On Board Catering Offer

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Masboroughlad

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Are we ever likely to see new trains with shops/buffet counters being built?

Will there ever be the days again where you can walk away from your seat and go and sit in a cafe/bar area to enjoy some refreshments?

What are the chances of meals appearing on XC long distance routes under a different operator (when does XC franchise end - apart from not soon enough)?

Will we lose meals on GW next? :roll:

I know that operators look at carriages and see how many passenger seats they can squash in, but passenger satisfaction / added value wouldn't go a miss! :lol:

I like it in Germany on the ICE train where you can wander from your seat to the Bistro, enjoy a decent meal at a reasonable-ish price and then head back. Pity DB don't bring this concept to the UK.........
 
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sprinterguy

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Are we ever likely to see new trains with shops/buffet counters being built?
The IEP trains will have both kitchen and buffet counter facilities.

And of course, the Voyagers and Pendolinos were both in recent times built with a shop, whilst 180s and 444s have both featured buffet counters as part of their design. I suppose it depends exactly what you are expecting from a "shop/buffet counter": With consideration of modern train designs, I don't envisage the return of a full restaurant car on new builds.
What are the chances of meals appearing on XC long distance routes under a different operator (when does XC franchise end - apart from not soon enough)?
The Crosscountry franchise is planned to end on 11th November 2013, although a 3 year extension to November 2016 will be granted if performance targets have been met.
Will we lose meals on GW next? :roll:
I think that very much depends on who wins the Great Western franchise, although seeing that the IEP trains are being designed to incorporate kitchen and buffet facilities then I should hope that some form of catering provision will continue.
 

Bridge189

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Are we ever likely to see new trains with shops/buffet counters being built?

Will there ever be the days again where you can walk away from your seat and go and sit in a cafe/bar area to enjoy some refreshments?

What are the chances of meals appearing on XC long distance routes under a different operator (when does XC franchise end - apart from not soon enough)?

Will we lose meals on GW next? :roll:

I know that operators look at carriages and see how many passenger seats they can squash in, but passenger satisfaction / added value wouldn't go a miss! :lol:

I like it in Germany on the ICE train where you can wander from your seat to the Bistro, enjoy a decent meal at a reasonable-ish price and then head back. Pity DB don't bring this concept to the UK.........

XC are the only long distance operator without a buffet counter onboard. I get the impression that XC is not DBs top priority and it's likely to stay that way. Other DB long distance TOCs all have buffets.

As mentioned the IEPs will have Buffet/kitchens. Weather it will be in the current MK3/4 format of the bar and kitchen neighbouring or the kitchen being at the back of first class e.g. Pendolino/222 remains to be seen.
 

Yew

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It would be nice to have a restaraunt/cafe in the future. its a shame we cant fit double decker stock, as the enhanced capacity could alow room for such things.
 

tsr

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Mad as it seems, I'd like to see small "shops" on medium-length commuter services, as opposed to the small trolley you may (or may not) get now. Some units, such as some breeds of Electrostar, have small and generally underused First Class seating areas at each end of each 4-car unit. I would say that one of these per unit could be converted into a counter where items such as drinks, snacks (probably including sandwiches and even toasted/readily heated items), magazines and newspapers could be sold - much like a miniature, souped-up (if you'll pardon the pun) version of Virgin's "The Shop".

Now, this will probably never happen. Unfortunately the inadequate levels of intelligent thought that went into the Brighton Express bars (remember those?) and any other such failures will be appear to be cases in point for deniers. However, as I have always maintained, good-quality provisions, cheerful staff, sensible stock quantities and decent opening times would all contribute towards making a potential profit as well as improving customer satisfaction ratings. In addition, looking at the numbers of people buying refreshments, magazines et cetera to take on board trains, I cannot understand why more of an effort is not made to entice those people to buy on board from competitive facilities.

As for longer distance services, I shall keep my thoughts brief, and I agree with quite a bit of what is written above - that you shouldn't expect a restaurant car, but that buffets and even meals served to both First and Standard passengers would provide considerable added value. There is, I think, a definite opportunity for European operators to invoke better at-seat dining, if not better buffet cars. I think the one problem on XC-esque services would be predicting and fulfilling complex stock requirements due to the calling pattern and geographical spread of the network, but I see no real reason why an effort should not be put into providing a reliable and reasonable dining service on these services.
 

SS4

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So complaints about chronic overcrowding on XC and the solution is to build restaurant car?

I honestly think we'll never see one again, consumers are bringing their own food instead of paying over the odds, journey times are decreasing and journeys seem to be about money more than comfort. This is not one of the cross US or Australia train which passengers need feeding on.

A few questions:
  1. Would those on Advance tickets be allowed in?
    • If so, how do you avoid alienating those who've paid walk up fees? Or how do you keep it from becoming full
    • If not, you'd need someone constantly checking tickets
  2. How would it work with regards to split ticketing? Especially if one was walk up and the other advance
  3. Would it be complimentary to first class? I don't mean to sound rude but I'd imagine a lot of first class customers pay more for peace and quiet, to get away from those in standard yet they'd run into them in the buffet?

From a personal point of view a Chinese style all you can eat would be pretty interesting although wildly impractical from a logistics point of view. For food to be successful it'd need to be warm, good service, low waiting times (although this can be excused if food is being cooked fresh) and a varied menu.

IMO Trains should get people from A to B, preferably in a seat, in the most efficient manner

edit: Any restaurant car could not compete on price with food brought onboard from outside. It would need to compete by focussing on those aspects which cannot be gotten from one's own food. A cold beer for example would be a good idea since it's hard to keep a beer cool. A hot bacon sandwich.

edit 2: it may be interesting if certain pieces of equipment could be used by punters for a small charge. Say charge 30p for a mug of hot water from an urn or a microwave. I don't know if/how well it'd work though
 

Masboroughlad

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IMO Trains should get people from A to B, preferably in a seat, in the most efficient manner

Maybe the way forward is to offer different classes of service? (Surely not?! - problem is there is no big differential between classes on todaays trains).

Eg.

Train A is passengers shovelled in like cattle for a 300 mile journey at low prices.

Train B offers comfort, facilities and refreshments - more expensive, but worth it.

Or you have train offering both - cattle class (ala XC standard) - you get a trolley. This is sealed off from the rest of the train who choose to travel with extra facilities?
 

ainsworth74

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Eg.

Train A is passengers shovelled in like cattle for a 300 mile journey at low prices.

Train B offers comfort, facilities and refreshments - more expensive, but worth it.

And the capacity for all this comes from? Let alone the funding for two different train fleets.

Or you have train offering both - cattle class (ala XC standard) - you get a trolley. This is sealed off from the rest of the train who choose to travel with extra facilities?

And this is different from just having the normal standard/first split how?
 

142094

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TBH when the Voyager fleet was first specified, why a proper buffet wasn't included is mystifying (you can add that in to the fact that they are far too short capacity-speaking as well).
 

All Line Rover

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XC are the only long distance operator without a buffet counter onboard. I get the impression that XC is not DBs top priority and it's likely to stay that way. Other DB long distance TOCs all have buffets.

All? Arriva Trains Wales is owned by DB, has some very long end-to-end journeys (Manchester to Pembroke Dock - almost 7 hours) and none of their trains have buffets. Like XC, the trains are too short to have buffets.
 

Michael.Y

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All? Arriva Trains Wales is owned by DB, has some very long end-to-end journeys (Manchester to Pembroke Dock - almost 7 hours) and none of their trains have buffets. Like XC, the trains are too short to have buffets.

I do believe the 1615 off Cardiff to Holyhead has a buffet ;)

As an expert....er.....participant in this field, I would say there is a tendency nowadays to expect the mountain to come to Mohammed - people want the tea, coffee, sandwiches, chocolate and beer to be wheeled to them once every half hour. Plus it's a much safer option on shorter busier trains than having people wandering through carriages carrying hot drinks etc. Also many people are skittish about leaving items unattended and would be less likely to wander through the train, although we do get the odd wanderer seeking us out.

It makes sense on longer IC journeys because the trains are longer (I usually get through 3 carriages in half an hour, 45 minutes on busy days, imagine 8 carriages!)
 

Michael.Y

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Isn't the Premier Service an open-access service though, run at the behest of the WAG? I don't think DB/ATW would choose to run it otherwise! :)

To be pedantic yes, but it's still an Arriva-branded service showing in Arriva timetables with Arriva staff on board using Arriva stock. As far as the pax are concerned, they don't know / couldn't care about the difference.
 

sprinterguy

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As mentioned the IEPs will have Buffet/kitchens. Weather it will be in the current MK3/4 format of the bar and kitchen neighbouring or the kitchen being at the back of first class e.g. Pendolino/222 remains to be seen.
It will reportedly be down to operator discretion as to what catering arrangement is provided on the IEP trains, but the design of the trains allows for both a full kitchen at the driving end of the DPTF vehicle as well as a cafe-bar counter or shop facility in the middle of the train.
 
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