GN Class 717

jon0844

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I might be imagining it but I think the 717s are more consistently warm inside compared to the 313s which is appreciated in this weather. Certainly a lot drier with no condensation on the windows.
Definitely not imagining it. Much, much nicer inside. Amazingly some people are complaining the trains are too warm on Twitter!
 
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Failed Unit

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Definitely not imagining it. Much, much nicer inside. Amazingly some people are complaining the trains are too warm on Twitter!
Not surprised really. I bet they haven’t taken their coats off. Even the 313s were variable. Some freezing others with heating full blast.

Big pluses, no condensation and the doors not open for the entire turnaround.
 

jon0844

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Not surprised really. I bet they haven’t taken their coats off. Even the 313s were variable. Some freezing others with heating full blast.

Big pluses, no condensation and the doors not open for the entire turnaround.
I'm yet to be on one that's too hot. Of course if you dress for -1 outside and then board, it's going to feel hot. I doubt anyone wants the temperature to be balanced though!
 

Failed Unit

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Neither have I on any of GTRs modern trains. Yes i have had the situation you describe above, brisk walk to the station in winter clothes. But normally by Hatfield after taking off my Jacket it is fine.

the doors closing themselves certainly is a big plus. Although the terminators are not on platform for long. Long enough if the wind is blowing.
 

Mikey C

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On a rammed train, taking off coats isn't always practical. That's why on short distance trains I prefer the temperature to be lower
 

Peter Sarf

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On a rammed train, taking off coats isn't always practical. That's why on short distance trains I prefer the temperature to be lower
I would not say lower !. Really I think the best is if the temperature is nearer to around say 18 deg C. So in winter the train is a bit warmer than outside and in summer the train may be a bit cooler than outside. But not a big difference. Drastic differences in temperature are very uncomfortable, quite exhausting for the body to adapt to and require the removal (or adding in summer) of clothes. Indeed when I travel on really hot days I make sure I take a long sleeved jacket as I am bound to encounter rather cold conditions on a modern train, coach or even plane.
 

TRAX

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19 degrees is the "official" standard temperature for houses, buildings, and vehicles. It’s the temperature the body likes the most when switching between outdoors and indoors, regardless of the temperature outside.
 

bramling

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So many problems yesterday it was hard to know why any particular service was delays. I think we had.

1. failed 717 early morning
2. Failed freight train on loop.
3. Animals on line in Cambridge branch.
4. Multiple failed 700s in core.

service felt very 2018 yesterday. But not had a day that bad for a long time.
Every time I travel the service seems to be disrupted, especially if not using the 365 services, and even then one often finds the service busier than it should be because the train(s) in front are delayed or cancelled - one day last week I think it was the preceding *four* services cancelled.

The service is simply not reliable nor dependable, but we shouldn’t be surprised by this as it was entirely predictable. Just recently had a friend down from up north “why are your trains always so unreliable?”. Hard to answer that without referring to ShamblesLink/.
 

bramling

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Must have got hardened up to it. But the last 2 months (except Fridays) are as good as I have known the service since 2018.
It was sort of improving, but the outers are still simply not at the point where one can turn up at the station and rely on a given service arriving on time. Unlike the Midland side where everything is 4tph, GN users still rely on a timetable as everything is 2tph.

The inners (and I include KX-Cambridge 2Cxx in that) have the potential to run smoothly as on paper the timetable is quite well written and robust, with some services having quite generous turnaround times - for example the 2Cxx services getting 31 minutes at King’s Cross through much of the day.

The elephant in the room is of course the Thameslink element, both the likelihood of accruing late running and the total lack of ability to recover in a reasonable timescale and without measures which are highly inconvenient (last week on one day four consecutive 9Sxx up services were run non-stop from Cambridge to London, in at least two of the cases all the time saved by the missed stops being lost again due to congestion in the Hitchin-Welwyn segment)...
 

Dave W

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Tonight's 2G19 has given up at Bowes Park. I'm on G25 behind which lost 20 minutes to it - I assume they were working out what to do with it, but I don't think there's a berth in the reversing siding (despite what OTT's map says) so couldn't see if that meant calling in a favour with LNER to shift something else in there.

Any idea what's caused it? Reliability of the 717s has been pretty solid for me - not sure if that is borne out in the data?
 

tofl

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Saw on Twitter today one passenger reporting 717002 had a leak from the ceiling in vehicle 454.

That was 313 party trick in heavy rain.
I felt a drop on me the other day, only one mind you. Couldn't see anything obvious above me. I don't even think it was raining at the time. Could it be the air conditioning?
 

Mcq

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Time for Xmas shopping - trains from WH north 13:43 then 15:13.
All the investment and forbearance of passengers - then no drivers!
Time to shred the rotas and start again?
Merry Xmas to all on the forum.
 

Mcq

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Another Saturday and no train crews to be seen at this hour - HN loop 2016hrs.
New trains, Platform 5 Stevenage, no drivers anybody any thoughts?
 

tofl

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Well the driver recruitment and training program was meant to have completed in September. Not sure if that happened or not and not sure if the target number of drivers is sufficient to run the weekend/bank holiday service GN are contracted to run without relying on driver overtime. It seems to an outsider a slightly odd business model - why wouldn't GN employ more drivers and not have to pay anyone overtime? Surely it would cost them the same, or less (assuming they get fined by the DFT for breaking their franchise commitments). Perhaps if you didn't offer overtime then you'd struggle to recruit drivers, though this seems unlikely.
 

Mcq

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You write well - the fault finding team need to examine this problem urgently - most people who have managed teams of staff have had to crunch this sort of issue.
 

bramling

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Well the driver recruitment and training program was meant to have completed in September. Not sure if that happened or not and not sure if the target number of drivers is sufficient to run the weekend/bank holiday service GN are contracted to run without relying on driver overtime. It seems to an outsider a slightly odd business model - why wouldn't GN employ more drivers and not have to pay anyone overtime? Surely it would cost them the same, or less (assuming they get fined by the DFT for breaking their franchise commitments). Perhaps if you didn't offer overtime then you'd struggle to recruit drivers, though this seems unlikely.
There’s massive benefits in relying on overtime as it means the headcount can be reduced, which gives massive savings on all the fixed costs associated with drivers, not least the lengthy training period where drivers are paid a training wage but perform zero actual productive work, right down to not having to provide essentials like uniform.

So what if a few weekend punters on a shopping jolly get inconvenienced once in a while, in the grand scheme of things the industry doesn’t give a toss about them.
 

387star

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So how does London Underground/Overground do it?
I was told by a driver that worked for them that their training is really organised and they can pass you out in well under a year

Thameslink.had trainees training for TWO YEARS SIX MONTHS with most of that time waiting for DIS

DIS were held up with trainees who couldn't drive the 700s till very late in their training so the DI drove
 

tofl

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If it's really the case that relying on overtime has financial benefits to the TOC, and it sounds plausible, then either the DFT needs to impose stiffer penalties for the kind of cancellations we sometimes see, or simply relax the requirements for weekend services so they are achievable. But I certainly don't remember seeing quite the same number of cancellations on other routes. Just in my little world, trains starting from Hertford North are often cancelled on weekends, almost never those from Hertford East. What accounts for that different between GN and GA?
 

Mikey C

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Quite often by having shed loads of cancellations, especially at weekends. Naturally LU cancellations aren’t quite so noticeable as in most cases people don’t turn up for particular trains at timetable times.
e.g. this Tweet this morning

@northernline
Severe delays due to a temporary unavailability of train operators.
 

bramling

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If it's really the case that relying on overtime has financial benefits to the TOC, and it sounds plausible, then either the DFT needs to impose stiffer penalties for the kind of cancellations we sometimes see, or simply relax the requirements for weekend services so they are achievable. But I certainly don't remember seeing quite the same number of cancellations on other routes. Just in my little world, trains starting from Hertford North are often cancelled on weekends, almost never those from Hertford East. What accounts for that different between GN and GA?
I can think of a couple of possible factors:

GA doesn’t have an Intercity operator literally on the doorstep, that’s always a potential problem as Intercity work is generally regarded as preferable for a number of reasons (more glamorous, less hassle).

Also GA hasn’t attempted to massively increase the number of services. Pretty much everything on GN has gone up, at the same time as three new fleets. Clearly they didn’t have the building blocks in place for all this.

In answer to t he point about the DFT, quite simply they don’t give a toss about weekend cancellations. Until people make more of a fuss then it’s simply not a politically salient issue.
 

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