FGW spectacularly incompetent at Bristol Temple Meads today

Discussion in 'Allocations, Diagrams & Timetables' started by D6975, 23 May 2015.

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  1. D6975

    D6975 Established Member

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    A nice day today, so I took my son down to WSM for the day. Coming home, I made sure we were on one of the Padds, the 17.01 off Weston. Shortly before our booked departure time there was an announcement that today the service would terminate at TM for another set forward and that it would be a cross platform interchange at TM (poss due to the engineering work diversions?). Shortly after our booked departure time, another announcement that due to a late running Weston terminator being allowed into the single track section, we would be a few mins late departing, but connections forward at TM would be held. We left 8 mins late, but at Nailsea caught up with a Taunton – Cardiff stopper that was also late and trundled to TM, getting there approx. 15 late.
    On arrival at TM P15, the forward replacement set was indeed still there, being held on P13 for our arrival. Or not…
    You guessed it, just as the locks came off and doors were opened, the locks went on on the replacement set, whistles blown and the train departed, leaving passengers watching their train depart. Nobody made the connection, it simply wasn’t possible, locks off to locks on was only a couple of seconds.
    This spectacular level of incompetence is almost unbelievable, you couldn’t make it up as they say.
    I was lucky, I was only coming back to Bristol. Others were not amused.
     
  2. Darandio

    Darandio Established Member

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    Sounds familiar, albeit with a different operator.

    Several weeks ago we arrived at Darlington in order to get the train back to Redcar. Turned out the cables had been cut at Dinsdale, then fixed, then they had been cut again so we were told a rail replacement bus would be put on as far as Middlesbrough. Problem was, there would only be one bus and it was going to be doing the run inbound from Middlesbrough first, so we had to wait just over an hour for it to arrive.

    We were told when boarding the bus that a rail service would then be running between Middlesbrough and Saltburn, and that it would be waiting for the replacement bus to arrive. Cue the bus arriving outside Middlesbrough station, over 40 people get off and head up the stairs to the platform only to see the doors close and a nearly empty train depart.
     
  3. D6975

    D6975 Established Member

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    Sounds like we passed somewhere, I was on a Saltburn-Darlo that day and we were very late into Darlo due to the cable theft. I got off, having been told to change there, I was en route to Bishop A. I asked on the platform where the BA trainwas departing from if at all, only to be told it was the train I'd just got off, on which the doors were just closing..
    <(<(
     
  4. TheNewNo2

    TheNewNo2 Member

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    Was this one actually FGW's fault in terms of the connection? BRI is a Network Rail station nowadays, and the signallers don't work for FGW.
     
  5. WelshBluebird

    WelshBluebird Established Member

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    Really doesn't surprise me, I have had more than enough issues at Temple Meads. The best one of them all was last week where they told a replacement bus that it could go away as it wasn't needed, 5 minutes before the bus was due to leave, despite the queue of around 80 people for it (that turned into a ludicrous situation where station staff were then trying to get the buses to come back for half hour, before then putting passengers in taxis after the bus turned up but the driver had to take a break!).

    I believe station staff are still FGW, and both services were FGW ones so it would have been upto them to hold the connection wouldn't it?
     
    Last edited: 26 May 2015
  6. D6975

    D6975 Established Member

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    It wasn't the signallers that let the train go, it was the FGW platform staff. The signallers had held the train at a red until the connecting service was in. The platform staff were too quick to let the forwarding connection go, not giving pax the chance to swap trains. You would have thought that being held until about 10 mins after its booked departure time was a bit of a giveaway that it was being held deliberately. I'm amazed that the platform staff didn't radio in to ask the reason for the delay.

    ps Checking the times on RTT I notice that the arrival/departure times have been falsified, indicating a one and a half minute connection. I was there and I can testify that there was only a matter of a few seconds between arrival/departure of the 2 services.
     
  7. PHILIPE

    PHILIPE Established Member

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    Despatch staff are under great pressure from their TOCs to get trains away as pronto as possible to avoid payments for delay.
     
  8. Laryk

    Laryk Member

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    Probably not falsified - from my experience the arrival time is recorded as when the train enters the platform/section, departure time when the train leaves. So from arriving into the platforms, doors opening, doors closing on the other train and leaving the platform may well have been 1:30s.
     
  9. DanTrainMan185

    DanTrainMan185 Established Member

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    Regardless of that, any passengers who were trying to make the connection would have a leg to stand on as 1.5 minutes is still not enough time.
     
  10. Bodiddly

    Bodiddly Member

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    Yet another sign this fragmented privatised railway doesn't work. What hope have we got when a TOC cannot hold a train for a late runner from one of its own services never mind another operator? Several times I have arrived at Inverness on a late running Southbound to find my connection onwards to Aberdeen has left minutes beforehand.
    With the penalties for late running it's far cheaper for a TOC to send everyone away in taxis! Crazy!
     
  11. WelshBluebird

    WelshBluebird Established Member

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    Except of course, it wasn't really a connection in the normal sense of the word.
    The train the OP was on was supposed to run through to Paddington, so the change at Temple Meads shouldn't have been needed. The only reason it was needed is because the initial train was terminated early at Temple Meads, with passengers specifically advised to catch the connection onwards to Paddington (the connection that then left without them).
    Assuming the OP's version of events is true, then the passengers very much do have a leg to stand on as the normal rules regarding connection times surely do not apply here?
     
  12. 455driver

    455driver Veteran Member

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    Platform staff dont have the authority to hold trains, once the signal clears and station duties are complete they send the train out, end of!
    Nice try though. :lol:

    RTT is predominantly track circuit fed so it isn't possible to 'falsify' those entries, again nice try!
     
  13. Atlantic loco

    Atlantic loco Member

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    There are a few things which perturb me about this particular happening.

    The fact that the person responsible for making the arrangement to swap trains did not "follow through" by advising the platform staff and making appropriate arrangements.

    It seems that staff within the industry think it is ok to treat passengers like this.

    This kind of thing has being going on for many years yet it seems there is no appetite within the industry to change processes and improve the passengers' lot when disruptions take place.
     
  14. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    Falsifying an automated electronic system based on the signalling system? Are you sure about that?

    I am also not sure you quite understand how departure operations work, but never let the truth get in the way eh?

    It seems like a pretty poor communication breakdown rather than some vast conspiracy to upset passengers. It shouldn't have happened and obviously the replacement train should have been held to allow all the passengers to get on board.

    Refunds all round i should think
     
  15. DanTrainMan185

    DanTrainMan185 Established Member

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    Yes, sorry I didn't make myself very clear. Although Real Time Trains says there was 1½ minutes between the two services, when/if people complain they WILL have a leg to stand on as that was not enough time to connect between the two services.
     
  16. Parallel

    Parallel Established Member

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    If I was a passenger wanting to travel to Chippenham or beyond from Weston-Super-Mare I would be pretty peeved, considering it is a timetabled through service, and if there was a set swap, I would hope sufficient time would be provided to get passengers from one to the other.

    Not sure anyone would get any compensation, FGW only provides delay repay if you've been delayed over an hour and Bristol Temple Meads - London Paddington is half hourly most of the day, dropping to hourly in the evening.

    Bristol Temple Meads can be a nightmare at times - A little while ago I was trying to get home after visiting friends. There were already delays and the train I was due to catch cancelled its stop at my station after 2 platform alterations, and then there were a further three platform alterations for the next service (150219 was also broken down blocking a platform). I wasn't in a rush to get home so didn't mind but passengers just hear "xx:xx FIRST GREAT WESTERN service to xxxxxx" and assume it's FGW's fault but several ingredients make a cocktail! The original source of the delay was due to a person pulling an intercom on a service from Great Malvern to Weymouth. But, again, communication seemed to be the compounding factor as we then pulled over at the loop near Bathampton to let the Portsmouth (& a Paddington) train pass. Problem is, passengers for Warminster weren't told to alight at Bath and join the Portsmouth service as the one we were on was terminating early at Westbury. Those for Warminster got home over an hour late, and those for Dilton Marsh... well, it would've been quicker to walk from Westbury!

    The incident in this thread does seem like poor communication. Could someone have contacted the signaller?
     
  17. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    On this particular day there was a special service in operation and the train in question was not a through service from WSM to PAD. There was another service to PAD from BTM just 25 mins or so later so I can't imagine much hardship was caused.
     
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