GWR's recent declining performance?

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by bb21, 12 Jun 2018.

  1. Clarence Yard

    Clarence Yard Member

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    Twice GWR have had their wish to rip it all out of the 166 fleet and fit the Chiltern air cooling rejected. With the next DA likely in the next few months, here’s to third time lucky!
     
  2. Parallel

    Parallel Established Member

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    Here’s hoping...
     
  3. D2007wsm

    D2007wsm Member

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    I was on a 2 carriage 165 yesterday in the Bristol area with working air cooling and it was very good. Much better than the so called air conditioning on the 158s and 166s.
     
  4. 43096

    43096 Established Member

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    Given that the aircon issues with the 166s have been obvious almost from day 1 and First have had them since 2004, then blaming the DfT is being economical with the truth. It could have been sorted by First in the various franchises since and hasn’t been.
     
  5. cactustwirly

    cactustwirly Established Member

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    Well Angel trains may not have agreed to the change of air-conditioning.
    So you can't solely blame First.
     
  6. 43096

    43096 Established Member

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    Possibly not, but Angel agreed to the air cooling on the Chiltern 165s....
     
  7. JN114

    JN114 Established Member

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    The Chiltern 165s didn’t have anything before Air Cooling, so it was a positive change of specification.

    Theoretically Air Conditioning is superior to Air Cooling - I fully accept given the poor reliability of the AC on the 166s that air cooling would be seen as a dramatic improvement in practice - but Angel (and the DfT) will see it as a negative change of specification. That’s a big no-no in the world of privatised rail operations.

    It’s the same argument the DfT are using against reconfiguring the interior on the 166s to a more spacious 2+2 layout better optimised for longer-distance services. At the moment GW can’t justify sufficiently to the DfT how the benefits of a refurbished, revised layout will outweigh the negatives of the loss of capacity that such modifications will cause.

    A new Direct Award will hopefully enshrine the 769 introduction and resultant 165 cascade and show GW plan to introduce sufficient additional capacity to the Bristol area to enable the reconfiguration of the 166s. Then in /that/ refurb the Air Con would likely removed and swapped with Air Cooling.

    That doesn’t escape the fact though that it’s still Jam “tomorrow” for the foreseeable.
     
  8. Charlie M.

    Charlie M. Member

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    The average man take up two seats and yet DfT can’t see that the trains are a significant downgrade to the refurb 158s, and I would go as far as saying the refurb 150s? I don’t get it. It still provides an extra 2 coaches on Cardiff-Ports, 1 coach on other services.
     
  9. jimm

    jimm Established Member

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    I doubt there is a single person around, even in the DfT, who doesn't know that the air conditioning on the 166s is not worth keeping. There have been a series of drives to improve it since 2004 - which has presumably cost Angel Trains money along the way - but none has ever cracked the problem of it packing up in hot weather.

    The system was a bit of a lash-up in the first place, as it had to be installed as best as could be managed on the existing 165 design when the requirement for the 166 was identified.

    It would be perverse if installation of air cooling kit on the 166s was not among things included in the direct award extension, when the 'suburban' 165s will all have it fitted soon, but as you say, it will have to wait until the GWR fleet situation has settled down.
     
  10. Non Multi

    Non Multi Member

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    I'm surprised that it would be viewed as a negative considering the air cooling kit is proven and considerably more reliable in comparison with the current mobile oven spec.

    I suppose the other alternative is to retrofit something resembling the Turbostar's Air Con system.
     
  11. fgwrich

    fgwrich Established Member

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    I do wonder what potential effects (if any apart from making them even warmer) GWR's decision to paint the roofs of their Turbo Fleet Matt Black has potentially had on the feeble air con system below it. I've also noticed an increasing number of the 165s with the air cooling fitted, with some either putting out very little but dribbling most of it's water out and down the sides of the unit, or it's just given up altogether.

    Unfortunately I've also had an increase of the 2 car 165s working the Oxford Fasts of late. Rather disappointing when your having to stand in this heat, on a 2 car 165, even if it's a 35/40 minute journey!
     
  12. FGW_Lad

    FGW_Lad Member

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    Thank god we have the 387s on the TV locals now! Perfect for the current heatwave.
     
  13. SWT_USER

    SWT_USER Member

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    That's surprising.i thought the extent of air cooling on 165's was opening the wondows.
     
  14. jimm

    jimm Established Member

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    The 165s are all being fitted with air cooling equipment based on the system fitted to Chiltern's sets some years ago.
     
  15. gallafent

    gallafent Member

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    Absolutely this. I think I made the same observation when the new livery started to appear. It beggars belief. Style over substance in action.
     
  16. jimm

    jimm Established Member

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    Given the propensity of the 166s' air conditioning to break down on hot, humid but cloudy days, or in the middle of winter (though winter problems seemed to have been curbed somewhat by the various attempts under FGW/GWR to modify the system), just as much as on sunny ones, I doubt it makes the slightest bit of difference in the overall scheme of things.
     
  17. II

    II Member

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    The main difference being that the windows are not being sealed up as Chiltern's were and instead are being fitted with a carriage key lock so they can be locked shut.

    The benefit is the windows can be opened if it fails. The drawback is that the lock looks very cheap and I doubt it'll last long, so windows will sometimes be open when the system is working. Still, as others have said, so far so good, and a much more effective system than fitted on the 166s for keeping the inside cool.
     
  18. Wilts Wanderer

    Wilts Wanderer Established Member

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    You might logically think that - but didn’t ATW achieve a 30% reduction in 158 aircon failures when they painted the roofs of the trains silver as part of the new (at the time) livery? I think some kind of award was won for it as well.
     
  19. jimm

    jimm Established Member

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    The system on the 166s is, as I keep saying, a lash-up, created as an after-thought and fitted in as best as could be managed on to the 165 design.

    Unlike the 158, which was designed with air con from the word go and which Salisbury depot somehow seems to keep working pretty well on its 158s and 159s, with grey-painted roofs, while other places have more of a struggle, whatever colour the paint on the roof.

    It is high time the 166 system was ditched and air cooling, which we know from many years of use on Chiltern's 165s works pretty well, is provided instead.
     
  20. PHILIPE

    PHILIPE Veteran Member

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  21. Parallel

    Parallel Established Member

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    Seemed to be usual Sunday disruption today - not just train crew. Afternoon Brighton - Bristol service I was on was delayed at Trowbridge because one of the doors on 150239 couldn't get interlock. Fortunately, the service was formed of 2 x 150, so eventually after several failed attempts of trying to fix the door fault, the decision was made to lock the rear unit out of use and move everybody into the front two coaches. The train looked to have most seats occupied as 4 coaches, so was interesting moving everybody into the front two - but better than being cancelled, and as it was a 150, it had opening windows so air conditioning failure wasn't a problem... Even if the train did leave about 25 mins late.

    Also overheard an announcement on the station that the 17:48 service from Weymouth (15:xx ex-Wey) was delayed by 72 minutes due to congestion. Those poor people who had been stuck on that Turbo. The Weymouth line's punctuality just goes through the floor in the summer months.

    There was some disruption in Devon, also a single 143 and a single 150 operating on the Paignton - Exmouth circuits. Is that normal for a Sunday? The trains were very busy.

    Also used SWR between Exeter and Salisbury. All windows locked shut so assume air con working in every coach. The one I was in was lovely and cool.
     
  22. PHILIPE

    PHILIPE Veteran Member

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    Usually have a 153 attached in Devon
     
  23. Michael.Y

    Michael.Y Established Member

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    Looks like Geoff Marshall was on this train on Friday - if you look closely he appears to firstly be in a First Class section adjacent to a buffet, then a few seconds later he's in a First Class Composite coach.

     
  24. SPADTrap

    SPADTrap Established Member

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    Apologies if posted but this idea made me laugh.
     

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  25. Parallel

    Parallel Established Member

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    Is that real? :lol:

    Assuming that’s from Stapleton Road, I’d assume most people would look at the departure screen on the help point, their phone, or the destination on the front of the train. What if a train pulls in and it’s a red signal... It can’t be real, surely... :lol:
     
  26. Nippy

    Nippy Member

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    Have seen similar signs at Staines.
     
  27. 43096

    43096 Established Member

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    It is not rocket science: it’s called maintenance. Employ or train an HVAC engineer and in March/April they service all the aircon units and in August/September do the same with heating. Rest of the time can be spent on fault finding/fixing. The other piece of the jigsaw is to train staff (especially guards) not to open windows if they get on a dead unit and it’s hot: let the system do its thing for 15/20mins. One sure way to break the aircon is to open the windows so it’s then trying to cool the surrounding countryside.
     
  28. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    It be a real poster (as I took that picture on Saturday, didn't really expect it to grow as much on Twitter).

    Some of the Avonmouth services have tight turnarounds at Bristol, and I would imagine setting the destination screen to show "Avonmouth/Severn Beach" is low down on the list if the driver/guard is short on time.
     
  29. SPADTrap

    SPADTrap Established Member

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    My apologies Kite159. It was sent to me by a friend who I assumed took it. Didn't mean to steal your photo.
     
  30. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    No dramas, I saw it on Saturday when changing trains and the poster looked unusual (but a good idea as that destination screen on the help point could get wiped out if the sun was in the wrong place
     

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