First and Second Compartments???

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GNERman

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I have recently been researching rolling stock that have compartments on-board, which came about after a trip on the Embsay Railway in a First Class compartment and realizing that, currently, none exists on the network.

From my research, the last stock in use with compartments were SWT's Class 442's, which had First Class compartments in the DTFo, with 6 seats (?), and also Class 411's which had the First/Second Corridor Composite coach. If anyone else can name others, please do, with photos if possible.

In Europe, there are examples of trains that do have compartments.

ICE3's have a Second Class compartment, containing six seats as shown here - http://www.kaemena360.com/360/ICE3Tour/ under "2nd class compartment".

ICE1's have a Conference compartment, containing four loose seats as shown here - http://www.kaemena360.com/360/ICE1Tour/ under "Konferenzabteil", Second Class compartments with six seats and First Class compartments with five seats and a small table, as shown here - http://www.kaemena360.com/360/ICE1Tour/ under "1. Kl. Abteil" and "2. Kl. Abteil".

OBB Railjet contains a Premium compartment, with four seats, shown here - http://www.kaemena360.com/360/RailJetTour/ under Railjet Premium.

NTV in Italy also have a premium compartment on their Italo AGV's. Shown here - http://www.italotreno.it/EN/NTV Tour/classic/salotto2.html they have four seats with extractable tables and TV's.

My query is - would something like this work in the UK again? Obviously it would have to work on long distance trains, but could VT or EC services work with these onboard? How many seats should they have, 8 in Standard, 4, 5 or 6 in First? How could you book/reserve them?

Thanks
 
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NSEFAN

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421s and 423s had only compartments for the 1st class. I think later one compartment from each block (the one with the door) was downgraded to standard class.
 

HSTEd

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TGV Duplex have glass sided family compartment things in Standard class.

Apparently the seats fold away to make a play area or something.
 

Welshman

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Writing as one who can remember when compartments were normal in 1st Class and 2nd [as they were then], I thought it a retrograde step when it was decided [was it with XP64?] that all standard accommodation would be in "open" coaches.

However, I now find compartments so claustrophobic that whenever I visit heritage railways I always make for the "open" Mk1s.

I can see they offer extra privacy, and as such, might be more suitable for business meetings in 1st Class, as offered on some European services, but, feasible or not, I hope they don't make a re-appearance in standard in this country.
 

Greenback

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My personal view is that compartments are ideal for groups, such as families who can have a lot of privacy when travelling together. However, as someone who travels solo a fair bit, or with just the other half with me, I much prefer airline style seating.

That said, I can well remember a lovely compartment journey in 1983 (Mark 1 stock) to Southampton, with a great bunch of people!
 

Minilad

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Oh what happy memories doing overnights on the East Coast lying full length on the comfy benches. Waking up at The Cross.
Happy days never to return unfortunately
 

Johnuk123

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Compartments were great, I have been in loads of them all over the country in the past.

Pull the old blinds down and often nobody would bother to open the door.
 

yorksrob

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421s and 423s had only compartments for the 1st class. I think later one compartment from each block (the one with the door) was downgraded to standard class.

I can't remember the end compartment ever being first class on any of the slammers in my lifetime (I tended to make a beeline for it from an early age). I've got a feeling they may have been standard from the start.

Some of the VEP's on the South Eastern division had an extra compartment downgraded in the early nineties for a short time. They retained all their first class fittings (except antimaccassars) and made for a lovely trip up to Vic :)
 

Helvellyn

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I think two things would work against a return of compartments: -

1) It's all about the maximum amount of seating for Standard Class these days, and compartments are not an efficient way to seat passengers. It seems incredible to think that BR offered two types of Second Class compartment - 6-seater and 8-seater, depending on whether fold-down armrests were provided in the compartment. In a Mark 1 SK that meant seating for 48 passengers in the six-seater compartments!

2) In First Class I think a lot of users would expect a table and power points to use laptops, or at least work in comfort. Also, what helped kill the First Class compartment was the loss of dining cars. From the 1980s on longer distance routes InterCity moved to at-seat dining, and compartment stock just doesn't favour this.
 

tsr

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It might be interesting to see if compartments would eliminate a few of the problems that lead us to having normal and quiet coaches.

Some stock with a high number of table seats could probably have some thin partitions added here and there at little extra cost. I was on a FGW 165 the other day (not my first choice of stock for experimenting with compartments, I have to say) and the partitions in the coaches did make me wonder if compartments would be an easy and useful addition.

Also, First Class on many Electrostars basically consists of a large compartment, albeit with a corridor, which understandably means it cannot be considered to be a traditional "compartment" if it is at the end of the unit that leads to a gangway. However, due to the numbers of passengers who may need to stand in short/medium distance units such as these, further compartmentalising would probably be a bad thing!
 

pitdiver

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I can remember when the WCML was first electrified all the way to Glasgow Central a special fare was offered. £7 First Class £5 Second class day returns to Glasgow. I naturally to advantage of this offer and went first class. Both journeys were in compartments and on both outward and return I was on my own in the compartment. This obviously can't happen now.
 
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