GWR Intercity Express Train (IEP) initial diagrams & allocations

Discussion in 'Allocations, Diagrams & Timetables' started by jimm, 29 Aug 2017.

  1. jimm

    jimm Established Member

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    I do love the way that the instant anyone sights a short-formed train or two, up they pop here to claim that this is a 'regular' occurrence.

    Yet when we go for days without any short-forms, we hear not a peep out of them noting that things are running as planned.

    Why is this?

    Some of us know short-forms on FGW/GWR are nothing new - just that the robbing of HSTs from Oxford/Cotswold services in the past went unnoticed in all the places those HSTs then got sent off to, replacing a failed set.

    But this short-forming was noticed by passengers on the services worked by a Turbo or 180 instead - with the Turbos usually secured by shortening a Thames Valley suburban service as well.

    On this topic, the 16.22 from Paddington to Great Malvern appears to have given up its booked nine-car set (seen on the diagram in the morning) for a five-car today - presumably somewhere else got the nine-car instead.

    Of the IETs remaining to go into service, almost all are nine-car 802s, which might just have an impact on the odds of short-forming happening once they are in use.
     
  2. cactustwirly

    cactustwirly Established Member

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    And they're supposed to replacing more HSTs next month as well...
     
  3. Thunderer

    Thunderer Member

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    A comprehensive reply thank you, but with all due respect, my question was why is this still happening? Are there still technical problems? Is it weather related? Are Stoke Gifford and North Pole struggling to turn units around in time for the morning services? My point was not critisism, but just curiosity as to why, for example, today was quite bad (at least 4 services short formed to 5 coaches today) and other days there are no short formed services, its very inconsistent...
     
  4. jimm

    jimm Established Member

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    Breakdowns don't tend to occur predictably, do they? There are bound to be teething troubles with a large fleet of new and technically complicated trains. If a set decides not to play ball at Swansea at 5am and the nearest spare one is at Stoke Gifford, then something is going to have to give, unfortunately.

    It's not just IETs either. The odd HST is also sitting down and dying on occasion and needs to be replaced - which gets us back to the old one of is a five-car IET better than no train at all?
     
  5. Thunderer

    Thunderer Member

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    Is the design Too technical perhaps? Over Complex? Same as modern cars, there is too much technology in them now which can be counter productive, that in itself is another debate, are we too reliant today on modern day technologies? Of course there are teething troubles with any new fleet of transport, but the IET was on test practically 2 years before introduction and on the WR they have now been running for around 15 months, so you would think a lot of the issues would now be resolved? Indeed HST's (like anything mechanical) fail from time to time (more understanably now because of their age) but in over 40 years of train travel all over the country, I have never had a HST not turn up when booked because its totally failed or totally fail en-route (I have had them working on just one power car) perhaps I've been lucky? I have though had the unfortunate experience of catching a 5 vice 10 IET between Cardiff and Swindon and I was left standing, it really is not a pleasant experience, especially as I had a seat booked in the other unit which was missing. I complained to GWR and got a full refund and I guess I was not the only one that day. For me I do think more 9 car IET's should have been built to comfortably cover all Cardiff/Swansea/Bristol/Plymouth/Penzance/Cheltenham services, with a small number of dedicated 5 car IET's for Oxford and Bedwyn services. We have the IET for the next 27 years plus and its very possible passenger numbers will significantly increase in that time, so much so I can see most if not all of the 5 car units strengthened over time.
     
  6. Phil G

    Phil G Member

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    I've had an HST fail mid journey in the late 90s, so fresh out of works you could smell the paint. Brakes locked on just before Swindon then twice before Didcot with the train going no further. So it's not just IETs. Ok that's one example in 40 years!
     
  7. Dren Ahmeti

    Dren Ahmeti Member

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    What about the HST that failed spectacularly the other day, just outside of Westbury, and had to be hauled back in by another? :idea:
     
  8. irish_rail

    irish_rail Member

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    Still exceptionally rare certainly not something I've ever come across working HSTs.
     
  9. jimm

    jimm Established Member

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    I've already explained why people in certain parts of GW-land never saw the impact of broken HSTs.

    I've tried and, not surprisingly, sometimes failed to get on board trains where a two-car Turbo appeared instead of an HST, so if you think a five-car IET was bad, how do you think it was on a two-car Turbo in those situations?

    Do you travel much on Cotswold Line or Cheltenham services outside the peaks? Or west of Penzance? Cornwall, of course, being the true home of GW portion working of express services for a very long time. Services to Cardiff and Bristol aren't exactly thronged with people off-peak much of the time either.

    Without the five-car IETs, there would not be an hourly service for London-Cheltenham on the way, as opposed to the current two-hourly HSTs with a dmu to Swindon in between - and when FGW had all 14 Class 180s on its books, they worked most of the off-peak trips to Cheltenham, as well as Oxford and Cotswold services, not HSTs. Nor would there be four off-peak trains for Bristol coming soon if there weren't any 2x5 sets to split between the peaks.

    The IET fleet is providing a substantial increase in capacity already - how about actually waiting to see what happens once all the trains are in service and the new timetables are in place?
     
  10. Thunderer

    Thunderer Member

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    Indeed valid points there, I get it and that was my suggestion, 5 car IEP's should have been concentrated primarily on Oxford, Bedwyn and off peak cotswold services and off peak Bristols and the DFT should have procured more 9 car IET's for the main core of Bristol/Cardiff/Paignton/Plymouth and Penzance. I will wait and see what happens when every unit is in service under a new timetable. Indeed, I do travel across a lot of the GWR network on quite a regular basis,
     
  11. VT 390

    VT 390 Member

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    Every time I travel on GWR Oxford services at 5 carriages they always seam to be full, especially if they have come from the Cotswolds (last time I got the 09:54 from Great Malvern to Paddington it was full and standing by Hanborough).
     
  12. jimm

    jimm Established Member

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    I don't know what you think constitutes a 'small number' of five-car trains but when FGW had all 14 Class 180s on its books, that was never enough for all the work they were suited to at the time. A fleet of two dozen sets would probably have been nearer the mark, which is two-thirds of the number of five-car Class 800s and almost half the total number of five-car 800s and 802s.

    With the extra services planned for Cheltenham, the enhanced frequency already largely in place on the Cotswold Line, Bristol off-peak extras, London-Bedwyn, the two-hourly London-Exeter semi-fasts and the services west of Swansea, the new timetable creates a sizeable requirement for five-car sets.

    At the same time, there is also a requirement for high-capacity trains between Oxford and London year-round, where the trains are carrying far more people than ever travel between Paignton and London - or Penzance. The sequence of half-hourly late afternoon express services from Oxford towards London requires nine-car sets, not just the morning peak trains going that way, or the trains coming out of London in the late afternoon and early evening.

    While various people keep saying that GWR just 'should' run nine-car trains to and from Penzance year-round, or that the people of the West Country are a 'special breed', I have not seen a single evidence-based point posted here to explain why portion working of some expresses should not make a return in Cornwall.
     
  13. Mintona

    Mintona Established Member

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    All that can really be done is to wait and see after the new timetable has had a few months to bed in and see how things are. I’m sure tweaks will then be made accordingly to things that don’t work so well. The only real way to find out is through real world testing.

    I’m very interested to read through the timetable when it is released, I’m sure Clarence Yard is working very hard on it as I type :)
     
  14. Clarence Yard

    Clarence Yard Member

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    No, I'm not a GWR train planner or diagrammer - that's for the GWR TPU to sort out!

    The first thing that has to happen is the shape of the December 2019 timetable and what NR are prepared to let GWR have. If any of the new services can't be accommodated, that will alter station stops and train formations on the remainder. Even the platforming space at Paddington at certain times could have an effect on train formations.
     
  15. jeyer

    jeyer Member

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    I was trying to find a wheelchair accessible Pullman Dining train from Paddington and when I called GWR's assistance booking line to try to book a wheelchair space, the four services below were all showing up as HST for 11th - 15th March. Has everything on that route reverted to HST, or is there something wrong with their booking system?

    1C80 1203 London Paddington to Penzance
    1C82 1303 London Paddington to Plymouth
    1C92 1803 London Paddington to Penzance
    1C94 1903 London Paddington to Plymouth
     
  16. Mark Webster

    Mark Webster On Moderation

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    Both 1203 &
    1803 should go back to iet after 9th march
     
  17. SWTrainspottin

    SWTrainspottin Member

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    1C80 and 1C92 are IET, 1C82 and 1C94 are HST.
     
  18. jeyer

    jeyer Member

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    Thanks. Do you know if 1C80 and 1C92 will be 2x5 car? or 9 car?
     
  19. Mitchell Hurd

    Mitchell Hurd Member

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    Hello there. Sorry if it's been discussed on here but will the 10:59 Great Malvern to London go over to an IET from a 165? On Twitter there's been now, if I'm right, 3 complaints about the not good First Class accommodation on these. Yes there's a '1' symbol in the timetable for this and some other Class 165 routes.

    The only thing that makes it First Class is a white head rest cloth over the FGW-colour seats. Not really worth GWR reinstating First on these in my opinion. The Turbo trains are good trains but not in terms of their First Class offering.
     
  20. Mitchell Hurd

    Mitchell Hurd Member

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    10:59 being on weekdays.
     
  21. cactustwirly

    cactustwirly Established Member

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    I believe that's the plan eventually, but the focus is on the remaining HSTs, before the turbos go over to IETs.
     
  22. PHILIPE

    PHILIPE Established Member

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    I know this may not be very helpful to you but very often the formation is not known until the actual day itself depending on availability
     
    Last edited: 25 Feb 2019
  23. jimm

    jimm Established Member

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    Likely to remain a Turbo until the new GWR timetables start, as the current 07.50 from Paddington that forms it has to drop off another set at Moreton-in-Marsh that forms the 09.50 departure from there back to London.

    It isn't true to say that the antimacassar is the only thing that differentiates first class. The seats in that compartment are a different design from those used in standard class, with armrests, and are arranged 2+2, not 3+2.
     
  24. VT 390

    VT 390 Member

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    Would it be possible to operate a 10 carriage set to Moreton-in-Marsh and then split it there with 5 going to Great Malvern and 5 terminating there or would this be to long for the platforms?
    It is true that there are differences between first and standard but it is not really worth the price on this service compared to other services, especially as those seats are the same as the Turbos which now operate around the Bristol area but with it declassified.
     
  25. Clarence Yard

    Clarence Yard Member

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    Short answer - no. 10 cars are too long.
     
  26. jimm

    jimm Established Member

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    The experience offered in first class on these Turbo duties is no different to that provided on the countless Cotswold Line services they have worked since 1993.

    The 07.50 from Paddington and its return workings will be supplanted by IET-operated trains at the end of the year, so until then the limited numbers of first class passengers using them will just have to grin and bear it. They are still getting a better seat, more legroom and the complimentary drinks and snacks from the trolley.
     
  27. Envoy

    Envoy Established Member

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    I hope that they publish the proposed December timetable well in advance so perhaps we can comment on it and then they might wish to tweak it further if any of the comments appear to be sensible. (Remember ‘Operation Princess’ - when Virgin brought in the Voyagers)!
     
  28. FGW_DID

    FGW_DID Established Member

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    The STP diagrams are now out for that week you were asking about.

    1C80 & 1C92 are both booked to be 2x5 802

    (1C82 & 1C94 are still HST).
     
  29. 31160

    31160 Member

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    Are there any more diversions to come up in the next few months? I'm thinking about Bristol to Reading via Newbury, Cardiff to Bridgend via Barry town or Severn Tunnel junction to Gloucester, anybody heard owt like that coming up
     
  30. jeyer

    jeyer Member

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    Thanks a lot. I'll give them a call and see if it's updated on their system for 11th - 15th.

    How about these three in the other direction? Are some of them HST for that week too?
    1A85 1000 Penzance to London Paddington
    1A87 1255 Plymouth to London Paddington
    1A97 1600 Penzance to London Paddington
     
    Last edited: 26 Feb 2019

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