Lack of comfort of new trains?

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duesselmartin

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Travelling Bielefeld to Dresden I was annoyed about the lack of comfort of the new IC2 trains. Hard first class seats, lack of luggage space.
My question, is that Europe wide? Are the new trains really less cosy or ist it nostalgia or my old age of 42 being less tolerant?
Martin
 
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yorksrob

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It certainly seems to be an unfortunate phenomenon over here. In my experience I've yet to travel on a new class of train that has been more comfortable than what it replaced.
 

Blindtraveler

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Nowhere near enough to a Pacer :(
National express in the UK is whole world away from what itused to be with a decent leather seat, Power socket and often WiFi. Admittedly not to everyones taist but if I can get a coach ticket for 15 quid or a seat on a Cross Country Voyager or Turbostar for double that then IMO its a no brainer
 

Ash Bridge

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Sorry but fake leather seats (adjustable or not) WiFi, cheaper tickets or whatever would certainly not convince me to take a bus rather than a train (and I mean any train) at the end of the day it's still just a bus to me.
 

Bletchleyite

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It certainly seems to be an unfortunate phenomenon over here. In my experience I've yet to travel on a new class of train that has been more comfortable than what it replaced.
I suspect the new TPE stock will manage this, from what I've seen of it.

Class 185s, for all their faults and being too short, are IMO certainly more comfortable than Class 158s.

Similarly Class 350/1s are more comfortable than Class 321s, and 350/2s are at least no worse.
 

Bletchleyite

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Travelling Bielefeld to Dresden I was annoyed about the lack of comfort of the new IC2 trains. Hard first class seats, lack of luggage space.
The problem with the IC2 is that it isn't and never was InterCity, it's a repurposed regional train that emphasizes how DB IC has been downgraded over the years as ICE has grown and effectively replaced it.
 

duesselmartin

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Neil, but does that mean one has to fit substandard seats in 1st class? How does it compare to France's new inter city trains or Italy's Freccias? How comfortable were the old D-trains / Express trains in reality?
 

Bletchleyite

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Neil, but does that mean one has to fit substandard seats in 1st class? How does it compare to France's new inter city trains or Italy's Freccias? How comfortable were the old D-trains / Express trains in reality?
I don't think they should even exist. The whole concept is done on the cheap. The services should be being operated using proper single-deck IC locomotive hauled coaches until the ICx/ICE4 (which appear to be to the full ICE standard) are delivered.

Though that said I have travelled on a newer generation regional DoSto in 1st (on a RE) and I found the seats very comfortable. There does seem to be a split between people who like hard, supportive seats (me) and people who prefer squishy ones (you I guess)? I wonder is it the same split as people who like hard or soft mattresses? (The one I find most comfortable being Ikea's cheapest hard foam one!)
 
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yorksrob

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I suspect the new TPE stock will manage this, from what I've seen of it.

Class 185s, for all their faults and being too short, are IMO certainly more comfortable than Class 158s.

Similarly Class 350/1s are more comfortable than Class 321s, and 350/2s are at least no worse.
The 185 seats are very hard compared to the 158's. However, they do have excellent leg room.
 

Bletchleyite

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The 185 seats are very hard compared to the 158's.
That is very much personal preference. For each person you find who likes deep sprung Mk1 seats, you'll find one that hates them and prefers a firm, supportive seat. I'm very much the latter, I dislike soft, "bouncy" seats, they hurt my back.

I don't mind the original 158 seat, though. The only problem with them is that the pitch is about 2" too tight.
 

Gordon

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The new 700s on UK Thameslink have horribly hard seats. There's firm and there's hard...my bum was aching after about 10 minutes. That never happened on the 'useless and out of date' 319s that are being replaced.

In Switzerland , first class seats have become much less comfortable in recent new stock, although in second class the difference is less significant, as the old wooden and plastic seats that were in the light steel / EWI / EWII stock when I was growing up in the 60s and 70s were less comfortable than the current seating



.
 

Bletchleyite

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The new 700s on UK Thameslink have horribly hard seats. There's firm and there's hard...my bum was aching after about 10 minutes. That never happened on the 'useless and out of date' 319s that are being replaced.
I'll take the 700, please. I really dislike the old NSE commuter seats - even ignoring the 3+2 layout, they are the wrong shape for my back (the headrest is at shoulder level) and the base is way too low.

In Switzerland , first class seats have become much less comfortable in recent new stock, although in second class the difference is less significant, as the old wooden and plastic seats that were in the light steel / EWI / EWII stock when I was growing up in the 60s and 70s were less comfortable than the current seating
Disagree again. The EW IV First Class seats are awful - no support whatsoever. I'd use a 1st ticket in 2nd if one of those turned up. The EW IV is a really good coach, but the 1st seats need binning.

Though I agree the basic bench seats in 2nd in EW I/II are rubbish too, and the pitch is way too tight.

Actually, SBB haven't a clue on comfort - they came up with the piece of utter garbage that is the IC2000 DoSto stock. I fail to see a single good thing about it, seats included. Bad seats, stupid little mini litter bins that get in the way of knee space, tiny windows, slow doors, barely any luggage space, dingy lighting...I'm sure I can think of more.

The most comfortable seats on SBB are, to me, found in the FLIRTs. And they're typical modern ones.
 
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87015

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Yes Neil, I think we get the message that you like hard seats and don't like 3+2 over about your hundreds of posts saying the same thing :roll:
 

AM9

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Yes Neil, I think we get the message that you like hard seats and don't like 3+2 over about your hundreds of posts saying the same thing :roll:
Me too, firm seats with good posture are the way that things are going. That is moreso because well designed firm seats have a longer service life before they become very unhealthy to sit in.
Lets's not stop a rant though about things not being like they used to be back in the days of MKI soggy seats.
 

317666

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Actually, SBB haven't a clue on comfort...
On the contrary, I find SBB to have the most consistently good interiors of any rail operator...

ÖBB are definitely bucking the trend too with their new Cityjets, which are far more comfortable than either the 4020 S-Bahn units or the single-deck CityShuttle coaches, both of which they are replacing. Although, from an enthusiast's perspective, I know what I'd prefer ;) It's just a shame that if you ask me, the Railjets (which, don't get me wrong, are a good design of train compared to a lot of other modern stock) are a big step down in comfort from the older InterCity coaches, either compartment or open.
 
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Starmill

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The nearly new 350/3 and /4 are lovely and comfortable throughout, according to my own taste. I rarely hear disagreement. I should take one over an awful Mark 2 or 3 with fixed armrests any day. Minor niggles inclue still not really being enough luggage space and tables that don't have great window alignment, but the seats are OK, view is generally OK and they're tastefully colorful and soft.

For more regional work the 380 does the job very well and those are nearly new. The 385 mock up was lovely too - even though it used the same seat frame as the awful 387.
 
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Bletchleyite

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On the contrary, I find SBB to have the most consistently good interiors of any rail operator...
We'll have to disagree, then. I can see why a fan of facing seating would like them as it's mostly all facing, but I really dislike the other features on their newer kit (the FLIRTs aside).

It's just a shame that if you ask me, the Railjets (which, don't get me wrong, are a good design of train compared to a lot of other modern stock) are a big step down in comfort from the older InterCity coaches, either compartment or open.
The only thing I like about the Railjets is the 2nd class seats, which are the type used on GWR HSTs etc that I quite like. Otherwise they are average with some very poor features, e.g. First Class seats on which the recliner mechanisms are so weak that if you lean back you can't avoid the seat reclining - cheap rubbish at its worst. The interior panelling around the windows prevents looking out along the coach, there is stupid contravision over some of the windows, and the interior generally is quite dingy. I expected to really like them, but I was unimpressed.
 

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I think I've found Neil Williams next sofa...... :)
Joking aside, I suffer from RLS (restless leg syndrome) and find hard seats incredibly uncomfortable. They make the underside of my thighs feel like my blood supply has been cut off and that I'm about to get deep vein thrombosis.....
I agree about the 1st class seats in Railjets- I've had the same problem with the recline mechanism being too week, the seats on Mallard spec east coast sets were/are similar. You often spend the entire journey either uncomfortably flat or tensed up like a cat in a disco, waiting to be ejected out of your chair!
 

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F Great Eastern

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The New Flirts on PKP Intercity in Poland have the same seats as FGW HSTS in both first and second class - very nice for me, but not to everyones tastes!
 

Bletchleyite

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The New Flirts on PKP Intercity in Poland have the same seats as FGW HSTS in both first and second class - very nice for me, but not to everyones tastes!
I did a 6 ish hour journey on one of those (Katowice-Gdansk - was going to Gdansk anyway so flew to Katowice the day before to have a go) and I thought it was an excellent unit, bodes very well for East Anglia's ones.

Interestingly 1st (which, at the pittance fares PKP charge, was where I sat) used the same or similar seats but in 2+1 with double 1st-sized centre armrests and recline (*not* the old-fashioned-style GWR 1st seats!). I wasn't sure about how this looked, but I actually found it very comfortable and it actually felt very spacious.

Operationally it seemed a little curious, there was a guard, but "dispatch" apparently involved radioing the driver using a handheld radio to tell him when to close up and depart (using the typical EuroFLIRT wing mirror and interlock approach).
 
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LNW-GW Joint

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I remember looking forward to a trip on a then-new Paris-Strasbourg-Stuttgart TGV and booked a 1st class seat.
It was one of those "hammock" style swinging seats, facing backwards, with a window pillar for a view.
One of the most uncomfortable and disappointing rides ever.
And yet the seat width/pitch/ambience was fine.
 
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Bletchleyite

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Hammock style?

Lack of window alignment in 1st does seriously mark all TGVs down, though. I know it's not always feasible to have two different window spacings per train, but you might as well make the one you have match the 1st seating rather than matching *nothing*. Good 1st requires attention to detail.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Hammock style?
Lack of window alignment in 1st does seriously mark all TGVs down, though. I know it's not always feasible to have two different window spacings per train, but you might as well make the one you have match the 1st seating rather than matching *nothing*. Good 1st requires attention to detail.
"Pendular style" might be more accurate. Like a swinging garden seat.
You simply couldn't get it to stay in one place, and when braking it would sway to and fro before stabilising.
People grumble about the tilt on 390s but I found this much worse.
I admire French design flair but this was one too far!
 

F Great Eastern

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I did a 6 ish hour journey on one of those (Katowice-Gdansk - was going to Gdansk anyway so flew to Katowice the day before to have a go) and I thought it was an excellent unit, bodes very well for East Anglia's ones.
Unfortunately they are also exceptionally unreliable, although knowing PKP, I wouldn't neccessarily put that down to being the fault of the trains themselves. PKP is having to substitute a number of them every day, check out the announcements page on their website for replacements.

https://www.intercity.pl/pl/site/o-nas/dzial-prasowy/komunikaty/

If you go back a few pages you will see a lot of stuff being subbed for very old and much shorter trains, that cannot carry disabled passengers and they're also (as I found out) not honoring seat reservations on the older stock, cannot take disabled passengers as they're step entrance only, no catering, and can be the lowest of the low in quality of trains, no plug sockets, no wifi four seats squashed next to each other in compartments and over 30 years old.

The problem with PKP, as someone who has used them for ten years, is if you are lucky enough to get a modern piece of rolling stock that everything works as designed you will have an excellent journey normally for a good price. The problem is that doesn't happen nowhere near often enough I've been on 10 PKP trains this week as part of work, and they've got it right three times.

I've had two FLIRT substitutions, one train that shook so much I thought it was going to derail, another one with ac stuck on heat mode and nobody can turn it off, a train which every carriage had same number, another one which all the onboard systems was stuck at 10am on the previous day and kept saying Nastepna Stacja / Next Station Warszawa Centralna for 45 minutes every 60 seconds, one with no working lights, another with windows stuck open, the list is endless.

They have another unit called the PESA Dart as well introduced around the same time as a flirt. All I can say is this. How a modern train can feel claustrphboic I have no idea, but this train manages it, it's the worst modern built EMU I have seen, the interior is quite frankly ****. Carriage 4, the conductor one is even worse. there are so many walled off sections of that carriage, and divider walls and big thick obstacles between seats, that it feels totally horrible.

Interestingly 1st (which, at the pittance fares PKP charge, was where I sat) used the same or similar seats but in 2+1 with double 1st-sized centre armrests and recline (*not* the old-fashioned-style GWR 1st seats!). I wasn't sure about how this looked, but I actually found it very comfortable and it actually felt very spacious.
The other thing about first class on those FLIRTS is that the banks of two seats on the 2+1 have a full sized table for each seat and those tables are massive, much bigger than you find on 2+1 in the UK First Class.

Operationally it seemed a little curious, there was a guard, but "dispatch" apparently involved radioing the driver using a handheld radio to tell him when to close up and depart (using the typical EuroFLIRT wing mirror and interlock approach).
Operationally PKP is generally weird. Some of the stuff I've seen over the years is incredible and I would have very little confidence in them overall. They get stuff right more often than they used to, but still nowhere near as much as European standards. The number of sub-brands of their services is silly too and their timetables generally are all over the place with no real frequency basis.

As a company they have certainly improved but there is still weirdness there such as silly track/platform numbers (like 202/304) a truly shocking online ticket buying service, an English language website which is hopelessly out of date compared to the Polish - I'd go as far as saying a Google Translate version of the Polish is VASTLY better than the actual English.
 
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radamfi

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I went on one of the new local trains they have in the south of Sweden yesterday and I thought it looked stunning from the outside in the blue livery. Well, it looked new. But I was very surprised to see all seats being tip-up seats! And therefore uncomfortable. What's the point of that?
 
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Bletchleyite

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I went on one of the new local trains they have in the south of Sweden yesterday and I thought it looked stunning from the outside in the blue livery. Well, it looked new. But I was very surprised to see all seats being tip-up seats! And therefore uncomfortable. What's the point of that?
Cinema tip-up seats are comfortable enough, no reason that being a tip-up seat should make it uncomfortable. Can't see why though.
 
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