Greater Anglia 2019 - What could possibly go wrong?

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Wivenswold, 9 Dec 2018.

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  1. F Great Eastern

    F Great Eastern Established Member

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    I have used the buffet perhaps twice in the last 3 years.

    Both times were when I was running from a connecting train or from a tube onto a Norwich service when I had no time to pick up anything at the station. There is nothing appealing for me on the GA buffet. I used GWR buffets a bit more when they had them on services to Penzance, but then again that's a longer journey and honestly the food was better.
     
  2. trebor79

    trebor79 Established Member

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    Disagree. It's very useful to be able to buy some breakfast on the train, and I often partake in a cup of tea or coffee and a snack on the way home in the evening.
    Now, when they still had a restaurant car, the breakfasts were something else, but those days are never coming back, regardless of how misty eyed I get.
    This cull is far less swingeing than I feared, although those early morning departures must be very quiet, or I'd have thought the buffet would do quite brisk business.
     
  3. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    Buffets? They should bring back the restaurant service! That was a real treat breakfast until NX got hold of it.

    If done well, it could emcourage tourism to Norwich and Ipswich. I have chosen between trains/destinations to enjoy the nice food sometimes. I doubt I am the only one.
     
  4. HamworthyGoods

    HamworthyGoods Member

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    The kitchens also took up a vast amount of space on what is predominantly a commuter railway. Passengers wanted more seats, hence the conversions of the kitchen area of the buffets into seats.
     
  5. Sleepy

    Sleepy Member

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    The 0500 and 0530 tend to be populated by passengers that mainly want to sleep, the poor sales figures reflect this - 0730 / 0755 return from Liverpool Street has low loadings anyway. Sundays is a strange decision as many services quite busy for catering but obviously seen as easy way to cut costs as it is outside GA working week. The days of catering being part of overall rail longer distance package could be numbered - look at the way GWR gone mainly trolley only ?
     
  6. jamesontheroad

    jamesontheroad Established Member

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    The early morning trains are precisely the ones that depart Norwich before any of the station coffee outlets are open. I have long had a similar beef with the ex-NRW EMT and EMR trains to Liverpool... catch the 05:50 or 06:50 train and I’m gasping for caffeine by the time a trolley boards in Nottingham.

    Is the decision to end Sunday catering influenced by something contractual - do catering staff still get paid more for working Sundays, holidays etc?
     
  7. dk1

    dk1 Established Member

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    Sundays are outside the working week so it is overtime. During the last few years engineering work has seriously affected the GEML and catering revenue reflects this. Everything is sourced from Norwich so has often ended up with none on Sundays depending on the block location. Some staff with booked Sunday then have to be offered additional customer service duties.
     
  8. RailWonderer

    RailWonderer Member

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    It’s ironic how the 5 car GWR 800s that do 5 hour journeys to Plymouth only have a trolley and the 745s have a full buffet for only 1hr 45 min journeys. It’s down to consumer consultant groups, surveys and whether the operator listens to them. The Anglia region has a staunch core that wanted a proper IC route. Why not? 12 cars provide more than enough capacity, it’s useful to have it there, and some people will be willing to use it.
     
  9. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    It is not really ironic. GWR's Cornish and Welsh Intercity customers doing long journeys are outnumbered by Thames Valley commuters in every consultation and even more now that local trains are part of the same franchise. If GA Intercity services stopped at more Essex stations, I expect the new trains would not have buffets either. There seems little wish to balance utility for everyone against crude volume of numbers in railway consultations recently. If it was not law, would PRM access still be improved or would we see numbers used to justify fitting other things in the space instead?
     
  10. eastdyke

    eastdyke Established Member

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    After the questions a rather well written IMO, and probably in many ways realistic, piece by Paul Geater in East Anglian Daily Times today. As befits election day, it is not pointing too hard at GA, although that is the underlying message:
    https://www.eadt.co.uk/ea-life/greater-anglia-problems-1-6417783
     
  11. NoMorePacers

    NoMorePacers Member

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    I happened to go (or at least try to go) onto the two most affected services today with some accomplices (the Intercity and the Rural lines).

    What an utter, utter farce.
     
  12. Panupreset

    Panupreset Member

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    It was another horrific day. Overheads down on Southend line and then big signalling failure at Bethnal Green, 1-12 out of action at Liverpool Street nothing able to use the main or suburban for about an hour.
     
  13. Panupreset

    Panupreset Member

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    It was another horrific day. Overheads down on Southend line and then big signalling failure at Bethnal Green, 1-12 out of action at Liverpool Street nothing able to use the main or suburban for about an hour.
     
  14. Geswedey

    Geswedey Member

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    RE catering, Don't forget that Stansted Express sets will operate on some Norwich Liverpool Street services to enable them to access Crown Point for maintenance, The 0500 from Nrw was certainly expected to be a STEX unit when I worked for GA
     
  15. Bikeman78

    Bikeman78 Member

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    Yes it arrives platform 8 at 0654 and forms the 0725 Stansted. Meanwhile the 0708 arrival from Stansted arrives on platform 9 and forms the 0730 Norwich. Preumably the latter will be a Norwich line set that has spent the night in London.
     
  16. jamesontheroad

    jamesontheroad Established Member

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    An unsubstantiated tweet from someone (in reply to something from Richard Clinnick) made the following statement yesterday:

    Problems after problems with #greateranglia another problem simmering in the background is the problems with #NCP and parking at its stations
    Would anyone care to share any further insight into what might be happening?
     
  17. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    Car park charge increases are announced in a few weeks. Last year some increased 25% in places with no improvements and now-home-minister Priti Patel accused GA of holding drivers "hostage" because everyone has to drive to trains of course. What increase is coming this year?

    Also, Automated Number Plate Readers were introduced last year so maybe there are disputes about to reach public court by now?
     
  18. samuelmorris

    samuelmorris Established Member

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    NCP also increased the price of my station car park by 25% but that isn't a GA station, so it's not explicitly a GA problem really, it's just another frustrating hit to commuters.
     
  19. eastdyke

    eastdyke Established Member

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    Probably along the lines of the disproportionate costs of using Station Car parks compared to using those provided locally by other Authorities.
    eg Bishops Stortford:
    https://www.bishopsstortfordindepen...arking-for-commuters-at-town-station-9093427/
     
  20. Shunter_69

    Shunter_69 Member

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    Could even be the fact car park season ticket holders are getting fines through the post.
     
  21. JW16

    JW16 Member

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    Sorry if off topic - can re-post elsewhere if so. We are thinking about moving to Billericay. What’s the train service like into Liverpool St from there? Good odds of getting a seat in the morning peak?
     
  22. samuelmorris

    samuelmorris Established Member

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    I'm not too sure, I have used the service from Shenfield which is the next station down and certainly there aren't any seats to be had there, but there aren't many people standing when it arrives, so you might be alright. What's noteworthy is that when the delayed 720s finally arrive, the seating capacity will significantly increase on this route. I'd expect that after 720s are fully introduced, you should have good odds of getting a seat at Billericay but I wouldn't want to guarantee it.
     
  23. trebor79

    trebor79 Established Member

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    Dunno but the parking is a weird set up. Run by NCP but if you want to pay online (say you've had to dash to get on the train) you end up not on NCPs site but some dreadful "system" branded as something I forget. It's horrendously difficult to use and very buggy. Last time I tried the location reference provided at the car park didn't work and it was only extreme perseverance that I found it through some obtuse route. Dreadfully set out 1990s style website.
    There as some incident a few weeks ago where nobody was able to pay at either the machines or online or by phone. Suggestion from GA was you might get a fine so appeal it and all will be well. I can see that process annoying lots of people and falling over too...
     
  24. samuelmorris

    samuelmorris Established Member

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    I had that happen with TfL's NCP car park, the appeal was also refused, but I ended up paying £60 rather than taking court action as at the time I couldn't be bothered. Frustrating but almost every other car in the car park also had a sticker on it that day so I guess a lot of people also got hit by it...
     
  25. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    And at no point did anyone at NCP think from the high number of stickers there might be a problem - or more likely, they decided to try it at £60 each time! Is there no law for car parks like Penalty Fare stations where if there is no way to pay before boarding that you can pay after?
     
  26. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    Why? That seems like a totally stupid thing to do to the best paying most loyal customers.
     
  27. samuelmorris

    samuelmorris Established Member

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    They absolutely would but went ahead with it anyway. I imagine the enforcement officer is commissioned, he's there every day without fail now so must earn a fair amount of fines. There will be laws about it, but only about appealing fines. Depends how far you want to take it.
     
  28. 306024

    306024 Established Member

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    You did remember sub-consciously, it is called Dash. I have the app on my phone for the odd times I use a GA car park. It seems to work OK for me but is a bit clunky.

    I wonder how many get caught out by these new number plate recognition cameras too. If you drive to pick someone up, then find their train is late, the only way to avoid getting charged for outstaying your welcome is to drive out and then back in again nearer the time the train is due and hoping it isn't further delayed.

    Given how long the queues can be to get out of some GA car parks, a split second misjudgement could be expensive.
     
    Last edited: 4 Jan 2020
  29. Shunter_69

    Shunter_69 Member

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    It was an issue with their system. Don’t think it was intentional. Some staff have had the same problem.
     
  30. swills

    swills Established Member

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    There was one at Colchester, he has paid £1800 up front for a premier space, he too has been 'ticketed' !
     
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