Petition to bring back the buffet on GWR

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Jimini

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The cost of a cup of tea from a GWR trolley is roughly the same as most of the outlets at Paddington (£2.10). Always piping hot (and served at-seat) from my experience. I reckon I have a strike rate of buying one 95% of the time between Paddington and Swindon. No complaints from me. The trolley service always seems to do pretty good business from what I've seen.
 

Mountain Man

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If it's purely a trolley - that can often be no space at all.
And my argument is about buffets, not trollies. I still wouldn't buy from a trolley, but it has a far stronger case to stay as it takes little space. I've already suggested you could put in vending machines as they take little to no passenger space
 

HowardGWR

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Even a short hop between London and Amsterdam enjoys full at-seat service of buffet fare including hot food. I am not sure why someone getting off a one hour flight at Gatwick should have to endure a 3 1/2 hour train journey without at least a trolley. It's just a very important level of service that could make rail a preference to road travel. Last time, we managed to grab a couple of pasties before racing to our platform for the Southampton train, but no time to buy coffee or tea. I appreciate Mountain_Man's legal points and his commercial points too, but I do think that a trolley selling hot drinks would be a good selling point. Where provided, I always see many takers for the service. Such cannot be guaranteed though, as he/she points out.
 

Mountain Man

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Even a short hop between London and Amsterdam enjoys full at-seat service of buffet fare including hot food. I am not sure why someone getting off a one hour flight at Gatwick should have to endure a 3 1/2 hour train journey without at least a trolley. It's just a very important level of service that could make rail a preference to road travel. Last time, we managed to grab a couple of pasties before racing to our platform for the Southampton train, but no time to buy coffee or tea. I appreciate Mountain_Man's legal points and his commercial points too, but I do think that a trolley selling hot drinks would be a good selling point. Where provided, I always see many takers for the service. Such cannot be guaranteed though, as he/she points out.
A trolley has much greater merit as in a space constrained railway it balances.

I still maintain (special dining services excepted) that on board catering is lousy and quality worse than you can bring on, but if it breaks even and doesn't consume space that could be used meaningfully for seating then it has a reason to exist.

I am clear in my mind though that if catering on board is essential to you, you are foolish not to come prepared in case it isn't working either through a technical or staff issue
 

hexagon789

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The cost of a cup of tea from a GWR trolley is roughly the same as most of the outlets at Paddington (£2.10). Always piping hot (and served at-seat) from my experience. I reckon I have a strike rate of buying one 95% of the time between Paddington and Swindon. No complaints from me. The trolley service always seems to do pretty good business from what I've seen.
And there are plenty of people who would agree with that and would like to see at least a trolley retained.

Certainly the coffee is getting better!
 

hexagon789

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And my argument is about buffets, not trollies. I still wouldn't buy from a trolley, but it has a far stronger case to stay as it takes little space. I've already suggested you could put in vending machines as they take little to no passenger space
A trolley is more convenient in my opinion, though there are perhaps some routes where it might be more feasible.
 

Entertexthere

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Getting rid helps everyone by providing more seating capacity available to all.
So those who want the freedom of being able to go to the buffet and buying something regardless of the price and those who actually want a buffet have to go without, just because a few people don't want them? The amount of extra seats won't be anything remarkable, and you'd be better off with another coach rather than getting rid of something that makes a little extra money and is used by a fair few people...
 

Fast Track

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So those who want the freedom of being able to go to the buffet and buying something regardless of the price and those who actually want a buffet have to go without, just because a few people don't want them? The amount of extra seats won't be anything remarkable, and you'd be better off with another coach rather than getting rid of something that makes a little extra money and is used by a fair few people...
Travelled down Paddington to Exeter recently and didn’t see the trolley in our carriage. Thought it was appalling and people had to go looking for the trolley. No revenue from us there. Did the same journey at Easter on HST and spent about £20 in the buffet fair value and excellent friendly service.

I always felt it reassuring from a security point of view to have buffet car staff around and often a focal point for friendly fellow travellers to briefly share a drink and a chat.

In terms of capacity I am sure the buffet car actually helped on the Paddington, Newbury, Pewsey run down to Exeter as it always seemed very popular in the evenings - and many stood up rather than taking up seats.

I have signed the petition and surely if Grester Anglia can have new stock with buffet facilities why can’t GWR. I think it should be a franchising requirement.

Bring back the buffet GWR.
 

Master29

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Improve or cut it. The world won't miss dreary sandwiches and bad coffee from on train buffets
By the world you mean your opinion.

The train company neither guarantees a seat nor refreshments.
Wrong on both counts if they`re offered which they are on GWR.

No it isn't. You agree to the contract when you buy the ticket. If you don't like the contract don't agree to it.
What if you don`t have a choice?

The train companies are not contractually obliged to provide you refreshments.
Yes they are if they advertise it.

People defending buffets are defending the right to pay way over the odds for something you can get for less before the journey.
A rash generalisation.

Nobody needs one on a train or any journey.
Again, generalisation.

Buffets serving lousy drinks and microwaved rubbish are not needed in the 21st century
By who`s calculation?

I advocate trains use their space better and have more seats which will actually benefit passengers.
I agree, like getting rid of two pointless kitchens.

No,its a statement of fact. It is significantly more than you get elsewhere.
This is subjective as it`s your point.

I just think that the buffet car is a bit of a fun novelty in my eyes: the thought of buying something like a packet of biscuits on a train just sounds fun to me. I don't know whether other people have that mindset but I sure do :D
I agree with that. I always loved going to the buffet car as a kid with my Dad and still do for that bit of novelty fun.

Getting rid helps everyone by providing more seating capacity available to all
Precisely, again by getting rid of those kitchens.

And my argument is about buffets, not trollies. I still wouldn't buy from a trolley, but it has a far stronger case to stay as it takes little space.
Again you talk about space whilst ignoring the elephant in the room. Them 2 big kitchens again. I know it`s not gonna happen but it is still a valid argument.
 

dk1

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1205 Penzance yesterday was two 5-car 802s with a trolley in both. I was I was in the rear unit from Paddington & the trolley almost got to us in K at 1342 before announcing it would be static from now due to obstructions in the vestibule.
 

Bromley boy

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No one has been bothered in the last 40 years, nationalised railways or private sector so I'm not exactly optimistic we're suddenly going to get an improvement now. The food on the go sector in the UK is so strong there is no need for on board catering at sky high prices when people can bring their own or buy it before they travel.

Why bother with tasteless brown rubbish being sold as coffee when you can buy a good cup before you board?
I think this pretty much nails it.

The coffee I’ve had from trolleys and on board buffets is generally overpriced and of poor quality.

Peoples’ expectations have moved on.
 

Mountain Man

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PKB, as they say.
:lol:

Your whole argument is premised on “I don’t use it, so no-one needs it”.
Apart from it isn't. And you know that. You're just making yourself foolish by not actually reading my posts

It's based on 2 things. Replacing buffets with seats benefits all passengers, buffets benefit a small portion of passengers. Which is why I am far more supportive of trolleys because they don't impact seating

And secondly, buffets serve low quality high price items, which you can better for cheaper before you board. When buffets were put on trains the food to go sector wasn't even 1/1000th the size it is now. The quality and range of food and drink is far wider than decades ago. The world has moved beyond tasteless brown water badged as coffee and terrible microwaved food
 

Master29

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Apart from it isn't. And you know that. You're just making yourself foolish by not actually reading my posts

It's based on 2 things. Replacing buffets with seats benefits all passengers, buffets benefit a small portion of passengers. Which is why I am far more supportive of trolleys because they don't impact seating

And secondly, buffets serve low quality high price items, which you can better for cheaper before you board. When buffets were put on trains the food to go sector wasn't even 1/1000th the size it is now. The quality and range of food and drink is far wider than decades ago. The world has moved beyond tasteless brown water badged as coffee and terrible microwaved food
Well I have read your points and I`m with 43096. Trolleys don`t impact seating you`re correct but neither would the removal of them 2 pointless kitchens and what is the point of a trolley service that will be static for the next couple of months anyway. If you`re from the West country then surely you would know this.
Why should buffets offer poor quality products any more than a trolley. That`s a pointless comparison.

Of course it`s personal choice whether you use a buffet or trolley and buy overpriced items. I often bring my own stuff too which makes sense. What doesn`t is this constant nobody wants it therefore it must be wrong blanket attitude.
 

Mountain Man

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Well I have read your points and I`m with 43096. Trolleys don`t impact seating you`re correct but neither would the removal of them 2 pointless kitchens and what is the point of a trolley service that will be static for the next couple of months anyway. If you`re from the West country then surely you would know this.
Why should buffets offer poor quality products any more than a trolley. That`s a pointless comparison.

Of course it`s personal choice whether you use a buffet or trolley and buy overpriced items. I often bring my own stuff too which makes sense. What doesn`t is this constant nobody wants it therefore it must be wrong blanket attitude.
I haven't expressed an opinion on kitchens. This topic isn't about kitchens it's about buffets.

I'm not saying buffets offer worse quality than trolleys, they are both worse than shops/cafes/coffee stands before the journey which is who they are competing with. Trolleys though don't have a massive inconvenience of taking up so much seating

A few decades ago you had little option for good carry on food and drink, now the options are vast
 
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Master29

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I haven't expressed an opinion on kitchens. This topic isn't about kitchens it's about buffets.

I'm not saying buffets offer worse quality than trolleys, they are both worse than shops/cafes/coffee stands before the journey which is who they are competing with. Trolleys though don't have a massive inconvenience of taking up so much seating

A few decades ago you had little option for good carry on food and drink, now the options are vast
It is about those kitchens if you continually use the "buffet takes up seating space " argument. Those 2 kitchens stand idle on most journeys to Devon and Cornwall. That sounds like "taking up pointless space" to me.
 
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irish_rail

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Apart from it isn't. And you know that. You're just making yourself foolish by not actually reading my posts

It's based on 2 things. Replacing buffets with seats benefits all passengers, buffets benefit a small portion of passengers. Which is why I am far more supportive of trolleys because they don't impact seating

And secondly, buffets serve low quality high price items, which you can better for cheaper before you board. When buffets were put on trains the food to go sector wasn't even 1/1000th the size it is now. The quality and range of food and drink is far wider than decades ago. The world has moved beyond tasteless brown water badged as coffee and terrible microwaved food
But the point is at present the food offering at stations on the Paddington to Penzance run is very poor except for London and reading. Just because up country every station seems to have an m and s plus Sainsbury local etc for some reason the South has been forgotten about, hence the need for buffets on trains.
 

Mountain Man

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It is about those kitchens if you continually use the "buffet takes up seating space " argument. Those 2 kitchens stand idle on most journeys to Devon and Cornwall. That sounds like "taking up pointless space" to me.
So if I said get rid of kitchens as well as buffets then that would be OK?
 

Mountain Man

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But the point is at present the food offering at stations on the Paddington to Penzance run is very poor except for London and reading. Just because up country every station seems to have an m and s plus Sainsbury local etc for some reason the South has been forgotten about, hence the need for buffets on trains.
Penzance has multiple cafes and shops nearby.

According to Google maps there is a Costcutter approx 120 yards from the platforms. Or less than the walk from some seats on a train to the buffet

A Costa coffee is approx 210 yards.
 

43096

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Apart from it isn't. And you know that. You're just making yourself foolish by not actually reading my posts

It's based on 2 things. Replacing buffets with seats benefits all passengers, buffets benefit a small portion of passengers. Which is why I am far more supportive of trolleys because they don't impact seating

And secondly, buffets serve low quality high price items, which you can better for cheaper before you board. When buffets were put on trains the food to go sector wasn't even 1/1000th the size it is now. The quality and range of food and drink is far wider than decades ago. The world has moved beyond tasteless brown water badged as coffee and terrible microwaved food
I see you ignored my question about Pullman dining. Clart.
 

Deafdoggie

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Penzance has multiple cafes and shops nearby.

According to Google maps there is a Costcutter approx 120 yards from the platforms. Or less than the walk from some seats on a train to the buffet

A Costa coffee is approx 210 yards.
That is alright then. Just stop trains at Penzance, and don't bother with other stations as they have no shops nearby.
 

FGW_DID

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Travelled down Paddington to Exeter recently and didn’t see the trolley in our carriage. Thought it was appalling and people had to go looking for the trolley. No revenue from us there. Did the same journey at Easter on HST and spent about £20 in the buffet fair value and excellent friendly service. How come you find it perfectly acceptable to have to walk to the buffet and yet walking to to find the trolley is “appalling”? So quite happy to walk from one end of the train to the buffet but if you have to go find the trolley (which may happen to be in the next coach) it’s the end of the world! :?:

I always felt it reassuring from a security point of view to have buffet car staff around and often a focal point for friendly fellow travellers to briefly share a drink and a chat. I seem to have missed the security guards in the buffet car! I don’t know what difference you think there is between a customer host pulling a trolley around and one manning a buffet / express cafe? Perhaps there’s no room for the pump-action shotgun in the trolley where as it’s kept in a rack under the buffet counter! :rolleyes::rolleyes:

In terms of capacity I am sure the buffet car actually helped on the Paddington, Newbury, Pewsey run down to Exeter as it always seemed very popular in the evenings - and many stood up rather than taking up seats. Valid point, it did seem to be a meeting point for the after work crowd to have a few beers

I have signed the petition and surely if Grester Anglia can have new stock with buffet facilities why can’t GWR. I think it should be a franchising requirement. Have you actually read any of the discussions about the Intercity Express Program, the 800s and the GWR procurement of the 802s? All a DFT decision NOT to have a buffet car, they wouldn’t have signed off the 802s unless the interior fit matched the DFT specified 800s.

Bring back the buffet GWR. Again, that’s a DFT decision!
My reply’s in red.
 

Cornish Blue

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Apart from the above mentioned, Penzance also has a static food and drink van parked right outside the station entrance, with ample choice for any journey. Likewise, should you be at St Erth, there is a lovely little cafe on the platform next to the booking office and a well stocked garage around the corner. Hayle has a Spar and a Costcutter just down from the station, Cambourne has a cafe on the platform plus shops within a few minutes walk. I could go on, but it goes to show that even in sleepy Cornwall it doesn't take much to stock up, so I am sure it will be similar in other places up country. Why do people need so much choice is beyond me. A drink, a sandwich and a snack should see you through. The point is that whilst it would be simple to expect GWR to provide for everyones catering needs, the reality is that people need to take some responsibility and prepare before their journey. I travel from St Erth to Paddington regularly and actually prefer the trolley service, because as a single passenger it saves me leaving my bags. However, I usually only buy a coffee or two and always have a bottle of water should no trolley roll past, which I have not experienced. Perhaps I am just lucky.
 

Mountain Man

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That is alright then. Just stop trains at Penzance, and don't bother with other stations as they have no shops nearby.
The issue was raised about Penzance, it was answered.

Apparently if you buy a bottle of drink or bag of crisps, you don't have to drink/eat it straight away. This new invention called packaging means you can consume something a period of time after you buy. What would be really clever is if people going on a long journey would use this new invention and buy something some time before they travel, like when they are in the shop anyway.
 

Deafdoggie

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Apparently if you buy a bottle of drink or bag of crisps, you don't have to drink/eat it straight away. This new invention called packaging means you can consume something a period of time after you buy. What would be really clever is if people going on a long journey would use this new invention and buy something some time before they travel, like when they are in the shop anyway.
Yes, we all able to plan our journeys ahead, and only start and end at a station with a shop near by, and have time to call at the shop before boarding/after alighting a train, and the shops are open at all times the trains arrive/depart at the station.

Three real examples from me: I had to attend a funeral, although I had a few days notice, I did not want to attend with bags of food (or bags at all) Due to the distance and times, I wasn't going to last all day with no food. An ability to purchase and eat it on the train was an essential.
My mum was taken seriously ill, I had to jump on a train with no notice. No time for packing, no time for shopping. Food and drink on the train was a must.
I had a job interview, again, not wanting to attend with a packed lunch, but needing to keep time out to the minimum, purchasing and eating on the train was ideal. My morning train left before the local shop opened too.

Whilst your arguments may work if you can plan ahead and have time to spare at the station and don't mind having a bag, and the local shop times their opening times with the train departures. It is not always possible though.
 

43096

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OK, I think Pullman services have merit if a sufficient premium is paid such that are profitable as unlike a buffet they offer something you cannot easily replicate
Does that justify the loss of half a coach on every GWR 80x set, though, with so few trains offering full dining? Wouldn’t the space be better used for seating or a less elitist catering offering?
 
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