Le Mans start at Paddington

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Old Yard Dog, 15 May 2015.

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  1. Old Yard Dog

    Old Yard Dog Member

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    I made a rare visit to Paddington this week to catch a train to Slough. Being unfamiliar with the station I waited patiently on the concourse watching the departure board waiting for "Preparing" to change to "Platform 13". This didn't happen until 5 or 6 minutes before the train was due to depart.

    I was then surprised to discover that, along with many other old codgers, I needed to walk 200 yards or more with a heavy bag to find my train. I then had to queue up to put my ticket through the electronic gate. It was quite a panic. Wouldn't it make more sense to at least give people a sporting chance by telling them to wait somewhere in the reasonable vicinity of the likely platform?

    But to FGW's credit, they did at least hold tight connections for a couple of minutes at both Maidenhead & Twyford as I attempted to get maximum value out of my Thames Valley branches day ranger. I thought the days of holding connections were long gone.
     
  2. gazthomas

    gazthomas Established Member

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    This is quite common at Paddington. Imagine the scramble to a HST!
     
  3. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    The HSTs, being too long for the short platforms, will be nearer the main concourse.
     
  4. Antman

    Antman Established Member

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    I've experienced that at Paddington too..............no wonder trains are often late departing as a result:roll:
     
  5. hassaanhc

    hassaanhc Established Member

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    They often do put a message on the screen which says to wait on P13/14 for the arrival of the train.
     
  6. hounddog

    hounddog Member

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    But not on this occasion. "Often" is not good enough. It should be done all the time.
     
  7. hassaanhc

    hassaanhc Established Member

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    Risk of overcrowding on the platform during the peaks?
    High chance of getting altered to one of the closer platforms and leading to complaints? As well as risk of overcrowding on the footbridge connecting the two?
    Or what if there was an issue with the train that they were looking at?
     
  8. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    It's also not where you'd expect it, it's in the small scrolly notes at the bottom that people would ignore because it normally just goes on about buffet cars, bikes etc. They should just put the platform up in the relevant place. Or modify it so it can say "Platform 13/14" if they don't know at that point. Or I think Chiltern have something like a "Platform A" at Marylebone which is a waiting zone.
     
  9. TheNewNo2

    TheNewNo2 Member

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    The trick is to find your train before it's listed on the board. This is usually fairly easy for HSTs, you see which ones aren't listed on the board yet.
     
  10. Flamingo

    Flamingo Established Member

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    Shushhh, we do it on purpose to have the fun of watching people running...
     
  11. heart-of-wessex

    heart-of-wessex Established Member

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    I usually jump on my HST or 159 (Waterloo) beforehand. It's easier at Padd in the late evening when there's one sole HST sitting there, knowing that the 165 or 332 is the unlikely candidate for the Bristol/Plymouth!

    Same for the 159 to Exeter/Bristol, don't be anything else but the 159, unless it's a 450 hauled by an ED :lol:
     
  12. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    But those passengers with a valid off peak ticket need at least an hour advance warning in order to get through the gateline!
     
  13. Flamingo

    Flamingo Established Member

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    There's no such thing <D
     
  14. davetheguard

    davetheguard Member

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    Oh yes there is!

    See "FGW at Paddington still getting evening Off Peak validity spectacularly wrong" thread in "disputes & prosecutions" section, to which, I believe you have "contributed". Have you read and understood nothing from that discussion?

    I can't make up my mind whether you a) claim to understand ticketing but clearly don't, or b) are trying to wind people up.

    Keeping up with changes to ticket availability, restrictions, and rules is very difficult; the whole subject is unbelievably complex - which is the industry's fault and not the customer's. Nor the front line staff's: so unless you're not 100% sure you're right, leave the ticket alone, don't stamp it, hand it back and let the passenger travel.
     
  15. CC 72100

    CC 72100 Established Member

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    It was a joke....
     
  16. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    Indeed. The 'smiley' made it extra obvious too!

    I was of course joking too. An hour head start is probably not enough... ;)
     
  17. headshot119

    headshot119 Established Member

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    Sense of humor failure much? :roll:
     
  18. davetheguard

    davetheguard Member

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    Quite possibly.

    However, that's the problem with humour, I'm afraid: it's subjective.

    Not everyone will get it.
     
    Last edited: 15 May 2015
  19. Flamingo

    Flamingo Established Member

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    Bloody hell, I hope I'm never an assist on your train! (Assuming you actually work trains) :roll:

    If you ever turn up on mine, I don't need a hand, you can stand at the buffet and make sure that the Customer Host is greeting everybody with a cheery smile...
     
  20. D6975

    D6975 Established Member

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    I was watching the morning arrivals at Glasgow Queen St on a couple of mornings this past week. Departure platforms were announced before the incoming train arrived. The 0800 from Edinburgh arrived at 0855 1/2 it unloaded and loaded amid great crowds of people fighting in opposite directions. and formed the 0900 back to Edinburgh. A similar thing happened for every arrival from Edinburgh, so it's pretty unsurprising that they all left late. I notice that the WTT departure times seem to account for these tight turnarounds, many of them being xx16 instead of xx15 etc.
     
  21. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    Is this normal or were they stepping up departures due to being one unit short, reducing the turnaround from about 20min to about 5min?

    In this situation it's probably better to get as many of the departing passengers waiting on the platform as possible before the train arrives. Otherwise there is even more of a tide of departing passengers who collide head-on with the arriving ones.
     
  22. PeterY

    PeterY Member

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    It's a hefty hike to platforms 13/14, you almost need another train to get you there:D
     
  23. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    Like the H&C line? :D
     
    Last edited: 16 May 2015
  24. richw

    richw Established Member

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    I normally look on realtime trains and it often has the platform long before the station boards. The only time it's gone wrong has been when the set has been swapped due to fault etc.
     
  25. D6975

    D6975 Established Member

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    I'm not sure, not being local. At the Edinburgh end they were doing 20 min turn rounds in the evening rush. The practice of letting passengers onto the platform (Q St) is probably the lesser of 2 evils given that the station is fully barriered, getting everyone through after all incoming pax had got out of the way would cause even more delay.

    They are short of one 170 at the moment, 170432 (79432) has got accident damage, so they may well be short of a set at peak hours.
     
  26. initiation

    initiation Member

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    For getting a HST if you haven't had a chance to look at realtime trains just go and wait on the footbridge at the far of end of the platforms. That way when the platform is changed you descend the stairs and come out infront of the vast hoard of people running down the platform.
     
  27. 455driver

    455driver Veteran Member

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    I have worked an 'Exeter' service with a 450 before! ;)
     
  28. theageofthetra

    theageofthetra Established Member

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    Agree re waiting on the footbridge. There are screens there and if you have come via the H & C line or taxi it saves a walk.
     
  29. bignosemac

    bignosemac Established Member

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    Nope. I needed two hours. :lol:
     
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