Great Northern Class 700 diagrams?

Discussion in 'Allocations, Diagrams & Timetables' started by JonathanPrince, 11 Oct 2017.

  1. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    Stevenage is CD/RA for for up to 8-car but 12-car is and always has been manual dispatch as far as I am aware. Given that only 12-car 700s are running at the moment they are manual dispatch.
     
  2. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    I agree with this. This is a key commuter train for GTR being operated by a new style train. You'd expect them to pull out all the stops to make sure it ran correctly.
     
  3. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    How many have been cancelled since their introduction? Is it that much of a regular thing?
     
  4. sefton

    sefton Member

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    Too many times, just look at this thread!

    And none of the cancellations have been for particularly good reasons which with a bit of planning couldn't have been avoided or dealt with efficiently once they occurred.
     
  5. Failed Unit

    Failed Unit Established Member

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    This will have the answer.
    http://www.recenttraintimes.co.uk/

    Seems to be a frequent cancellation.
     
  6. Skimble19

    Skimble19 Established Member

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    All I will say about this morning is it was apparently to do with taxis up to the sidings again...

    It should be expected that some services will be cancelled like this during the introduction phase (in an ideal world they wouldn’t but we are where we are!), see the somewhat bumpy introduction of 387s onto GN and you’ll realise this isn’t that bad, at least not yet anyway.
    As said, 12 cars, VTEC and Hull Trains are dispatched using bats.. everything else is with CD/RA.
     
  7. APUK002

    APUK002 Member

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    Oh right,ok,so when 8 car 700’s start,they will use cd/ra indicators as normal?
     
  8. sefton

    sefton Member

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    I am not sure it should be expected, especially for something trivial like a taxi.
     
  9. Fred26

    Fred26 Member

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    Correct.
     
  10. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    Of course it shouldn’t be expected. If the arrangements aren’t robust enough, which very clearly they aren’t, there should either be contingency plans (prepared and crewed 365s available, paid for by the Thameslink Programme), or the trains shouldn’t be being let loose - the latter being something many GN users would probably like anyway.

    Cancelling any service because the arrangements are flaky is simply not acceptable, especially key morning peak services. If the powers that be, with years of preparation, can’t even manage to run four services per day reliably, what hope is there? Thameslink levels of performance coming to GN, just as predicted. Just like the timetable will fall apart when, or if, it comes in as planned.
     
  11. sefton

    sefton Member

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    Perhaps the issue is the lack of anyone actually being held to account for these avoidable failures.

    In a normal commercial situation someone who made these same repeated mistakes would have their services dispensed with.
     
  12. sefton

    sefton Member

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    This morning the onboard displays on the 6.56 are helpfully telling Great Northern customers that "This train is not in service".

    Perhaps we should get off.
     
  13. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    It's a trap!

    Actually, if everyone else gets off then that solves the seating problems!
     
  14. causton

    causton Established Member

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    Read somewhere that when messages like that are added to the screen by the driver, it is not immediately obvious the messages are being shown and it is not easy to remove them. I had the same on a Luton - Sutton train that had come ECS from Bedford. Especially if a different driver added the message or the driver forgets they put it on it is easy to end up with it showing until someone points it out!
     
  15. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    Passengers are already moving to non 700 operated services because they don’t like them.

    GTR will ten say there are more than enough seats on the 700s....
     
  16. APUK002

    APUK002 Member

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    Thanks ok.
     
  17. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Which would of course be true. If the few remaining class 365s become too full and passengers can't even board them, they will be grateful for the class 700s.
     
  18. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    Or they will just switch to going by car. My season ticket runs out in six days time, and as things stand at the moment I'm not planning to renew it. Actually I would probably make a saving on daily tickets anyway, but it's just the hassle of having to visit a manned booking office every day that puts me off. I've been using the car more and more frequently anyway, and am doing my journey in basically the same timings. If the railway can't or won't offer a quality product then people don't have to use it, especially outside the peaks.

    The idea that anyone will be grateful for a class 700 is laughable for all but inner-suburban journeys. The only people would be grateful for them to turn up are Booths of Rotherham.
     
    Last edited: 25 Nov 2017
  19. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    As usual you have misunderstood (accidentally or possibly deliberately) to continue your tirade against class 700s per se.
    Some who have the option may change to road transport as with any journey but I doubt whether it would make any noticeable difference to passenger volumes after 3 months when:
    a) may of them will have become bored/tired/frustrated with driving or bus riding
    b) if a significant number were to switch to road, congestion may become an issue making such a change as a fit of pique look like a self-defeating gesture. Car parking at London railheads certainly isn't easy when the commuters have filled most of the places so if your idea of leisure travelling to London is back on the cars it won't last for long.
    c) those who can't just switch will continue to wait for trains and your postulation that they would prefer to wait on platforms letting two or three trains leave without them because they are too full to board is laughable. There are plenty on the MML who had to regularly put up with that who are now greatful for the additional capacity that the class 700s are bringing to the TL service.​
    You should note that just because a few have complained about the class700's seats/colour of walls/lack of tables etc., they are in a minority and when they realise that their whingeing won't change anything most of them will just get on with their lives.
    You of course are free to change your travel arrangements at will, so good luck when your season ticket expires.
     
  20. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    I’m not against the objectives the 700s are trying to achieve, just the way they’ve implemented it.

    We could’ve had a 365 style interior with almost as much standing room had it have been done properly. Instead we got a bargain basement interior.

    Things like table back seats demonstrate this. We were told we can’t have them as they’ll add too much weight and slow down boarding times. Now they’re having to be retrofitted due to passenger feedback, presumably at much more cost than if they’d have got it right first time.

    Sadly, it’s all predictable...
     
  21. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Posters who are (presumably) in the know about the modelling done to generate the original requirements and ultimately held responsible for their part in their implementation have explained why such things as the lack of table and power sockets were included. At least one of those members no longer posts on this topic but I must presume that they were giving a candid picture when they were. It may be that those assumptions were erring on the cautious side, (given that the primary reason for spending a total of £6.5bn on the TL project was to handle exceptional passenger volume on limited infrastructure). If that aim was compromised by minor decisions just being wrong, there would be heads rolling when the full core service starts.
    The recent decision to fit tables was a politically rather than engineering driven one so it remains to be seen what impact it has on dwell times and seat occupancy. The issue of seats too firm/tall/narrow is a more generic one not limited to class700s as I'm sure we will see when the GA Aventras arrive. The Fainsa seats meet all the H&S requirements where many of the types used in the past probably wouldn't and a better posture is something that plane seats have despite complaints from their users. As for other features of the class700 cars, the only one that I can see could have been avoided was the trunking along the sides. That probably wouldn't be cheap though as I believe the design of the body sides relies on that trunking for rigidity and changing it would not only be a complete rebuild but the cantilever arrangemner of the seats would also change possible to a less practical arrangement. In my opinion, the trains don't look like a 'bargain basement' design as they are designed to do a very specific set of jobs. So far, the failures in service have been less than many other types and those issues have been relatively minor given that aspects of the infrastructure they are designed to work with aren't complete yet. There's also the frequent misreporting of failures both by the TOC and often by posters here just looking to chalk up (yet) another groan about any aspect of the class, later to be uncharacteristically silent when the real reason emerges (e.g. taxis for drivers, passenger door releases, other trains failing causing their journey termination, etc..
    I don't know what isses the class365s have had since introduction but there can't be many train types introduced without design features that didn't upset one group or another. the class365s may have served the GN requirement until now but the class700s will be in service 20 years after the Networker derivatives have been cascaded to less demanding duties or even scrapped.
     
  22. sefton

    sefton Member

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    If you actually asked the people who have to use these appalling trains for an hour and half every day I doubt you would find anyone who considered them acceptable, let alone an improvement.

    For a 20 minute journey, fine. But these trains are being used on moderate distance journeys where most customers are on the train for 50 minutes+.

    The seats are shockingly bad. They are squeezed together so you are pressed against the person next to you. And all to give more aisle space that isn't needed or used.

    The floorspace of the window seat is badly compromised by the lump that runs along at floor level. That is just bad design.

    And that is before you get to lack of knee space causing problems for taller customers, no tables (again a 50+ minute journey where people want to work, prop a tablet, put a coffee), and the park bench comfort.

    Will customer's "whingeing" change anything and will they continue to use them; of course they will because they have no choice.

    However it doesn't mean that these trains are fit for the services they are being used on, and anyone who thinks they are clearly doesn't have to suffer them.
     
  23. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    FWIW the 365s are having a fair few problems now, although they may not be reported because the issues rarely take the train out of service.

    The doors are quite often not locking properly (with the hustle alarm getting stuck on, and obviously no interlock), requiring platform staff to give them a shove and if that doesn't work then the driver has to get out and have a go. And if that doesn't work, as has been the case a few times, then the driver needs to get on and pull the doors closed and lock them out of use (much to the annoyance of passengers in the vestibule who are now on a packed train and can't get off through those doors anymore).

    On top of that, the driver now has to squeeze through to get off at another set of doors to go back to the cab and proceed.

    This is no doubt causing a lot of 2-3 minute delays that have knock on effects.

    I believe the cold weather may have something to do with the increase in problems, and if that's the case then look forward to fun in the next few months.
     
  24. Failed Unit

    Failed Unit Established Member

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    Agreed. I don’t think these people are in the minority. Remember this is the 2nd decrease in capacity forced on Great Northern in the last year.

    Had 12 coach trains replaced 8 coach and 8 coach trains replaced 4 coaches people may be happier.

    I don’t know anyone on great northern that is happy with the 700s. A few like the 387s but that is more the air - conditioning than the reduction in seats.

    Personally the 700s can come soon enough at the weekends so we no longer have put up with 4 coaches. But it amazes me that people on other lines thinks we should be happy with this race to the bottom. The existing Thameslink line has a much more frequent service.

    As for if i think our moaning will make any difference of course i don’t. We are still suffering the last cutbacks with nothing planned to even bring back the capacity we have lost. (In fact the only plans cut more capacity). However I am also having doubts if Welwyn Garden City will ever see any benefits of the Thameslink programme. Delayed by 1 year, but the question for us is will it ever happen? Or will come 2020 they decide 24 trains per hour is the impossible dream. Hopefully if that happens we can keep the trains with more capacity.
     
  25. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    The 365s have had remarkably few issues since introduction. They were very well received by passengers, such that WAGN's 317s were refurbished in a manner which aimed to replicate them as far as possible. The only issue I can recall was they were limited to 80mph for a while after their immediate introduction, if I remember correctly due to issues with traction motor mountings or similar. This was resolved quickly and the trains then settled down to two decades of comfortable and reliable service, being exceptionally heavily utilised over the years, especially as the fleet has often been a unit or two down due to repeated level crossing collisions on the Kings Lynn line. For a fleet where most units are outstabled overnight, the level of reliability is very creditable indeed.

    In 20 years of near-daily use, I can recall two occasions when I've been delayed as a result of a 365 failure. Once was on a down train early in the morning which had a defective speedometer, which was resolved by sending a fitter out to Finsbury Park allowing the train to remain in service after a 10-minute delay, and the other occasion was when the traction locked out in Gasworks Tunnel, which again was resolved by the driver in about 10 minutes by identifying and isolating a defective traction package. Ironically, in less than a year I've already been delayed more by issues on 387s, despite trying to avoid them where possible!

    To be fair, it can be quite common to get 365s with motors isolated, although generally this doesn't cause too much of a performance impact.

    The original interior scheme and layout was better, although it's still not bad. The only thing I'd change would be redesigning the windows so they are less prone to slamming open and closed in tunnels and when passing other trains, and perhaps finding a way of engineering a half-open position to reduce draughts. There's already a way of doing this with a piece of rolled-up newspaper wedged in the right place. I wouldn't even bother about air conditioning - the 387s in particular are rather airless at times.
     
    Last edited: 25 Nov 2017
  26. sefton

    sefton Member

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    Exactly, the 365s (or even the 387s) are comfortable for a 50 minute journey.

    The 700s are quite simply horrible for anything more than a short hop.

    What on earth was anybody thinking when they were specified?
     
  27. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    The whingeing, as you put it, has already achieved changes in the form of tables being added to the 700s - something some people said would never happen. Needless to say expense would have been saved had the design incorporated this from the start.

    As for the rest, lots of ifs. Not being able to board trains may be something common at St. Albans, but it's not common on GN at all, and never has been. The only time it really happens is if a 4-car trains turns up, or during disruption. There is much more of an issue on some of the inner-suburban services, particularly on the Hertford line. A lot of the predicted growth now looks to be in doubt, although it's still too early to tell if we're looking at a blip or the start of a trend. Maybe those little Englander brexiteers knew what they were voting for after all? ;)
     
  28. Failed Unit

    Failed Unit Established Member

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    You mean like at every weekend as GTR can’t be arsed to accommodate the existing weekend demand. 700s will be welcome then. (But 8 coach trains more welcome of any other type)
     
  29. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    Indeed. Weekends are a separate issue, as there's no technical reason why longer trains couldn't have been running for years. As you say, GTR (and FCC and WAGN) basically can't be arsed. Lengthening to 8 cars and then coming up with an alternative arrangement for Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton is more than feasible. That alternative arrangement could be a shuttle service, or a separate 4-car Cambridge-London service perhaps running fast from Hitchin to London. It certainly doesn't need Thameslink Programme to solve this one!
     
  30. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    Weekend travel is certainly not a very pleasurable experience, which is a shame given Super off-peak tickets are pretty damn good value (even more so with a railcard). Poor service frequency, short trains and cancelled services (which massively impacts the service frequency and makes the short trains even worse). It's quite surprising people travel at all on a Sunday, and it shouldn't be like that.

    I have often gone from St Albans because you have neither of those issues.
     

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