Go-Ahead won't be losing the GTR franchise

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Surreytraveller, 4 Dec 2018.

  1. The Box Photter

    The Box Photter Member

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    Perhaps they're going to spend £15 million on scatter cushions for the Class 700s to make the travelling experience a little more comfortable. They probably spend £15 million per year on post-it notes and meaningless posters on their trains saying how good things are going to be if we just wait a little longer.

    Or maybe they're buying £15 million worth of jam to give to us tomorrow.
     
  2. Class 403

    Class 403 Member

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    £15 million won't go far in further compensation though which is why I asked what passenger improvements could they get for peanuts which is what £15 million is in railway terms.

    Now you're just being silly....
     
  3. Failed Unit

    Failed Unit Established Member

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    That is the trouble with this “fine” which i use loosely as GTR have really got off lightly (again)

    But how do we know the stuff it gets spent on wasn’t going to happen anyway. On great northern a number of stations have just had new PIS for example. Let’s say this “fine” happened last year they would had said that is how it was spent.

    But would 15m buy a bridge so passengers running between platforms 2&4 at Finsbury Park don’t get caught in the subway scrum during the last minute platform changes.

    I don’t trust GTR. They have lied in the past. So how do we know they will spend anything at all?
     
  4. Class 403

    Class 403 Member

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    £15 million won't be enough for most station infrastructure improvements like that example at Finsbury Park so it likely be quick and easy stuff that they do...
     
  5. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    £15m could certainly mark at least the start of a re-seating project for the 700s. Some carpet on them wouldn’t go amiss either.
     
  6. FOH

    FOH Member

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    Or some dispatch staff at Brockley. Every morning in the rush hour 455s have to be dispatched by the driver walking back and closing the doors one by one.
     
  7. Failed Unit

    Failed Unit Established Member

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    It is a hard one.

    It may not be the same network wide, but the ticket machines are ok (would love one at the other end of the bridge in WGC but that will never happen) pis fit for purpose, station ok cosmetics.

    Other things passengers would love I think are committed anyway such as wi-fi on all trains, seat back tables on the 700s etc.

    Then replacing the 313s won’t cost £15m , be very interesting what it is spent on. When you divide this per station on GTR it won’t get much at all.
     
  8. Class 403

    Class 403 Member

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    Seatback tables on the 700s were meant to be happening anyway, IIRC Siemens asked the DfT if they wanted them and wifi from day 1 to which the DfT said no so we now have the event that wifi is being retro fitted and I think seatback tables are coming or they were back in 2017...

    But you're right that when you divide that money per station on GTR it really isn't much at all.

    As to reseating the 700s, there's next to zero need or chance of that happening and that's being realistic!
     
  9. ChiefPlanner

    ChiefPlanner Established Member

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    That would be a sterling improvement - or repositioning them , as opposed to say a waiting shelter at say Harlington.

    However - A much appreciated improved shelter at West Hampstead , ideally heated , would be a sensible customer benefit. Any one ever waited there late evening ....?
     
  10. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    Just give £5m to me. Then you can fight over the remaining £10m.
     
  11. The Box Photter

    The Box Photter Member

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    No more silly than a £15 million "fine".
     
  12. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    For a company which has made such a monumental mess of what was supposed to be a flagslip programme, I'd suggest users have every right to be silly.

    Having said that, my finger of blame points more towards DFT. It's their idea, their programme, their management contract, their TOC, their trains, their specification, their timetable, etc...
     
  13. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    If they'd just been seated as per the first-class area, they wouldn't be too bad - perhaps with just a little attention paid to creating a slightly more quality ambience - less austere fixtures, and some effort paid to sound deadening. Even in first class the sound of a screaming baby can be heard from 2 carriages away.

    I suppose £15m will pay for a few more station staff. As it is, every GN service seems to have a posse of rowdy GTR staff travelling pass to somewhere or other sitting in the country end - one seriously wonders what proportion of GTR staff time is spend travelling around as opposed to productive work.
     
  14. The Box Photter

    The Box Photter Member

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    Without wanting to turn this into another thread on the appalling 700s, the ambiance could be improved straight away by softening the "operating theatre-style" lighting and warming up the grey-blue-grey interior. It doesn't matter how much GTR get fined, they've no financial interest in making any improvement in the trains and what money they do spend seems to go on putting waiting shelters on the wrong platforms.
     
  15. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    It does seem that there are some units able to dim the saloon lighting. Not sure if it's sensor based or manually adjusted. The colour temperature doesn't change though, obviously.
     
  16. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    I've noticed some are brighter than others, although I can't work out if this is due to dimming or whether some units have brighter lighting installed.

    To be fair, the dimmer version of the lighting isn't *too* bad so long as one is sitting in a window seat and not directly beneath. It's one of the few areas where the trains IMO have a slight (and only slight!) edge on the 365 - although this is only because of the ghastly cheapo LED installation in the 365s. The original lighting in the 365s was superb, as was the lighting installed in the first few refurbished units, before the LEDs started appearing.
     
  17. dk1

    dk1 Established Member

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    I am loving this comment purely for the fact that 'lose' & 'loose' have been used correctly in a sentence. Been a harrowing couple of days on this forum.
     
  18. HH

    HH Established Member

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    Talking of staff on stations, what happened to GTR's plans for ticket office closures (which led to opposition on all fronts)? Last I heard was that they were "piloting" 8 stations, but that was the end of 2016.
     
  19. Fred26

    Fred26 Member

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    Still piloting them, haha. Staff on secondments have had them repeatedly extended. No news otherwise.
    However, they are bringing in new ticket office machines which can be used remotely, so expect GTR to try and close the offices again as soon as they can.
     
  20. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    Put on hold till they had enough management bandwidth to do it (strikes then timetable issues). I'd expect to see it being dusted off in 2019 along with some station "refurbs" including adding lots of newer more functional TVMs.
     
  21. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    Indeed it looks like the money is going to stock refurb programme.
    The "additional" 377 upgrade plan (above current refurb in progress) is called Project Aurora* with budget of £55m and due to start in 2019 and complete by end of 2020. Porterbrook is presumably funding the rest as it then makes them ready for the next franchsies requirements in advance of bidding and the end of the s54 at the end of this franchise.

    * 3 pin and USB sockets, LED lighting, realtime PIS, auto passenger counting, and new /replacement cameras galore (pan, 3rd rail, forward facing etc. all inc. infra-red)
     
  22. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    But surely the government wouldn't want to be seen to be rewarding Govia Thameslink Railway for failing? After all isn't that the reason Chris Grayling gave to the transport select committee for make Virgin Trains East Coast DOR?

    Well they did for VTEC.

    I read it as the DfT has too much control. They want DOO at all costs. I personally want a guard.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 6 Dec 2018
  23. Class 403

    Class 403 Member

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    For once you're right and I DO agree with you for once! The finger of blame ought to be aimed squarely at DfT as it's them who's holding the purse strings, them who tell GTR to jump, them who specified the trains in the first place (who also were asked by Siemens if they were sure on the interior), them who were responsible for the DOO conflict on Southern services by pushing though DOO even though there is no need or want for it on non Metro services etc....

    Don't forget it was them who were ultimately responsible for saying to the Govt that everything would work from Day 1 of the new timetable back in May even when the two previous TOCs to GTR raised issues on driver training etc so as it is as they are largely responsible for the entire mess we find ourselves in, Grayling should really either be demoted to the backbenches or shot for sheer incompetent.

    Any volunteers?

    I agree, the DfT has way too much control and micro manages everything too much even though they say they don't :rolleyes:

    I rather have a guard on board and I'm lucky as services that I use actually have guards on ALL services even if sometimes they are as visible as they can be, most of them are fantastic.

    Far far better then DOO which is fine for Metro operations but not Outer Suburban services or IC.
     
  24. ah-media

    ah-media Member

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    Given that the majority of the stations had increased bandwidth less than 18 months ago and brand new network switches, adding wi-fi is child's play.
     
  25. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    Almost everything that's gone wrong on TSGN is the fault of one branch of the public sector or another (DfT, Network Rail, Grayling)...

    ...and a significant number of enthusiasts and members of the public offer a solution to this - give complete control to the Government by taking the contract back in-house.

    It's like an abusive relationship - the more the Government get wrong on franchises (be it specifying poor trains, insisting on DOO in the franchise bids, not upgrading the infrastructure, cancelling planned investment), the more people want nationalisation (which would put the Government in total control). Amazing!
     
  26. Class 403

    Class 403 Member

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    I agree, the DfT has way too much control and micro manages everything too much even though they say they don't :rolleyes:

    I rather have a guard on board and I'm lucky as services that I use actually have guards on ALL services even if sometimes they are as visible as they can be, most of them are fantastic.

    Far far better then DOO which is fine for Met
    The difference is I know full well that putting the Government in total control won't improve matters and would likely make it worse, there is no easy solution to the mess that the industry finds itself in.

    As the old saying goes, there is too many chefs in the kitchen and that's why we find the industry in chaos!
     
  27. Minstral25

    Minstral25 Established Member

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    GTR said at a recent stakeholders that DfT have stopped retrofitting of Wi-Fi on 700's and no more will be fitted.

    My cynicism is betting that £15m is the price to make those fitments and it will be announced shortly that is where the cash will be spent.
     
  28. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    I wasn't having a go at you personally, sorry if my previous comment came across like that - although I was quoting you I was making a more general point about these kind of threads where the people assessing the situation that Government has caused come to the conclusion that the only answer os MORE GOVERNMENT.

    I'm coming round to the view that the only way to break this up is to allow franchises sufficient risks that one can fail properly but others can succeed - I don't trust the Government to run everything but the current web of "chefs" isn't working either.

    (but, I appreciate I'm going off topic)
     
  29. Class 403

    Class 403 Member

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    It's fine, I was just stating that I agree with your post and was adding my 2p to it as to the only way to break this up I believe the only way this can truly work is with long franchises of 20 years like Chiltern had at the beginning but with the added responsibility that they HAVE to ensure long term projects get completed well within the franchise period.

    By setting out such long franchises, Operators would be more open to investing in their routes and service quality would improve not like the current status quo where franchises last for 5 to 7 years then are put out for bidding again meaning any investment is minimum and just enough to go by.

    For example if the next Southern franchise was let from 2021 to 2041 and they had a good business case to reinstate Uckfield to Lewes then they should be allowed to get on with it equally if Chiltern had a good business case to wire up the Chiltern Mainline and acquire rolling stock then they should be allowed to get on with it all this with minimum DfT oversight so yes the DfT should oversee such projects but if the TOCs have a good business case and they have the funding then they should be allowed to complete such projects.

    I do believe though that such long franchises do need high quality control measures with strict measures to take action if quality drops below a acceptable level which would stop the franchises in question just taking it easy for the period of time.
     
  30. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    I don't see what is wrong with that myself.

    Anyone reading this think it's not a good idea?
     

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