Persistent railway myths, misunderstandings etc.

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Journeyman, 8 Nov 2018.

  1. squizzler

    squizzler Member

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    Before privatisation occurred, British Rail was venerated by all as a public service and enjoyed the same emotional attachment in the minds of the British public as the NHS does today
     
  2. Alfonso

    Alfonso Member

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    "Flooded" side passages lead to DUMPY and Gringotts
     
    Last edited: 9 Nov 2018
  3. RichT54

    RichT54 Member

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    The most efficient way for passengers to get on board a train is to surge towards the doors as soon as it arrives and not leave any room for passengers trying to get off.
     
  4. Journeyman

    Journeyman Member

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    Oddly enough, I was talking to someone about this quote yesterday (after she was complaining about unsavoury types on her bus). While it's almost certainly apocryphal and there's no proof she said it, I think it's persistent and accepted as truth because it does sound like the sort of thing she'd say, and because so many people hate her.

    As time goes on, my feelings are decidedly mixed. She did some terrible things, but she was a beacon of competence compared to the current shower in charge.
     
  5. BeHereNow

    BeHereNow Member

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    That in getting contractors to bid and fulfil an ITT, the DfT is then liable for TOCs failure to deliver.
     
  6. Clip

    Clip On Moderation

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    Without wanting to seem like a pedantic arse but they are new trains for the Marston Vale line - theyve never been there before have they?
     
  7. Railwaysceptic

    Railwaysceptic Member

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    You make a very good point. One caveat however: many people who are interested in railways also blame Dr. Beeching for every closure. This forum frequently provides example of that!
     
  8. B&I

    B&I Established Member

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    I was in Stow-o-o-oake the other day. One of the many British cities so denuded of economic life that you could remake 'The Omega Man' in its centre at 9 am on a weekday
     
  9. B&I

    B&I Established Member

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    I assume the third rail was recessed into the roadway. Hell of a tripping hazrd otherwise
     
  10. shredder1

    shredder1 Established Member

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    Yes that was the original vision, but it failed to materialise of course and the Great Central came out of the Manchester Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway, and also took over part of the Metropolitan Railway for the London Extension, both of which were definitly built to standard UK loading gauges
     
  11. shredder1

    shredder1 Established Member

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    All trains have to stop at Stockport, based on an ancient law, strangely no one has been able to find this law and the 05.11 Cross Country service from Manchester Piccadilly to Bournemouth certainly isnt aware of this :)
     
  12. TheEdge

    TheEdge Established Member

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    If you are complaining passenger quoting a headcode will make all rail staff cower at your majesty and knowledge of the internal machinations of the rail network.
     
  13. 142Pilot

    142Pilot Member

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    Getting rid of a TOC will make the trains newer, staff more motivated and sunshine and unicorn farts eminate from the toilets.

    TfW is for Wales only, and the English should curtsey everytime they are fortunate enough to share the same space as our cave dwelling chums.

    Transpennie Express is a top TOC compared to its Northern runt cousin.

    Traksy/realtime trains subsitutes actual real life experience.
     
  14. tommy2215

    tommy2215 Member

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    A popular one among the public is that the private companies decide and are responsible for everything that is to do with the railways.
     
  15. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    Virgin still run Cross-Country.
     
  16. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    BCR is the same thing as financial return.
     
  17. twpsaesneg

    twpsaesneg Member

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    That TOCs, FOCs and any part of the railway supply chain are somehow fleecing people by claiming extra costs for things not covered in the original contracts or assumptions accepted by the client (NR / DfT) when writing them.

    That private sector contractors weren't used by British Rail to carry out major CAPEX projects, and that those contractors didn't do exactly the same then!
     
  18. Journeyman

    Journeyman Member

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    That one seems incredibly persistent, and will probably last as long as the Voyagers!
     
  19. xotGD

    xotGD Established Member

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    You mean the 'Virgin Voyagers'!
     
  20. sw1ller

    sw1ller Member

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    How about the opposite to this that happened to me a week ago.

    People one the train expecting the doors to open automatically, then when I get 2 to go, there’s banging on my door as the doors were “broken”. Give the guard 3-3-1 as it’s the last train and the doors are still “broken”. Opens cab door to find said passenger trying to disembark to the 6 ft and not the platform!!

    Happens more often than I’d have expected!
     
  21. Andyh82

    Andyh82 Established Member

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    If there is overcrowding it’s the TOCs fault for not buying more carriages
     
  22. squizzler

    squizzler Member

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    How about the myth that persists amongst rail enthusiasts that the rail industry is uniquely incompetent to have suffered delays on the introduction of new rolling stock or cost over-runs in upgrading the infrastructure.

    By comparison, the motor business' technical mastery and "can-do" attitude means that we will, in a year or two, be used to being driven around by driverless electric cars. Airlines are so much better managed than TOC's that it is practically unheard of for one to ever have gone bust. And highway construction works are so successful that traffic jams in the area magically disappear overnight, the local environment is greatly improved, and the bypassed high street fills to bursting with a vibrant economy of independent local shops. Highway works are done well within time and budget, not that they needed to be of course because the BCR is an order of magnitude higher than any rail project and it would still have been good value at several times the cost.
     
  23. B&I

    B&I Established Member

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    Yes, if we widen this topic out to 'myths among "rail enthusiasts" ', it could run and run.
     
  24. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    Good points.

    I'm the kind of left-of-centre person who's coming round to the idea of an effective right-of-centre leader (e.g. Merkell) rather than a well-meaning-but-useless left leaning leader (e.g. and Ed Milliband). I hate the current crop of MPs for making Thatcher look less-bad. Weird times.

    Anyhow, ignoring some of the things posted by others (the kind of straw-man "myths" that no significant number of people actually believe in), I'd take this opportunity to repeat the "Pacers can't use Third Rail lines" comment from the start of one of the previous "myth" threads - since I've seen it mentioned on here from time to time (so sufficient people must believe it).

    Also "the Borders railway significantly beat passenger forecasts" (which I've seen mentioned many times on here). Not really. It did well for the first six months (or so), then settled down to the expected passenger numbers. The proposals got the numbers right, they just expected it to take a year to get up to a certain number of passengers rather than a swifter change. In the long term the effect of this faster switch to using the railway (but getting the numbers correct after twelve months) is fairly insignificant, but it made for a lot of positive headlines in the early months.

    The cynic in me wonders whether part of the initial good-looking passenger numbers were the boost of all the media focus/ the steam services/ the wrongly priced £1 tickets to various places in Scotland (e.g. a nominal price of a quid was put in the fares database so it was cheaper to buy a return from Tweedbank to East Kilbride than from Edinburgh to Glasgow, so people in the know would buy tickets starting from Tweedbank, hence the passenger numbers on the branch looking artificially better for a few months).

    Maybe it was all genuine passengers and nobody took advantage of the £1 fares (!), but the end result is the same - passenger numbers now seem to be broadly in line with where they are expected to be - maybe the forecasts will be tweaked slightly to show that people nowadays are quicker to adapt to new stations/ services/ lines, but the battle was never going to be won or lost in the first six months - people should be careful using the Borders example as justification for why their pet project should go ahead.
     
  25. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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    Speaking of Borders rail, and this is more of an enthusiasts' myth:

    Tweedbank to Carlisle reopening will happen and is needed. Once it does, trains will be packed.
     
  26. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    Train timetablers can make any service work, regardless of complexity, if only they tried a bit harder.
     
  27. B&I

    B&I Established Member

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    Merkell is suvstantially to the left of her British conservative counterparts, and probably not that far to the right of even the current Labour leadership in substance (when you strip away the rhetoric). What I suspect you really want, if you're anything like me is a competent, pragmatic moderate, rather than the pocket-scale reproductions of Pinochet who seem to have been running Britain recently.

    Mr Millibean, btw, would I think have made a better prime minister than he did an opposition leader, a sort of New Labour version of John Major, but it says a lot about this country, none of it good, that a. inability to eat a bacon sarnie elegantly is considered a more heinous offence than leavig a pub without all your children b. that this sort of media-driven twaddle is considered more important than someone's policies, and ability to implement them competently.
     
    Last edited: 9 Nov 2018
  28. Journeyman

    Journeyman Member

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    Oddly enough, although overall usage figures for the Borders Railway are more or less accurate, the station usage predictions were a bit back-to-front. The inner-end stations in Midlothian have been much quieter than expected, with the outer ones (especially Galashiels) much busier.

    Yeah, I'm really not buying the case for extension to Carlisle. Melrose and Hawick might be viable, but beyond that you're dealing with more or less completely empty countryside, and there's nothing that will generate traffic. It might occasionally be useful as a diversionary route, but for that you'd need double track and electrification throughout, and a ballpark figure for upgrading and extending it is at least a billion quid. It's still a gruesomely difficult line to work as well, with gradients and curves that strain even modern rolling stock, and the journey times will never be all that quick.

    It's yet another line people get romantic and nostalgic about, and treat the closure as a great injustice, but the truth is the demand for it to return as a mixed-traffic mainline just isn't there. As an outer-suburban commuter route, it will do quite well, but that's it.
     
  29. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Yes, this is very true !

    We've had some enthusiast myths. Now how about some industry ones.

    Good, cost effective tickets and rovers etc are only used by a handful of enthusiasts, as opposed to 'normal' passengers.

    One for the TOC's - simplification means restricting passengers options regarding what trains and routes they use, as opposed to widening them.
     
  30. Link24

    Link24 New Member

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    As someone that is soon to become a timetable planner, this scares me.
     

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