Grand (?!) Central

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anti-pacer

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I'm currently on the 1113 GC train from Wakefield Kirkgate to King's Cross. Not only is it quite grimy (i.e. in need of a bit of a deep clean), it seems a bit substandard compared to VTEC.

The buffet stocks all of 6 cold sandwiches but lots of hot ones. The cold ones sold out before Doncaster. Apparently the coffee machine isn't working either although I'm sure that's a one off.

These 180's seem to have very narrow aisles too. Are they any narrower than any other IC unit?

Also, the train runs at snail pace all the way to Doncaster. My flat backs onto that line and all GC trains seem to be the same. I checked Realtime Trains and we were about 6 mins early into Doncaster. Surely a faster journey time would be more attractive to passengers and generate them more custom. The line speeds can't be that low.

On a positive note the train is litter free, people are using the bins, we're now speeding through Notts, and they've got free Wi-Fi that works, unlike GWR.
 
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Bletchleyite

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There seems to be something about Arriva and mucky Alstom Coradia units with bits falling off. I had one from Crewe to Chester last week, and it was in an utterly disgusting interior state, with ground in filth, loose window rubbers, rattles and all sorts.
 

anti-pacer

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There seems to be something about Arriva and mucky Alstom Coradia units with bits falling off. I had one from Crewe to Chester last week, and it was in an utterly disgusting interior state, with ground in filth, loose window rubbers, rattles and all sorts.

There's tomato ketchup on the edge of this table and it looks like it's been there a while.
 

Tetchytyke

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Grand Central's first class isn't a patch on VTEC but standard class is about the same. There are plenty of bits falling off the VTEC MkIVs. Linespeed Bradford-Doncaster is low because it is a freight line, and GC are pathed around the freights. VTEC sandwich availability is mixed, but the coffee (when the machine works) is a far superior fresh-ground coffee compared to VTEC's instant pondwater.

You pays your money and you takes your choice.
 

Crossover

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I would have to agree with you about the 180's - they do need a bit of a clean up now and an internal refresh
 

47271

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I use GC quite a bit between London and Sunderland and, so abhorrent are the 180s, I've worked out which services they operate and avoid them like the plague.

This is why VTEC now have my business on the 2000 out of Kings Cross, rather than the slightly earlier GC 180. I'd much rather divert via Newcastle on a newly refurbed HST than vibrate up the ECML in one of those grubby (not so) old rattletraps. If GC switched it for an HST I'd sooner give my money to them than VTEC.
 

yorksrob

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I use GC quite a bit between London and Sunderland and, so abhorrent are the 180s, I've worked out which services they operate and avoid them like the plague.

This is why VTEC now have my business on the 2000 out of Kings Cross, rather than the slightly earlier GC 180. I'd much rather divert via Newcastle on a newly refurbed HST than vibrate up the ECML in one of those grubby (not so) old rattletraps. If GC switched it for an HST I'd sooner give my money to them than VTEC.

Yes, why do they persist with putting inferior stock on that service.
 

fishquinn

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I had one when expecting an HST in August last year and, even though it was only from York to Thirsk and I got an HST back, it was horrid. They are truly awful units (well at least the GC ones are - I haven't tried any other ones) and live up to the nickname that I give them. 'Inadequalante'.
 

Bletchleyite

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I had one when expecting an HST in August last year and, even though it was only from York to Thirsk and I got an HST back, it was horrid. They are truly awful units (well at least the GC ones are - I haven't tried any other ones) and live up to the nickname that I give them. 'Inadequalante'.

They should have been so good, being a 125mph evolution of the excellent-for-its-day Class 156, but I agree they (and the 175s) are utterly terrible - the build quality is appalling and the ride makes me feel sick (the only UK stock to do so).
 

asharpe

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Yes, why do they persist with putting inferior stock on that service.

That train arrives from Bradford and for some reason (I can't recall at the moment why) GC are very reluctant to operate a HST to/from Bradford, although it does very occasionally happen.

I agree the HSTs are far superior but before I got a job in Bradford I used to travel on the GC 180s to cut costs and because they had the advantage of a plug socket available for the aisle seat passenger and much more leg room than
EC Mk3 & 4 carriages.
 

yorksrob

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That train arrives from Bradford and for some reason (I can't recall at the moment why) GC are very reluctant to operate a HST to/from Bradford, although it does very occasionally happen.

I agree the HSTs are far superior but before I got a job in Bradford I used to travel on the GC 180s to cut costs and because they had the advantage of a plug socket available for the aisle seat passenger and much more leg room than
EC Mk3 & 4 carriages.

Yes, they have some good points (when not held in comparison to a HST) and could be made more presentable with a refresh.

I can't help but think that if they can run from Bradford occasionally, they could do it more regularly. It would give those of us in W Yorks the chance to catch one more often anyway !
 

backontrack

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I had one when expecting an HST in August last year and, even though it was only from York to Thirsk and I got an HST back, it was horrid. They are truly awful units (well at least the GC ones are - I haven't tried any other ones) and live up to the nickname that I give them. 'Inadequalante'.

Really? The GWR 180s are great!
 

6Gman

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They should have been so good, being a 125mph evolution of the excellent-for-its-day Class 156, but I agree they (and the 175s) are utterly terrible - the build quality is appalling and the ride makes me feel sick (the only UK stock to do so).

Never used a 180 but have used 175s many, many, many times (twice this week) and they are - in my opinion - magnificent.
 

headshot119

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I dislike those too.

They *might* be acceptable if they were to gut the interior and fully refit with new seats (bolted to the wall as well as the floor) and proper luggage racks. Mind you the ride would still be terrible.

I think you and Fishquinn are the first people I have come across who dislike the 175s.

I've done a lot of journeys on 175s over the years and the ride quality is fantastic, the only improvement I'd make is to bolt the side of the table into the wall rather than just the floor to reduce the vibration.

The HT 180 I travelled on a couple of years ago was very similar in ride quality as well.
 

Parallel

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I enjoy using both 175s and 180s. I've never used a Hull Trains or Grand Central 180 but the GWR ones are fine. ATW's 175s perhaps need a little facelift and a deep clean but in comparison to some of the other stock ATW run (158s excluded), they're not too bad at all.
 

asylumxl

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You're not allowed to bad mouth the 180s in these parts. Many forum members feel they are the best modern intercity stock. Because somehow a Cummins engine with a mechanical transmission, that occasionally sets itself on fire i might add, is better than a Cummins engine DEMU.
 

D6975

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Grand Central's next move rolling stock wise is to get rid of the HSTs and go over to complete 180 operation.
Not going to be too popular judging by the comments of this thread.
I traveled on GC 180 a couple of years ago from KGX to Doncaster and thought it was OK (also the ticket was very cheap).
 

lincolnshire

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Have travelled on Hull Trains & Grand Central,s 180 a few times, myself I like them as they have a good standard of comfort in seating in standard class, plenty of legroom and a feeling of spaciousness inside. Maybe slightly more noisy as against east coast stock, but always found them a good ride quality.

When last on Grand Central didn,t think that they was that scruffy inside as has been suggested earlier.

Travelled on a West Coast Pendolino a few weeks ago from Milton Keynes to Euston and was glad to get off it, was better known as crap. Very plastic interior, seat reasonable comfort but ceiling panels rattle a lot and hated then narrow windows and felt like sitting in a tube. It was at a time when by the time arrived at Euston it was dark so as it was getting dark en route I did begin to actually feel travel sick as was glad to get off. Not my idea of fun to travel on one of them a long distance.

Quite like Javelin stock, very presentable inside, seats ok but more seats inside so less seat pitch.
 

Iskra

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Never used a 180 but have used 175s many, many, many times (twice this week) and they are - in my opinion - magnificent.

I think they're showing their age, they do rattle a lot and have tired interiors. I got an ATW the other week that was flithy and strewn with litter. I mentioned it to the guard hoping I might inspire him to clear the tables of rubbish with a bin liner and he just said 'a cleaner hasn't been on yet' and walked off.

The GC 180's are actively grubby, a lot of the panelling needs a good wipe with a cloth. A deep clean is required. They are rattly and don't ride well at all near the bogies. However, I think they are okay if they aren't busy and I like them if in 1st class but it doesn't really compete with VTEC's 1st offering, even more so when you consider the slower journey time. GC's HST's are fantastic though, so I'll be sad to see them go.
 
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Bletchleyite

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I think you and Fishquinn are the first people I have come across who dislike the 175s.

I really should like them - they have plenty of good features like big windows, good legroom and I find the seats reasonably comfortable. But the atrocious build quality, lack of luggage rack size and poor ride, as well as tables and seats that sway because they are not bolted to the wall, as well as the fact that the TOCs who have them seemingly can't be bothered to maintain the interiors properly, really put me off.

And GWR ruined theirs by adding the dreaded dentist's chair daylight lighting, which was completely unnecessary.

They need a proper, heavy refurb to the standard of the GWR HST (minus the daylight tubes).
 

jimm

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You're not allowed to bad mouth the 180s in these parts. Many forum members feel they are the best modern intercity stock. Because somehow a Cummins engine with a mechanical transmission, that occasionally sets itself on fire i might add, is better than a Cummins engine DEMU.

Since when aren't you allowed to bad mouth 180s? People seems to be doing it in this very thread...

What I think plenty have said is that the 180 bodyshell and passenger environment, combined with what is under the floor of the Voyagers, would be a train of this type that would be hard to beat.

You might add about the odd fire, but when exactly was the last oner? Just in case you've forgotten, flaming Voyagers weren't unknown for a period - notably when Cummins reportedly kept putting one of the engine components back in the wrong way round during overhauls.

I haven't been on the East Coast for some time, so don't know what state GC 180s' interiors are in but they are supposed to be getting one of the GWR ones early - end of this year? - in order to allow their sets to start going into works for an overhaul and interior update - which would fit with what several posts here say is needed.

I use GWR 180s every week and they are in good nick generally. Not being worked as hard as GC and HT ones probably helps. GC passengers should notice the difference straight away when the GWR ones start to move north, assuming the GC interiors are as worn and grubby as indicated here.
 

Bletchleyite

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Interesting you think that of the GWR ones. In my view they are in a poor condition as well. All of them need a full gut and interior rebuild, not just new seat covers.
 

jimm

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I really should like them - they have plenty of good features like big windows, good legroom and I find the seats reasonably comfortable. But the atrocious build quality, lack of luggage rack size and poor ride, as well as tables and seats that sway because they are not bolted to the wall, as well as the fact that the TOCs who have them seemingly can't be bothered to maintain the interiors properly, really put me off.

And GWR ruined theirs by adding the dreaded dentist's chair daylight lighting, which was completely unnecessary.

They need a proper, heavy refurb to the standard of the GWR HST (minus the daylight tubes).

These must be some other trains, because I don't recognise most of what you say here in connection with the GWR sets - bar the luggage racks. The idea that the awful, oppressive GWR HST seats are what the 180s - or any train come to that -need is ridiculous

The 180s' ride could be terrible in early years, compounded by bad track but even then FGW did a lot of work to sort that out, I have never, in a dozen years of using 180s, with a gap in 2009-12, sat in a swaying seat. And I find vibration on Voyagers to be infinitely worse.

In the past three years, since Alstom decided to take an interest in the 180s again after pretty much walking away following delivery, reliability is also greatly improved - just a hell of a lot later than happened with the 175s, because Alstom was maintaining them, so had an incentive to put in the work.
 

asylumxl

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Since when aren't you allowed to bad mouth 180s? People seems to be doing it in this very thread...

What I think plenty have said is that the 180 bodyshell and passenger environment, combined with what is under the floor of the Voyagers, would be a train of this type that would be hard to beat.

You might add about the odd fire, but when exactly was the last oner? Just in case you've forgotten, flaming Voyagers weren't unknown for a period - notably when Cummins reportedly kept putting one of the engine components back in the wrong way round during overhauls.

I haven't been on the East Coast for some time, so don't know what state GC 180s' interiors are in but they are supposed to be getting one of the GWR ones early - end of this year? - in order to allow their sets to start going into works for an overhaul and interior update - which would fit with what several posts here say is needed.

I use GWR 180s every week and they are in good nick generally. Not being worked as hard as GC and HT ones probably helps. GC passengers should notice the difference straight away when the GWR ones start to move north, assuming the GC interiors are as worn and grubby as indicated here.
I was being facetious.
 

Bletchleyite

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These must be some other trains, because I don't recognise most of what you say here in connection with the GWR sets - bar the luggage racks. The idea that the awful, oppressive GWR HST seats are what the 180s - or any train come to that -need is ridiculous

I don't so much mean the seats (which I know are a matter of opinion though I do very much like them) but the quality of the complete strip-out and new interior.
 

johntea

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I like the Grand Central service from Ponte Carlo, as it is literally a link to London on my doorstep and also isn't too hard to nab an £11 ticket on, however I've never found the timings back from London flexible enough for my plans so always end up booking East Coast on the return.

My only issue the last trip was although there were reservation cards in most of the seats, they were blank! Meaning on arrival at Doncaster quite a bit of confusion (They do seem to pick up a surprisingly large passenger load at Doncaster I've noticed, are the fares much cheaper than East Coast from there?)

The staff are friendly and the buy on board ticket policy can be useful when you accidentally lie in and miss your original East Coast booking ;) All the trains I've travelled on have generally been clean and the WiFi actually works!

Used the buffet once for a sandwich and coffee, sandwich was nothing special but the coffee was decent enough for a train. Generally eat and drink before the journey anyway, only 2 hours.
 
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