" were quoting huge estimates for the numbers of dead, I'm talking 100 or more here.
    Any deaths are to be regretted but in the event 31 died.
    This was a head on crash beteen two trains, combined speed 130mph, and many of the deaths were actually caused by fire (coach H was completely burnt out) which is buggar all to do with the size of the windows. In fact smaller windows might have made it even harder to get out, as would high seat backs like you get on Meridians......
    I'd have thought that seat belts would have reduced impact injuries/death far more than the size of the windows/even more body strength.
    But I'm not advocating seat belts for the same reason I don't advocate minute windows. The discomfort and inconvenience of them is not worth it when the trains are so safe anyway. Furthermore their use would probably put enough people off train travel (who then got killed on the, far more dangerous, roads) to mean they`d actually cost lives...
    On that subject, personal stereos cost lives !
    They put people off public transport, my wife, and sometimes myself as well, who then get killed on the roads !
    Anyone up for banning them, or ones which could be heard by other people, would get my vote, and save more lives than minute windows !
    Yes siree Boss Hogg ! ? !
     
    Last edited: 3 Jun 2010
  27. Geezertronic

    Geezertronic Established Member

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    I had a very nice journey down from Birmingham to Euston this morning in the Restricted View Coach A Seat 02A (aisle seat instead of window seat, damn VT booking website) and had a nice view out of the window despite the seat being classed as a Restricted View.

    I then transferred to St Pancras and got on a FCC/Southestern 319 to St Albans and sat down on the first available seat, went to look out of the window and the seat was not aligned with a window. I had to laugh.... it's not a new thing to design trains this way then to maximise capacity :D
     
  28. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    There must be different types of restricted view seat! I had to sit well forward in my seat and crane my head to see more than just a sliver of light!
     
  29. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    I think the way forward is for all trains to have a Quiet Coach (for people who don't like noise) at one end of the unit and a Panoramic Coach at the other end, with lots of nice big windows (but structurally unsafe), so people can have a better view whilst acknowledging they were taking a moderately higher risk to do so. Simple ;)
     
  30. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Sounds reasonable to me !
     
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