FGW train stranded at Pewsey

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by tony6499, 4 Aug 2013.

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  1. TBY-Paul

    TBY-Paul Member

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    Does anybody know the exact location of the breakdown. I noticed on the video of the chap talking to the passengers, during the part about how he would asking management certain questions he says " Why haven't we had emergency supplies, There's a lane there, we could have had water brought in" (approx. 1.38)
    Which lane would he be referring too? His body gestures and use of language suggest the lane is very close by, if not even parallel to the track, of which there are a few possible locations ( Wooton Rivers/ Crofton). But without knowledge of the exact location its difficult to ascertain.
     
  2. Antman

    Antman Established Member

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    I know, I've recently recovered from a foot injury.

    Rest Ice Compression Elevation

    Best wishes to him anyway;)
     
  3. TheBigD

    TheBigD Member

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    Posted on another forum...

    "...Some facts regarding this incident from a source in ICC Western.

    15:26 Log Item created and control aware of 1A85 having suffered a loss of main res air

    15:38 Both Driver & Train Manager have great difficulty with mobile phone reception. GSMR in both powercars is working perfectly and this being used as preferred method of communication,

    Driver has made way to rear power car and isolated all normal things that cause problems, such as ATP, E70 brake control unit, driver returning to front power car to see if any effect. Walking route is along cess / ballast so this takes time.

    A Riding Inspector (fitter) who is at Reading is requested to attend > further delayed as 1C86 14:57 Pad to Pnz which he was attempting to fix that failed at Reading. This was set swapped with an Up HST, thusly departed RDG 45 mins late without the fitter on board.....as he was still on failed train,making it fit to go ECS to Old Oak.

    Fitter actually travelled on 1C88 15:57 Pad to PNZ and was logged as on site at 18:01.

    16:26 DBS despatch resuce loco and TVSC will hold in Woodborough Loop pending events.

    Meanwhile Driver reports still unable to maintain air and now continues to fault find (locate air leak), this entails putting parking brake on front engine revving the engine and finding the air leak, by walking down the train. This process takes time and it didn't find the fault.

    Also in this process the driver injured his ankle on the ballast....but still continued and eventually drove the train!!!

    17:15 Traincrew reported as finding a fractured pipe. In process of isolating. But needed block on the Down Line. Again this line was open to traffic and being in the middle of auto section, process of getting a block, doing the work, going back to powercar using GSMR was taking a long long time!!!

    Train Manager goes to lay protection at rear for 1Z99 . However loco will not help if air leak not found / isolated!!!

    17:41 Set sill loosing air with pipe isolated.

    18:00 Fitter on site

    18:20 FGW Manager on Site

    18:42 1Z99 given permission to proceed to protecting signal

    19:00 Fitter also unable to locate air leak...again all hampered with communication as only GSMR working.

    19:49 After various fault finding and isolations fitters is confident faut is within rear powercar. Now isolating and detaching from formation.

    20:09 1Z99 at protecting signal, permission given to proceed. 1Z99 moving towards the rear of the train and will couple up and push up to allow the buckeye to be unhooked between the coach and the powercar

    21:06 1A85 on the move!!!

    1Z99 will drag powercar to Westbury..."
     
  4. Mitch in Notts

    Mitch in Notts Member

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    I was speaking on the basis that it stated that there was a lane nearby. Also I would not envisage anyone walking any distance on a rail line - it's not safe!

    When I referred to stretcher cases I was thinking elderly, infirm, pregnant etc.
     
  5. broadgage

    broadgage Established Member

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    It would seem to me that controlled evacuation of at least some passengers should have been considered sooner rather than later.
    Reports suggest that the location was not that remote, and that taxis or buses could have been used.

    No need to evacuate everyone, some might prefer to remain on the train, which will after all EVENTUALLY go somwhere.

    Each person evacuated renders the enviroment more acceptable for those remaining. The vehicles evacuating some passengers could bring supplies of water, snacks, toilet paper, and anything else needed.

    Some reports state "no air conditioning" but the videos posted elswhere show normal lighting in use which suggests that the front power car was running and providing ETS for air conditioning and other purposes.

    It seems probable that the air conditioning was defective anyway in one or more more vehicles, this would rapidly become uncomfortable even on a mild day.
    This also suggests to me the need for partial evacuation, those standing for hours in hot and humid conditions would have good reason to complain if not evacuated.
    Those seated in air conditioned vehicles might be more willing to wait, and again, each person from a coach with functioning air conditioning who decides to evacuate, is one more space in relative comfort for those who decide to wait.

    If I had been on the train and forced to stand in overheated conditions for many hours, I would be complaining long and hard.
    If I had been seated for 6 hours in airconditioned surroundings, and provided with snacks and drinks, I would have waited it out with only a modest moan.

    This is the sort of announcement that I would like to hear

    "Ladies and gentlemen, I apologise for the delay, rectifying the fault is proving much more challenging than expected and the delay is expected to be some hours. We have arranged for a large number of taxis and a couple of buses at the nearest road access, to access these you will need to walk several hundred metres over rough ground, staff will help you as far as possible. Alternatively you may remain on board, supplies are en route, and conditions should be much more comfortable once some people have left"
     
  6. 3141

    3141 Established Member

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    I think it's fair to say that when only one fitter was available, who couldn't have got to the failed train earlier than on the 14.57 Paddington to Penzance, which had been delayed at Reading, and on which he wasn't able to travel anyway because he remained at Reading working on the train that had failed there - then that's the point by which the people running the show should have been convinced that they might need to send supplies to Pewsey, and that it might be necessary to rescue the passengers.
     
  7. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    It wasn't the same incident as Kentish town so they can't just look at that alone.

    And lessons definitely have been learned since Kentish town. There have been amendments to procedures as a result if that.
     
  8. VP185

    VP185 Member

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    There is simply no need to evacuate the train, partial or full. No one on that train was at risk of death or injury.
    The log reports that the FGW manager arrived on site at 1820. No controlled evacuation would have commenced until he had arrived. There is not enough staff on the train to safely evacuate passengers down a ladder and then escort them off the railway line. You would probably also require the assistance of the fire service.
    The driver, who is clearly use to walking on ballast in appropriate footwear, sprained his ankle. This CLEARLY shows the dangers of evacuating a train and walking on ballast. Put people who aren't use to these underfoot conditions and you risk serious and unnecessary injuries.

    Given the impatient nature of humans and after 6 hours of being stuck on a train, most people would choose to evacuate the train, and I daresay would try and ensure they are among the first off the train. Thus you would potentially cause a stampede to the location where they are evacuating passengers.

    A controlled evacuation of half the train would have taken between 60-90 minutes alone. While this is taking place, the train maanger would not have been able to lay protection at the rear of the train to allow an assisting locomotive. The driver wouldn't have been able to continue fault finding.

    As for supplies... it's 6 hours! We're not talking being stranded for days! These taxis or vehicles that you suggest will evacuate people from the train, I assume you believe the driver of these vehicles would quite happily go into Tesco and purchase enough supplies for 500 people and pay for this on their own credit card?!
    The logistics of getting supplies to a train is near on impossible. For starters,
    Very few FGW staff will have access to company vehicles. Only on-call managers will, this is likely to be an car not an articulated truck or van. Even the fitters travel to the site by train.
    The on-call managers, who would be the only staff who probably have access to road vehicles, are potentially based at locations where there is no access to supplies. The nearest would likely be Rail Gourmet, at Paddington.
    You've then got to hand load enough supplies into a car and a car isn't going to be able to carry enough for a train load of people.
    You then have to drive the car to the location of the train failure.
    Unload said supplies from the car and onto the train.
    This whole process would take a considerable time. No one, would anticipate the train being stuck for 6 hours.
    Organising the feeding and watering of people does not get the train moving.

    Given the details of the log, the fact the rescue locomotive was on the move within an hour of the train failing means it must have been requested within 30-45 minutes of the failed train coming to a stand, maybe even earlier. This happened before the exact location and nature of the fault was diagnosed.

    I would say 99% of all train failures can either be fixed on site by isolating various equipment or be recovered by using a rescue locomotive. A fractured air pipe is very rare and, within the guidelines of the rules, very difficult to resolve as you can't normally isolate anything to get out of it as this incident proves.
     
    Last edited: 6 Aug 2013
  9. transmanche

    transmanche Established Member

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    I'm talking about the issue management.

    In the Kentish Town incident, FCC concentrated solely on one method of resolving the problem (sending another unit to rescue the failed one). Various problems then delayed that unit. During all that time, FCC did not seem to consider any alternative plans, or take the opportunity to mitigate the severity of the incident for the on-board passengers (e.g. send more staff to the train, equipped with water and emergency door barriers).

    In this incident the fitter didn't arrive until two and a half hours after the train failed. It looks like it was known fairly quickly that the fitter would not even reach the site for some considerable time.

    So what alternative actions were considered to rescue the passengers, as suggested by the ATOC good practice guide? Did FGW consider the practicalities of arranging road transport? (Did they even start preparations by finding out what road transport might be available in the area?) What alternative actions were considered to make the on-board environment better? Because the evidence available doesn't suggest that anything was done.

    I daresay there have been some changes. But not enough.
     
  10. Eagle

    Eagle Established Member

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    The evidence available also doesn't suggest that nothing was done.

    The things you mentioned might well have been investigated and then dismissed. We don't know. Remember we still don't have the full picture (the log posted earlier is not the complete details of the incident).
     
  11. transmanche

    transmanche Established Member

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    True, but that's (almost) six hours on top of a (almost) six hour journey - over 11 hours in total.

    Some people will have been planning to buy a sandwich on-board, but the train doesn't have enough for everyone - so a lot of people may not have had anything to eat since breakfast (well over 12 hours), if no additional supplies were made available.
     
    Last edited: 6 Aug 2013
  12. Eagle

    Eagle Established Member

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    You know not everyone got on at Penzance. Most people would have been on board in total for somewhat less than 11 hours.
     
    Last edited: 6 Aug 2013
  13. 4SRKT

    4SRKT Established Member

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    You're wasting your time with this. If VP185 was prepared to treat the notion of hundreds of people trapped without food, drink, aircon, working toilets or even sufficient seats flippantly enough to say "it's 6 hours! We're not talking about being stranded for days", then it is clearly completely impossible to get over any notion of the importance of treating customers well to some railway employees and their apologists.
     
    Last edited: 6 Aug 2013
  14. transmanche

    transmanche Established Member

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    Yes I know that. But irrespective of where they got on:

     
  15. 4SRKT

    4SRKT Established Member

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    Well, that's OK then. 10 hours would be just dandy.
     
  16. transmanche

    transmanche Established Member

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    A fair point, but it still stands that simple things that should have been obvious don't appear to have been done. Such as getting a passing train to drop off extra water and food.
     
  17. 3141

    3141 Established Member

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    4SRKT is dead right. But it's still worthwhile making the point that the situation that occurred at Pewsey should not have been allowed to go on as long as it did, and FGW should have taken other action sooner. FGW's management will see the point even if some other railway employees don't.
     
  18. Ferret

    Ferret Established Member

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    That was asked for I think?! Did it actually happen though?
     
  19. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    No one has disputed that 6 hours was unacceptable and the staff in here are clearly explaining how this happened backed up with log evidence (which is impartial and no more than a full account of what happened).

    It is actually the non-staff on here who seem incapable of understanding that no matter how much among you do things like this will still happen. Situations like this are very, very complicated.

    There is no skill or pride in going around after the incident saying that it wasn't handled well and you know better in the way that you are-it makes you look very silly really. No one thinks that 6 hours was acceptable but it is very different working with those situations at the time-I appreciate you wouldn't know that as you have never been involved in one as staff but I and others here have.

    And there was food and water onboard. Unless you can tell me when it ran out-for all we know they only ran out of water 5 mins before getting off.

    Basically, out of all the people left on the train no on died. No one was taken ill. The driver went on the track and was injured-that puts a big downer on people's ideas of evacuation (although people still are incapable of understanding how difficult ballast is to walk on!). People may have been uncomfortable but they were still safe.

    This has nothing to do with customer service. It was a serious incident. The passengers were safe where they were - conditions were clearly not as bad as the headlines suggest and if things had deteriorated on board or people did become ill then they would have dealt with it and changed the plan. Sorry to disappoint but the 'customer satisfaction' went down the pan the minute the train failed. The priority after that is to keep passengers safe first and foremost, then to get them moved and customer satisfaction is after that. (Plus they all got their money back).

    This thread is just silly now.
     
  20. PHILIPE

    PHILIPE Established Member

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    Firstly, refreshments would have to obtained and, of course, nobody knew how long the train would be there. It could have been on the move before food and drink was there.
    Also, the SUN newspaper states the location of the train was in a field. This should answer the question of an earlier poster who asked where exactly the train was !!!
     
  21. 4SRKT

    4SRKT Established Member

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    Here we go. No one died, so it's OK. The thread is silly? The thread contains criticisms of the railway that you don't like and have chosen to deal with by the 'armchair experts' line of put down.

    For the record, I agree (and have throughout the thread) that evacuation would have been impractical. I am fully aware of the operational problems created here and how fluid the situation was. I totally refuse to believe however that a van could not have been procured from somewhere to deliver water to the train. Even if this had involved carting by hand for some distance, although nowhere in England is very far from some sort of road, this should have been done. Failure to do this bare minimum to alleviate the passengers' suffering (yes, that's not hyperbole VP185) is my main gripe here.

    I work in the parcels industry and know how easy it is to get hold of vans at very short notice, and anyone who says it is difficult is an 'armchair expert' ;)
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    So what? It could just have been put back into stock or dumped. The cost of a vanload of sandwiches and bottled water in all this is going to be trivial.
     
    Last edited: 6 Aug 2013
  22. VP185

    VP185 Member

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    Right. So those who got on at Penzance, or that area, for their 6 hour journey had bought no food or drink onto the train and/or bought nothing at, what is normally described as a expensive buffet.
    The media who interviewed passengers at the exit of Paddington station, I don't think anyone was carrying food or drinks that could have been purchased at Paddington Station.

    Both power cars were running providing an electrically supply to the train. Thus, air con would have been working in the majority of the train baring any ac failures which at most affect 2 in a set.
    There are also drop light windows and, well, it wasn't exactly a scorching day.
    The videos posted onboard show a well occupied First Class, a rare sight if you believe regular travellers who always claim it's empty.
    The toilets do not lock themselves out of use. Passengers would have had access to toilets

    I think some have grabbed themselves a stool and started milking it in all honesty.

    The driver, customer host and train manager all survived the 'ordeal' and no doubt had a much more stressful time than the passengers onboard. The driver even took the train back to Paddington, that's around 9 hours of work.
     
    Last edited: 6 Aug 2013
  23. YorkshireBear

    YorkshireBear Established Member

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    How hard would it be for someone to get a van go to asda and ram the van full of stuff. Infact if you contacted the supermarket they may even just let you pile it out of stores.....

    Got to agree, more should have been done regarding food provisions. Should never do nothing as you expect it to be fixed soon, that is asking for trouble.
     
  24. sheff1

    sheff1 Established Member

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    I'm afraid you are wasting your time. I tried that too.

    I see we are still getting the repetitive comments from people who then complain that the thread is silly and is going nowhere. Surely if you feel a thread has run its course then you stop reading and contributing to it - which is what I will now do.
     
  25. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    It isn't a put down line at all. But it is the truth, how can you argue that people like yourself who have limited knowledge of the rail can honestly know more about these situations than people like myself who work in the industry every ay and have worked through very similar incidents to this one? Plus everything which I and other staff on here have suggested may have happened seems to have been backed up by the log.

    As I say, the fact is that it is very easy to criticise the decisions made after the event when you can see what went wrong, which is basically what everyone on here is doing. But dealing with a live incident is very different indeed.

    I can assure you that passenger welfare is a priority and water would have been provided if it was needed. My point that 'no one died' is to show that clearly it wasn't needed. If it had gone on another hour or so and conditions started to worsen on board and water was clearly needed then it certainly would have been provided. There was an off duty staff member acting as a liaison between crew and passengers and I'm sure he would have demanded supplies if needed.

    How do you know water wasn't already on its way when the train started moving anyway?

    People like yourself are jumping on the headlines saying that conditions were atrocious, treated like cattle, abandoned for hours etc. but I honestly don't believe any of that for a second. We have all seen YouTube clips of the inside of the train and it doesn't look any where near as bad as how the press described it. I havnt seen any quotes from passengers describing scenes of people soiling themselves or urine soaked coaches as toilets were out of order, or of people dehydrating and gaspi for water which suggests that it wasn't needed so want provided. Everyone interviewed by the film crews at paddington looked healthy enough and hacked off/tired but not dehydrated or ill.

    I think it pretty likely, as I say, that if water was needed it would have been provided as a priority. I'm not saying no one died so its ok at all, just that the fact that there were no casualties suggests that things went anywhere near as bad as you seem to believe they were. And it could have ended up with people being quoted as saying "staff seemed more concerned about giving out food and drink than they did about fixing the train" so it's a bit of a no win situation anyway.
     
  26. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    How do you know that wasn't done out of interest? How do you know water wasn't on its way, read my post above but you are jumping to conclusions based on nothing more that anti-rail news reports.
     
  27. tsr

    tsr Established Member

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    On the other hand, Mojo stated on the "other thread" that it was at roughly the 73½ milepost between Pewsey & Savernake. In a field or very near fields, maybe, but I see that at least two access points are pretty nearby... it's certainly not beyond the wit of man to use either to allow water to get to people who have been on a train for several hours and in any case have another few to go before they reach their destinations (unless their destinations all happen to be addresses in the centre of Reading!). Now, I know the driver twisted his ankle on the ballast and there are other dangers, but surely senior NR and FGW staff have at some point in their lives worked out how to carry the equivalent weight of a few packs of water bottles along a lineside within a few hours. Not everyone is going to need one... I haven't seen comments in the media from 500 people claiming they were gasping for a drink! Perhaps 100 bottles maximum. Having experience of moving around all sorts of catering supplies including water tanks on treacherous ground for large outdoor events (on very hot days, I should add), I know precisely how hard it is to get a few bottles of water across rough terrain. It's not that hard in the grander scheme of things at all. The same goes for sandwiches or other snacks, although these can be trickier to suddenly procure in large-ish numbers in the middle of the countryside.

    At no point have I seen that within the first few hours of the incident discussed any definite progress was made which meant staff could say "right - we know we'll be out of here in x minutes" - once even a third of that time had elapsed, supplies could have been found and have been well on the way. This would have left several hours of good use on the ground, and even if a fix had suddenly been found, there's no reason why you couldn't keep some non-perishable supplies for later emergencies (like when this happens again in a few weeks' or months' time...). If you quite reasonably keep a load of passengers in a train in what is effectively a field, without estimating when they might be in somewhere which isn't a field, you might just want to quickly work out how to keep them hydrated, just in case you're not going to be able to get them out any time soon...
     
  28. transmanche

    transmanche Established Member

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    No-one doubts that they are complicated to deal with. Which is precisely why the railway needs to get better at dealing with them.

    And you can't tell us that it didn't run out after the train was stationary for an hour. What we do know is that some passengers have complained of a lack of water. And as for food, even when fully stocked a train buffet will not have enough food for everyone on board - and as I noted earlier (bearing in mind the time of day) many people may not have eaten since breakfast.

    That just reminds me of an episode of The Day Today.

    And this is the crux of the difference of opinion. Whether or not this is a true reflection of your (and other railway staff member's) opinion, the impression you give is that is your starting point... that no-one died or was taken ill - and everything else is a bonus.

    Agreed. And this is the second difference of opinion. Did FGW do everything reasonable and practicable to lessen that discomfort. I'd say on the basis of the (albeit limited) evidence available that they could and should have done more.

    Now that's a very good point and it raises some interesting questions. It's been said (and I have no reason to doubt) that people were working hard to resolve the problem. Is it because everyone focuses on fixing the the thing that's broken that no-one is focusing on the comfort of the passengers?

    For me it is about customer service.

    Providing good customer service when everything is running tickety-boo is easy. The true test of customer service is how an organisation reacts to a problem.

    The off-duty FGW staff member provided great customer service (as evidenced from the round of applause he received), but he doesn't appear to have been supported by his colleagues further up the command chain.

    So yes, they were working hard to get the train moving again. And that's great. But someone should have been working equally as hard to do everything reasonably practicable to lessen the discomfort of the passengers on-board

    We have quotes from passengers who talk about 20-30 standing passengers in each carriage - but we have video clips of a first class carriage which looked OK. I'm assuming that the guard would have tried to redistribute the passengers through the train to make sure every possible seat was used and giving more floorspace for people to sit down.
     
  29. 4SRKT

    4SRKT Established Member

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    Beautiful bit of selected quoting of what I wrote there. You have ignored the bit I wrote beginning 'for the record' so you can justify your patronising and insulting response. I guess you think nobody will notice, so I'd better help you out here by pointing out that selective posting looks pretty absurd when used like this.

    Again and again though, the underlying attitude from railway employees shines through no matter how hard they try to hide it, or hide behind 'you don't know what you're talking about' rhetoric. So long as nobody soils themselves or dies of dehydration, then anything goes. This attitude is in my not inconsiderable experience as a passenger (ultimately the only experience that *actually matters*), almost unique to the rail industry, and hardwired into a depressingly large number of its employees who hide behind the industry's complexity to defend poor service.
     
    Last edited: 6 Aug 2013
  30. tsr

    tsr Established Member

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    We don't, but FGW have publicly admitted that train should not have been there nearly as long as it was, so at least from a "devil's advocate" passenger point of view I would expect them to have realised that within (say) a few hours, leaving another few hours (i.e. plenty of time) to send water to the train.

    Mmmm... so standing for 6 hours longer than you planned, in a train which is running out of supplies, when the toilets are no longer all working as planned, should not attract someone's attention for the provision of food and water, especially given the limited capacity of the buffet car for provisions?
     
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