First East Coast (new Open Access Operator) to be standard class only?!

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by cjp, 3 Mar 2018.

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  1. gordonthemoron

    gordonthemoron Established Member

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    What's the likelihood that they'll use 2+3 seating?
     
  2. Failed Unit

    Failed Unit Established Member

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    My understanding is it will be decent seating. Not 3+2.

    Better than existing standard on most trains at the moment. More leg room. Decent padding etc

    If you do a google for First east coast it is on their website. New trains are explicitly started so no cl91 and mk4 planned. Big selling point is the before 10am arrival into Edinburgh. A big win.
     
  3. A0wen

    A0wen Established Member

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    Erm... no. The quickest Cambridge - Peterborough services are 49 mins

    The quickest Cambridge - Stevenage is 37 mins.

    There's no way any train is covering Stevenage - Peterborough in 12 minutes..... as it happens the quickest is 29 minutes.
     
  4. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    They are the same as my employer (it might well be the same employer, FWIW). This is very common, as companies do need to weed out people unnecessarily buying punitively priced Anytime tickets, and if you're travelling within working hours you don't actually have any right to time back in that way.
     
  5. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Zero I think. I believe they are looking for more of a Chiltern like model, i.e. no First but good quality Standard.

    Apart from the debate about the seat itself I'd expect something like the planned TPE or Class 800 interior with good legroom.

    http://www.firstgroupplc.com/about-firstgroup/uk-rail/eastcoast.aspx
     
  6. Failed Unit

    Failed Unit Established Member

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    But considering that the train will be non-stop from Stevenage to Newcastle it will be much quicker for people from Cambridge. Changing at Peterborough (assuming it is a good connection) the franchised operator will call at Doncaster, York, Darlington at least.

    The fact that Stevenage - Cambridge is frequent (ie not 1 train per hour) I stand by that it will be more attractive for Cambridge.
     
  7. HowardGWR

    HowardGWR Established Member

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    A pity it is planned so far into the future. What could be the hold up, especially if they use existing designs?
     
  8. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    Well they don't seem to have placed the order for the new trains yet? What's more, they didn't apply for rights that commence yet!
     
  9. Failed Unit

    Failed Unit Established Member

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    Power supply upgrades on the ECML. Read this months “Modern Railways” ;)
     
  10. Failed Unit

    Failed Unit Established Member

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    That surprised me as well. I thought they were part of the Hull Trains order. Still to me I would have gone for mk4s on short lease. Checked reactions then ordered new if it looks good. We have off-lease stock by then. Grand Central didn’t have that luxury. Hull trains did sort of (although Anglia railway users may not agree)
     
  11. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    First Group will have options with CAF for more 125mph EMUs on the class 397 order for TPE, and maybe with Hitachi for more 802s.
    Those units still have to be delivered and certified.
    I expect First want to see how the class 802 and 397 builds go before ordering more.
    There is about a year before a repeat order need be placed, and a lot can happen in that time.
    First is also not immune from ECML revenue woes.
     
  12. ChathillMan

    ChathillMan Member

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    I do Newcastle to Cambridge (for Newmarket) every 3 to 4 weeks.

    I would much rather go via Stevenage if VTEC stopped there on the Newcastle semi fast runs for the reason you mention, more trains to Cambridge ( even if its a little longer)

    I say that even though the VTEC/XC connections are actually really good on the standard timetable pattern in both directions with a change at Peterborough.

    So, for me it would depend how the new operator connects at Stevenage with GN/Thameslink services.
     
  13. takno

    takno Established Member

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    This is pretty optimistic. You'll want at least 20 minutes, and probably more like 30-40 to get comfortably from the Tube upstairs, through security and across the lounge to the gate. 35 is also the quickest time I've ever done from touchdown into the centre, and that was front of aircraft straight onto a bus as the doors closed and a motivated driver consistently speeding.

    EDIT:
    That said, I'd have thought LCY was the faster airport from St Pauls
     
  14. TT-ONR-NRN

    TT-ONR-NRN On Moderation

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    Not me. I wasn’t even alive in BR days.
     
  15. HowardGWR

    HowardGWR Established Member

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    Sad to admit, I had. Must re-read. :oops:
     
  16. HypeTrain

    HypeTrain New Member

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    No stop at York? :s

    Also, is it possible that the stock could be the first 125 mph Aventras? Or are extra 397s more likely?
     
  17. DenmarkRail

    DenmarkRail Member

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    IF the EC was relet, and First won, I wonder if this would be integrated into their EC operation, or would continue to run separate? Same with HullTrains as well...
     
  18. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    A lot of business people will have a destination in a city centre though perhaps not an origin. The benchmark when rail wins out over air has traditionally been three hours centre to centre, which is obviously a simplification of everyone having their own journey with a slightly different balance of time by different modes. However with increased airport security that threshold is probably creeping above 3hr.

    It's also relevant that many of the competing low-cost flights will leave from Luton or Stansted. People going to/from a large area north of London can probably access Stevenage in a similar time to either airport, so don't need to count the time to get into London against the rail option. Similarly, to a lesser extent, Morpeth versus Newcastle Airport.

    I think most people would allow a fair bit more for the air option particularly if they are not regulars at that airport - more than they would allow extra for the rail option. This is not only for possible delays on the Tube but also to get from there to the check in and uncertainty about how long it will take to get through security. With the rail option a through ticket from the Underground offers some chance of not having to pay a full fare if the train is missed due to a Tube delay.

    The other point is that you're probably looking at Gatwick/Luton/Stansted for a comparable low-cost journey rather than Heathrow or City, which could take longer to access.

    However if the employee then has to kick their heels unproductively waiting for their booked train then that is employer's time wasted. Once the cost of time is taken into account a whole lot of other factors come into play, including whether there is somewhere they can work while waiting for a train and whether the nature of the work and the on-board conditions allows them to do anything productive on the train or plane itself. Many trains run hourly when the equivalent flight is only a couple of times a day, so even without the need for flexibility using the train may allow a option to be chosen that minimises wasted time.
     
  19. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    Indeed, and Luton and Gatwick would both be quicker to get to than Heathrow, each being 36 minutes. (And by the time this First service runs, it will be 3 minutes from train to airport terminal at Luton).


    Nevertheless, there is no chance of a service doing 3h50 Kings Cross to Edinburgh with 3 stops. 4h05 if first on the graph. So more probably 4h10.
     
  20. Doctor Fegg

    Doctor Fegg Member

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    Separate. See the trouble that Chiltern got into for attempting a very very tiny bit of integration with Wrexham & Shropshire.
     
  21. Bishopstone

    Bishopstone Established Member

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    One member of on-board staff (driver aside), doing the catering between Stevenage and Newcastle and a bit of ticket checking/customer service elsewhere?
     
  22. ash39

    ash39 Established Member

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    The only bit that doesn't stack up with this for me is why order new trains? The leasing costs will be high and this will evetually have to be passed on to the user in one way or another.

    It would have made more sense to utilise a few sets of mk4s and 91's with extra locos for cover. The main reason they're unreliable at the moment is because they're being run into the ground on massive diagrams every day. Easily 10-15 years left in them doing steady limited-stop work like this, and surely cheaper to lease. Plus they're here now and ready to go from next year...
     
  23. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Will they? Of late one of the reasons given for repeated total fleet replacements has been that new stock is actually quite cheap. One of the reasons the 707s are going is that prices have fallen since the contracts for them were signed.
     
  24. Darandio

    Darandio Established Member

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    Because the leasing costs for BR era stock are entirely reasonable.......
     
  25. paul1609

    paul1609 Established Member

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    I doubt that many of the current business travellers on air have a destination of Edinburgh City Centre to be honest. Most people are either met at Edinburgh Airport, hire cars or get a taxi. I think Edinburgh City centre (Waverley station) is primarily a tourist destination. Its not just north of Londoners who use Stansted, I regularly travel there from Kent. Its about 1 hour 50 mins from my house as opposed to 1 hr 20 to Gatwick. The 30 minutes deficit is often made up in the flight time Stansted to Scotland flights don't suffer from the air traffic control delays that Gatwick and Heathrow do. Stevenage is about 2 hrs 10 mins.
    Security delays are something of a red herring. Most regular (business) travellers will have priority security. I do with both Easyjet and BA. I can't remember an occasion where security took me more than 10 minutes, this is easily absorbed within my contingency time. I allow about 3 hours between home and Stansted maybe 2 hr 45 to Gatwick.
     
  26. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    There are many offices in central Edinburgh, mainly in the "new town" down the hill. Though equally quite a few businesses cluster around the airport, and people will fly when going there regardless.
     
  27. Failed Unit

    Failed Unit Established Member

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    Yep. If there no businesses in the centre Waverley wouldn’t be so busy in the mornings. (Although Haymarket has a big chunk of commuting as well)

    For me i don’t like the nature of flying.

    I include security in the arrivals process. But all the boarding. Can’t work during take off/ landing etc. Get on a train the time is yours until your destination. Many prefer Air for the raw speed.

    As long as the train is comfortable it will do well. Hopefully force the franchise operator to up its game. Bet we won’t see ironing boards on either operator.
     
  28. CosherB

    CosherB On Moderation

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    Why don’t you have a punt at an Anglo-Scottish Pullman service, using all of the spare Mk4 FOs, a couple of kitchen cars and full at-seat service. Should tie-in nicely with your marketing degree at uni - you could use your business plan for your dissertation. What could possibly go wrong?
     
  29. Silver Cobra

    Silver Cobra Member

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    The part I like most about this proposal is the potential increase in direct services from Stevenage to Newcastle and Edinburgh. Currently, there is only one direct service from Stevenage to Edinburgh, which is a very early morning all-stations stopper at 0636 Monday to Saturday. In comparison, there's plenty of direct services from Edinburgh to Stevenage from 1600 onwards, including a fast service at 1630. Until the end of December, there was also an 0720 departure on Saturdays, which was an added stop to an Edinburgh fast service, but that has now changed to calling at Peterborough at 0747. The same also applies to Newcastle. While there are several direct services from late evening onwards, they're no use to anyone wanting to travel in the day. As my local station is Arlesey and the first bus from where I live doesn't reach the station until 0645, I have to travel up to Peterborough to connect to services to Edinburgh/Newcastle. Having an alternative option via Stevenage would be very helpful (I do make use of the current direct evening VTEC services to Stevenage for my return journeys from Edinburgh).

    I've travelled in standard with VTEC several times from Peterborough to Newcastle and Edinburgh, so the standard-only element of this proposal doesn't concern me. I generally book these journeys as standard out first return, so could happily combine the outbound leg with First and the return with VTEC/ICEC.
     
    Last edited: 5 Mar 2018
  30. TT-ONR-NRN

    TT-ONR-NRN On Moderation

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    Marketing degree? I highly doubt it. I did get a 9 in my last GCSE Business Studies mock exam, but even so I doubt I could run a Pullman service. :)
     
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