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First class obsolete?

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Loop Line

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Is it time to abolish first class? It could be argued that this would solve some of the capacity problems. It is often very expensive compared to standard. Often not really that much different. With the general trend towards casual attitudes in society, some might say it's time for class to be done with. Any opinions?
 
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I'd be rid of it if it was up to me, pointless pomp for those who can afford it leaving everyone else cramped in. Either get rid or halve it and make it properly expensive!!
 

Loop Line

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I favour retaining it. Indeed as I've stated before, putting on local trains as it was once. In proportion though. Otherwise a lot of space is wasted. I think the price differential should be in line with the difference in furnishings and comfort. Plus a bit to make sure only serious travellers tend to use it. Maybe even making first class quiet class by default. Perhaps one coach in three to standard. Just about all trains had it once.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
This has been done several times before, including one which only petered out last week.

This thread poll from last year was fairly conclusive: http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=116126&page=2

I was at sea then :p.
 

Haydn1971

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I'll often purchase first class for leisure trips between Sheffield and London, for three reasons, first, the seats are bigger, I'm 6ft 4 and built like a brick outhouse, plus it's always less busy and also when I travel it's often only 10-20% more than a standard advance fare.

I feel that first is often seen as a means of getting a seat on busy services, in particular up here on TPE, but probably also on the London commuter services - I'm not sure it's first where the problem is, it's the ability to reserve seats in a useful manner and the detrimental impact that cheap advance fares have on walk up fares and season ticket holders, who either pay far in excess of advance or suffer the risk of not getting a seat when paying upfront for a season ticket.
 

Loop Line

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I've never really bothered with reservations. I'd probably be worried about getting p off when someone sits in my seat or else wanting to
change seats upon discovering an abusive person nearby. I have sat in reserved seats with the full intention of moving if the Booker appears. Many people seem to reserve seats and never take them.
 
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Oliver

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I favour retaining it. Indeed as I've stated before, putting on local trains as it was once. In proportion though. Otherwise a lot of space is wasted. I think the price differential should be in line with the difference in furnishings and comfort. Plus a bit to make sure only serious travellers tend to use it. Maybe even making first class quiet class by default. Perhaps one coach in three to standard. Just about all trains had it once.

We can debate how much space should be devoted to each class and what the price differential should be, but it's hard to see why passengers should not be given a choice of comfort/space levels with prices to suit. Would anyone suggest there should be only one type of car, one level of air travel, one type of restaurant or one size of house?
 

Loop Line

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Good point. It's just a pity paying more doesn't always guarantee better service. Restaurants are a prime example of this.
 

bramling

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Is it time to abolish first class? It could be argued that this would solve some of the capacity problems. It is often very expensive compared to standard. Often not really that much different. With the general trend towards casual attitudes in society, some might say it's time for class to be done with. Any opinions?

Definitely keep on Intercity-type routes, but I'd abolish it on commuter routes such as around London. Many such first class facilities don't really offer anything beyond the increased likelihood of a seat - and there are also issues with enforcement round London, what's the point paying extra to find it's full of people who haven't paid?
 

Loop Line

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it did exist on my local network once so it must be doable. I expect there were more staff on trains then. There certainly were at the stations. More staff around is always good. I know the money has got to come from somewhere but there would be the benefit of job creation if more staff were employed on stations and in the carriages. First could have an inspector allowing the guard to roam the rest of the train and do the doors.
 

DarloRich

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Do you want us all to travel "Corbyn-class"..<(

yes! shoot them all ;)

Then raise the scarlet standard high.
Beneath its shade we'll live and die,
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
We'll keep the red flag flying here.


There is a purpose to and requirement for FC. However, it is not for railcard warriors to travel about for £12.50. It is for business types prepared to pay a premium for an enhanced and exclusive service. It earns good monies for intercity TOCS.
 
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AlterEgo

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There is a purpose to and requirement for FC. However, it is not for railcard warriors to travel about for £12.50. It is for business types prepared to pay a premium for an enhanced and exclusive service. It earns good monies for intercity TOCS.

Those cheap Advances earn intercity TOCs plenty of money when "business types" don't travel - like at midday, or late at night. Why is First Class restricted to "business types" in your view?
 

DarloRich

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Those cheap Advances earn intercity TOCs plenty of money when "business types" don't travel - like at midday, or late at night. Why is First Class restricted to "business types" in your view?

Because I don't have a railcard and cant afford first class. ;)
 

Loop Line

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Without a second or third, first class seems an incorrect name for it. Perhaps we ought to call it something else.
 

HH

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Alternatively, is it time to introduce third class? Or do certain railways already have that? :D
 

theblackwatch

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Is it time to abolish first class? It could be argued that this would solve some of the capacity problems. It is often very expensive compared to standard. Often not really that much different. With the general trend towards casual attitudes in society, some might say it's time for class to be done with. Any opinions?

Are you not contradicting yourself? Elsewhere, you are suggesting that Merseyrail should have FC.
 

Loop Line

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I am indeed not. Earlier in this thread I have stated I wish to keep it. I was canvassing opinion on the subject. It does need adjusting I think. But I would not abolish.
 

Starmill

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There is a purpose to and requirement for FC. However, it is not for railcard warriors to travel about for £12.50. It is for business types prepared to pay a premium for an enhanced and exclusive service. It earns good monies for intercity TOCS.

Good gracious you don't think I pay as much as that for my First Class tickets do you!? This evening I shall be travelling from Newcastle to York, doubtless with a glass of wine and some sandwiches en route in a newly refurbished First Class carriage on a train from Scotland to London for £6.95. £12.50 indeed! :D :D

Also try a Pendolino in First Class on Saturday afternoon from Euston and tell me that's "enhanced and exclusive".
 
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Xenophon PCDGS

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Tag a 442 on the back, I'll let everyone else argue whether that makes the third class luxury or low-cost ;)

They used to say that about Class 142 Pacers up North.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Definitely keep on Intercity-type routes, but I'd abolish it on commuter routes such as around London. Many such first class facilities don't really offer anything beyond the increased likelihood of a seat - and there are also issues with enforcement round London, what's the point paying extra to find it's full of people who haven't paid?

There are some examples where Northern has taken over TPE routes and use units with no first class accommodation, which was previously offered by the Class 185 units.
 

Clansman

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Keep it. As long as you can compensate the difference of Standard capacity when you need it there's no problem. We all upgrade from time to time and it can prove very relaxing after a long days work. On routes where it is beyond pointless (Southern?) then by all means get rid. But definitely not on TOCs operating routes over a regional distance such as Scotrail, VirginWC/EC, TP etc. Great advance fares on Intercity routes prove a god send, especially at busy times.

Like I said, if TOCs can compensate having first class by weighing up the difference in Standard (VTWC comes to mind) then it's a win win for commuter and TOC - Upgrade for better quality journey / more revenue.
premium class seems appropriate if we have standard class.

On this issue I agree. "First Class" sounds too Victorian and old fashion - the use of which, is probably also a pull factor to get more passengers to dig deeper into their wallets for some TOCs. The class system (as we knew it) is long gone nowadays - or I'd like to think.
 
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Mordac

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Scrap it in commuter routes, keep it in IC and long-distance regional services.
 

DarloRich

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Good gracious you don't think I pay as much as that for my First Class tickets do you!? This evening I shall be travelling from Newcastle to York, doubtless with a glass of wine and some sandwiches en route in a newly refurbished First Class carriage on a train from Scotland to London for £6.95. £12.50 indeed! :D :D

Also try a Pendolino in First Class on Saturday afternoon from Euston and tell me that's "enhanced and exclusive".

sadly for those of us without the freedom to plan our journeys 17 weeks in advance this is something we can only aspire to. The real world and the responsibilities that come with it can be a real pita.

As for the Euston run you get a better seat, a lamp, free wifi, more leg room, some free snacks, drinks and a guaranteed window view. You get none of that in cattle. The seat would be nice sometimes...............
 
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tankmc

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No, I like the choice. I find that sometimes i dont want it and other times i will treat myself. Some first class is pointless but on intercity journeys i will sometimes be happy to pay extra for first.

I just wish it was standardised with a standardised service and minimum level of offering that each toc has to provide.
 
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