Farce Great Western

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yorkie

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/somerset/6174969.stm

What a farce, but FarceGroup can't be surprised at this, as people have warned that severe overcrowding would result.

The DfT and FarceGroup should both take the blame for this. The DfT for instigating cuts, and FarceGroup for not providing a satisfactory level of service for their customers in the new timetable.
 
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Guinness

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This can't be another case of paying millions of pounds premium to the DfT can it? I know First Group makes around £500m a year but if it's another GNER similar style case paying £1bn into DfT pockets then it's obviously going to end up the passenger suffering.

If that is the case then it was only going to be a matter of time before FGW would start cutting local services to save money. I doubt that they are going to dig deep to pay this premium anyway. If they upset the DfT then they risk losing the franchise.

It's Profit before Passenger. Not how a Railway should be ran. :pale:
 

Nat the Ned

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I like the quote from a 'comunter', whats a comunter??

We can't put on extra (trains) we can only shuffle round what we've got and we have to be careful not to rob Peter to pay Paul," he said.
Interpretation: We've just put four 153s in store at Eastleigh and four 158s in store at Reading. Also given eight 150s to Arriva Trains and sent at least one 158 to Scotland. Basically we are to tight to lease anymore stock to provide you a service....
 

yorkie

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I like the quote from a 'comunter', whats a comunter??



Interpretation: We've just put four 153s in store at Eastleigh and four 158s in store at Reading. Also given eight 150s to Arriva Trains and sent at least one 158 to Scotland. Basically we are to tight to lease anymore stock to provide you a service....
Not to mention the top n tail 31s, which provided a massive increase in capacity on busy Fridays on Bristol-Brighton services, and released 158s to strengthen other busy trains... withdrawn by FarceGroup, cutting back on travel.
:(
 

AlexS

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FGW have been arguing with the DfT to keep the units out apparently, they should have been stored last week at least, but finally lost the battle when the underwriting on the lease charges were refused?
 

Jim

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Not to mention the top n tail 31s, which provided a massive increase in capacity on busy Fridays on Bristol-Brighton services, and released 158s to strengthen other busy trains... withdrawn by FarceGroup, cutting back on travel.
:(

Not really no, as the front coach was full of ped neds, so it only left 1/2 a coach extra with 1/2 the number of seats to a 158 1/2 coach
 

Dennis

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Think it could be time for a bit more customer action. No company wants adverse publicity and FGW might be a bit more responsive if pictures of severely overcrowded trains were to appear more widely in the media along with comments regarding the safety aspects.

To see reports of units being stored when there is clearly a need for extra capacity (of fare paying passengers) seems perverse. Between FGW and DfT should be providing a public service, not preventing travel or putting passengers at risk.
 

g4mby

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Interpretation: We've just put four 153s in store at Eastleigh and four 158s in store at Reading. Also given eight 150s to Arriva Trains and sent at least one 158 to Scotland. Basically we are to tight to lease anymore stock to provide you a service....
Thanks for confirming my interpretation of the number of units that are no longer in service with FGW but how will I explain that to my fellow commuters who keep on asking "Why don't they put on more carriages?".
 

g4mby

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To see reports of units being stored when there is clearly a need for extra capacity (of fare paying passengers) seems perverse.
Due to severe over-crowding on some peak services if you get on and off at an unmanned station you probably won't actually pay as the conductor won't be able to check any tickets or collect any fares. So less units means more overcrowding means less fares collected.

What other business operates in this manner?
 

Guinness

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What other business operates in this manner?
1. First Group
2. First Group
3. First Group
4. Central Trains
5. First Group
6. First Group

I could go on....

Even if there wasn't overcrowding I doubt that the conductor would come around anyway. Let them employee a few more RPIs!!
 

g4mby

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Even if there wasn't overcrowding I doubt that the conductor would come around anyway.
Not true of the many of the Gloucester based FGW conductors. They'll always attempt to check tickets and collect fares if loadings allow. A few will attempt to get from one end of the train to the other no matter what.
 

devon_metro

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Devon and Cornwall don't seem to have come off as badly as Wiltshire/Somerset/Avon.

Luckily.

I look forward to seeing firsts fare rises in the new year-sure they are going to encourage using the train even more!

I find the CDRs in Devon great value atm-sure it won't be lond before that changes!
 

Nat the Ned

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Thanks for confirming my interpretation of the number of units that are no longer in service with FGW but how will I explain that to my fellow commuters who keep on asking "Why don't they put on more carriages?".
You could try telling them that a wreck of a class 158 IIRC costs £300,000 a year to lease. There are LOTS of class 158s in store at Canton ex Arriva which have been replaced with 175s from somewhere. So the railway is not short of carriages, its short of something else..........
 

Ben

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You could try telling them that a wreck of a class 158 IIRC costs £300,000 a year to lease. There are LOTS of class 158s in store at Canton ex Arriva which have been replaced with 175s from somewhere. So the railway is not short of carriages, its short of something else..........
Intelligence?
 

Mojo

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Devon and Cornwall don't seem to have come off as badly as Wiltshire/Somerset/Avon.
Where's that? :razz: Avon hasn't existed for over 10 years :cyclopsa: ;)

Bristol has the worst congestion outside London according to recent stats, and the (Limited) rail network has attempted to relieve that congestion. The Road between Bristol & Bath was certaintly far more congested than normal on Monday, & I Imagine the same for the road that connects Weston-s-Mare & Bristol. This all flies in the face of the research on Climatechange, etc.
 

Sprog

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/somerset/6174969.stm

What a farce, but FarceGroup can't be surprised at this, as people have warned that severe overcrowding would result.

The DfT and FarceGroup should both take the blame for this. The DfT for instigating cuts, and FarceGroup for not providing a satisfactory level of service for their customers in the new timetable.
Give us a break. :mad:

First are under alot of pressure from the DfT without you lot kicking off.

Complaints are needed 'pronto' to the DfT and local MPs about this farcical situation yes, but still, that is no excuse for the 'Anti-First squad massive' to use it as ammo. Especially from the forum 'staff' who should, really, try to promote an hounest and un-bias opinion.

FMRail have been going down the preverbial toilet pan for quite some time now and went into Voluntary Administration this week (!!) yet i dont see you ripping into them every five minutes

Only pressure from the paying PASSENGERS (Customers :roll:) can force the DfT to relax abit and allow First to do it 'their way' (which isnt all fare raises and sh!te service may i add)...
 

Dennis

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Give us a break. :mad:
Why should taxpayers, who contribute a considerable amount of money, and fare paying passengers give First a break? We are paying for a service and have the right to expect to recieve it.

The franchise was specified by DfT and First willingly signed up to it. The reason they did this was to make a profit (which is the purpose of all commercial enterprises). If the franchise was as tightly specified as it seems, and all the problems originated at DfT, then why did First sign it?

Surely that was just embarking on a pre-set course to the current chaos and consequent negative impact on First Group's image (three of the last four local evening new programs featuring FGW). Or are they simply not able and willing to take The Department on and win the fight to provide a decent service for the West Country.

BTW - I do recognise the limited degree of success FGW had with reversing some of the proposed changes in Cornwall and I do not blame frontline staff for the current problems; after all, these are mainly the same people who have provided us with a reasonable service over the years. Senior First Group management, particularly those involved with franchise negotiation, are to blame.

Re my previous comment about FMR providing some stock...just wishful thinking really. Imagine peds back on Weymouth-Cardiff; that won't solve the overcrowding problems! I for one would be travelling more.
 

Nat the Ned

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Give us a break....
Why?? I work for them, and its got a lot worse since they took over, even without the timetable change. Try dealing with droves of peeeeed off passengers everyday trying to make excuses and stick up for the company in a professional manor when all you really want to do is agree with the punters 'yes, it IS a load of ****e'....

Bring back Wessex and NEG had a much better approach than this shower....
 

Sprog

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Fair points, but the "...Give us a break..." bit was more from a Maintenace point of view to be hounest. Should have made that clear.

Its hard to exaplain, and even harder when ive drank a quarter bottle of Jack Daniels with Coke, but basically as i pointed out here [ http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?p=104141#post104141 ] , us Engineer-type people have a massive challange on our hands now getting Cantons rejects back up to form, at both Laira and SPM.

It really, really, really, doenst help when FGW have the DfT breathing down their necks constantly, pressuring them into decisions and blocking others.

Im not saying First are perfect, but what im saying is give them a chance to get things right. What is needed is complaints, and lots of them, in abundance to the DfT about the new Timetable and the service. Only then will things change.

FGW are really in the **** at the moment, and things should eventually get sorted. If they dont i will happily eat my words, but until such a time.............!
 

Sprog

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Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin...
A train operator company runs a franchise - in effect it is a contractor
delivering a specification laid down by the Government. The timetable now
in operation was devised by DfT, not FGW, and to be fair a lot of the more
ludicrous elements have been changed by FGW with DfT's consent (look at the
draft spec issued last March to see how much worse it could have been). The
stock to run that timetable is also agreed by DfT, and no private company is
going to invest in any item above the specification (e.g. extra train
leasing) for which there is not a commercial return. Hence the 153s going
to store. And before any bright spark says that the capacity could easily
be filled in the peaks, yes it could, but this is not enough (even with fare
increases) to make it economically viable. So if you want a decent train
service it needs to be specified and funded properly, and if you think it is
not specified and funded properly then blame the politicians for letting
Whitehall get away with it. Even better, don't vote for them - except that
none of the major parties seem willing to change the rules of the game.
Blaming FGW is missing the point: whoever had won the Greater Western
franchise, yes even Turner's Coaches, would now be behaving in the same way.

Posted at SWRG earlier....
Ta very muchly ShedMaster.

This sums up my posts perfectly and explains the situation rather well.

Moral!? Think befeore engaging ones mouth (or ar$e!? :roll:)
 

devon_metro

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Thing is they should have stored the 143s and sent them off to ATW.

Having 4 158s which are luxurious compared with these bloody pacers and 8 150s doesnt help.

143s are not designed for services like CDF-PHH, yes they may not be diagrammed to work this service but if first didn't have the heaps then they could run 150s,which have quicker loading times, more comfort and better value for money in the fact that they provide a smoother ride and more seats. The same applies for the 158s.

Obviosuly it's fantastic news that the units are finally out of Can'ton and obviosly delays were to be expected during the transfer but some of the things fGW have done-for example train crews being taxi-ed about the place to get to the correct place is money that could go towards getting rid of the horrible and un-suitable 143s and improving train services.

143s should be banned from certain routes IMO-alloxed only to work lines like Severn Beach.

An idea would have been to run some early mornign HSTs-woth high capacity to provide more seats.

For example: WSM-PADD via WSB
CDF-PADD via BTM


The Melksham situation is truly disgusiting-two trains a day in each direction....
 

g4mby

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We've just put four 153s in store at Eastleigh and four 158s in store at Reading.
There was a press release sometime last summer that FGW had acquired four additional units from TPE to help out with the summer timetable. As units were being transferred in from TPE and out to Central/Northern I could never verify if this statment was actually true and which units were involved.

Maybe the four extra units that the press release referred to are those now in store? And where are the TPE liveried units now? I don't think I've seen one this week!
 

87015

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Are some of the 143s still owned/sponsored/something by various councils or has that stopped? Might have something to do with it, will leave someone with better local knowledge to fill me in.
 
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