Past TOCs vs Present ones

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elementalpat

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Just want to see what people think of their previous local TOCs vs the one they have now.

I am aware the some areas only ever had one of them like, South West Trains, Virgin West Coast and First Great Western (1st area).

Wonder if any people actually preferred their former TOC and now currently have an inferior one?

My former one was the downright awful Connex in Brighton. Admittedly, they had to deal with the old Slam door stock, but it they were incapable of running to time!

On a personal level though, they did introduce a Brighton-Rugby service which made it very convenient to visit my brother in Northampton :p

Sadly, this service was lost along with numerous others from Brighton.
 
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Masboroughlad

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BR Shadow XC TOC then Virgin - a million times better then Arriva XC

GNER - by far the best East Coast (best ever) TOC

Northern lick FNW and Arriva Northern into fits, but North Wester Trains (original) much better then FNW (ie before they bought it out).

Nat Express Midland Mainline - excellent - much better then mainline EMT.

Local/Regional EMT better than Central

London Midland on the whole beter than Silverlink and Central.

Nat Exp Scotrail better than First.

Orignial Great Western a million times better than First GW.

GB Railways (and Renaissance Trains) were better on all they have done - Anglia, Hull Trains - pity these guys have gone (I assume they have?).

Overall, I think the first round of franchisees were the best by a long long way.
 

sprinterguy

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I much preferred GNER to anything that has come afterwards, although I have little problem with the current East Coast operation. They do a good job.

As for local services, I had no quibbles with Northern Spirit despite their well publicised downfalls but I also like the current Northern operation. Although I often feel that Northerns' North East services are something of a peripheral operation, with their very own depot separate from Northerns' "core" areas, and that the consistency of the service throughout a number of operators probably has more to do with Heaton's long established way of doing things than the influence of the incumbent operator at the time.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
BR Shadow XC TOC then Virgin - a million times better then Arriva XC

GNER - by far the best East Coast (best ever) TOC

Northern lick FNW and Arriva Northern into fits, but North Wester Trains (original) much better then FNW (ie before they bought it out).

Nat Express Midland Mainline - excellent - much better then mainline EMT.

Local/Regional EMT better than Central

London Midland on the whole beter than Silverlink and Central.

Nat Exp Scotrail better than First.

Orignial Great Western a million times better than First GW.

GB Railways (and Renaissance Trains) were better on all they have done - Anglia, Hull Trains - pity these guys have gone (I assume they have?).

Overall, I think the first round of franchisees were the best by a long long way.
I completely agree with everything that has been said here.
 

ainsworth74

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Personally I'd say the present Northern operation is far better than any other TOC that's operated the services (for me that's North East, West Yorkshire and East Yorkshire).
 

Masboroughlad

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I think it is a real pity that the GNER philosophy never made it where the plans wanted it go:

West Coast - GNWR
Trans Pennine - GTPR
Great Western - GWR
South Western Trains - GSWR - their plans for this were amazing.

I used to work for GNER and their approach was a sound one - quality breeds profit. Pity their parent company dragged them down.

I always used to think that GNER and a SeaCo run Trans Pennine would have been a fantastic company!
 

Masboroughlad

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You could argue that GNER's philosophy never made it to the ECML (beyond the southern-most couple of coaches on each train, of course).

They made a lot of promises, of course...

They delivered an excellent product with what they did do.
 

dvboy

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London Midland fared a lot better from Central Trains than East Midlands Trains did.
 

8J

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Arriva trains Merseyside were dreadful along with a lot of apects of old merseyrail. The new franchise with serco and Ned rail (abellio) Is fantastic! The 507's and 508's are doing a sterling job up here even with the increasing passenger numbers! Compare it to a company with newer trains and the extent of how well that they do grows more! They took a crumbling rail network and transformed it and still are doing so! Well done to them i say!
 

richw

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Arriva have destroyed xc

Sent from my HTC Sensation Z710e using Tapatalk 2
 

trentside

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Of the TOCs I use(d) regularly, I'll say that I'm currently happier than I have been previously.

Northern are far better than Northern Spirit / Arriva Trains Northern - yes, they still have their problems but on the whole performance on the Lincoln to Sheffield route has been far better in the past few years than it was under the previous franchise.

East Midlands Trains are far better than Central ever were. I never actually used Midland Mainline, so can't comment on the London services but the local trains are more punctual and reliable under EMT.
 

ushawk

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We had Connex before Southern - theres a massive difference and Southern are much, much better.
 

bronzeonion

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TfL or whoever it technically is, wipe the floor with Silverlink Metro. The North London line is actually useable!
 

Schnellzug

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Well, I will say that SWT now is a million miles better than it was at first. In the first few years they just couldn't care less. I suppose it shows the difference that different management make.
Great Western, too, were atrocious until the last few years (when they were Great Western Trains, before First acquired them, in particular); a train from Paddington arriving at Bristol on time was a rare thing, it really was.
Wessex Trains, though; well, they did their best with the resources available, and they did instal new Seating in the 150s; and use class 31s.

--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
You could argue that GNER's philosophy never made it to the ECML (beyond the southern-most couple of coaches on each train, of course).

They made a lot of promises, of course...

oh, that's very true, and typical of ol' Jim Sherwood; his attitude was rather reminiscent of Ed Burkhardt. Flamboyant American comes along, is scathing about the Limey way of doing things, makes all sorts of grandiose promises about how they'll quadruple traffic and turn all the stations into giant shopping malls and so on.. and in the end, very little actually did get done.
 
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Failed Unit

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As an operator EMT are premier league and Central trains are the conference. But I do miss the franchise area and wish it was only national express we lost rather than the routes the former area served.
 

Schnellzug

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I would say that the former TOC known as British Rail was much better than the rapacious private ventures and bus companies who know run our trains

... but it wasn't a patch on the private companies who'd been running them quite successfully for the 120 or so years up until then ..
 

tbtc

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Reading this thread makes me wonder whether this will be seen as the "good old days" in a few years time - most of the disliked TOCs we've had recently have either lost their franchise (NXEA) or are at least no worse than the TOCS that they replaced (e.g. Northern).

There's not one who have made things significantly worse than what they inherited (e.g. despite grumblings about Arriva, they've made the core XC service more reliable), which must be a pretty rare state of events/ maybe things are really getting better?
 

Pugwash

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Reading this thread makes me wonder whether this will be seen as the "good old days" in a few years time - most of the disliked TOCs we've had recently have either lost their franchise (NXEA) or are at least no worse than the TOCS that they replaced (e.g. Northern).

There's not one who have made things significantly worse than what they inherited (e.g. despite grumblings about Arriva, they've made the core XC service more reliable), which must be a pretty rare state of events/ maybe things are really getting better?

First were much better than NXEA - We are yet to really see how Greater Anglia perform, but the stock could not continue to be treated the way it was and stay in service.
 

Robinson

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I never really used too many of the old franchises often enough; the only one I was a regular on was Virgin XC; and they did a far better job than the current Arriva franchise.
 

Schnellzug

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Reading this thread makes me wonder whether this will be seen as the "good old days" in a few years time - most of the disliked TOCs we've had recently have either lost their franchise (NXEA) or are at least no worse than the TOCS that they replaced (e.g. Northern).

There's not one who have made things significantly worse than what they inherited (e.g. despite grumblings about Arriva, they've made the core XC service more reliable), which must be a pretty rare state of events/ maybe things are really getting better?

Oh, yes, this may be one for the 'Unpopular Opinions' thread, but I do think that XC now are vastly better in terms of performance than Virgin, either before or after Operation My Little Pony, or indeed INTERCITY in BR days.
 

DarloRich

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Oh, yes, this may be one for the 'Unpopular Opinions' thread, but I do think that XC now are vastly better in terms of performance than Virgin, either before or after Operation My Little Pony, or indeed INTERCITY in BR days.

But the vast majority of their trains are still sh*t to have to actually travel on no matter how reliable they are

Passenger comfort used to be important...............
 

Rhydgaled

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I can't really remember much of previous TOCs, all I can say is:

Great Western Trains (especially while they retained the INTERCITY logo) had a much nicer livery than FGW (though dynamic lines is quite smart except for the pink doors).

The new Wales & Borders franchise boundarys are rather silly. Because of this, Pembrokeshire now has 'direct' trains to Manchester (which is one hell of an indirect route, Pembrokeshire to Portsmouth/Deven/Cornwall, which would have been possible under Wales & West, would be far more logical). That said, had Wales & Borders and Wessex been kept together, it probably wouldn't have been so neat to combine it into the Greater Western franchise.

Wales & West brought the Alphaline brand to the fore by applying the logo over the regional railways one (another thing I liked about that interim Alphaline livery was that Wales&West's own name and logo was tiny asnd neatly put within the blue stripe of the regional railways livery). They also later came up with a rather smart Alphaline livery (shame about the yellow triangle on the inner end of the coaches though, a bit untidy looking that was).

I would say that the former TOC known as British Rail was much better than the rapacious private ventures and bus companies who know run our trains
I don't think reliability and the general standard of services (other than poorly though out new rolling stock, such as Voyagers) can be much different from BR days. The TOCs are doing a decent job, as BR did, but the privatised system is doing no better than BR and at a far greater cost.

... but it wasn't a patch on the private companies who'd been running them quite successfully for the 120 or so years up until then ..
Perhaps, but weren't the private companies before BR only just starting to have trobble competing with private cars when nationalisation came in? Since the private car took off, the railways have been unable to turn a profit overall. Publicly subsidised ventures run by private companies are never going to work as well as private companies that actually can turn a profit without government support.
 
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Failed Unit

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What did they have planned Masboroughlad?

If I recall a cross-rail style tunnel under London from Vauxhall. Can't remember where to now.

A lot of pipe dreams existed back then like virgins "new" ECML that didn't tackle the most congested bit in London.

Good for froth!
 

Masboroughlad

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If I recall a cross-rail style tunnel under London from Vauxhall. Can't remember where to now.

That and if remember corectly - better differentiation of longer distance trains - ie better comfort, catering and improved customer service.

(As an aside, I am trying to track down an article from just before the West Coast was given to Virgin. Jim Sherwood talking about his plans for the route - GNWR. I think it was in Railway Magazine, but not sure - anyone help please?)
 

starrymarkb

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They delivered an excellent product with what they did do.

I don't get the GNER love in. In Standard they were not comfortable with a tight seat pitch, plus refusing to honour an advance caused by a delayed connection on Transpennine (resulting in a new ticket, and a struggle to get it refunded!)
 
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