Petition to bring back the buffet on GWR

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by irish_rail, 19 Apr 2019.

  1. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    And the primary issue is that the approach taken by the TOCs is always, other than ScotRail, that the buffet should be a quality operation staffed by TOC employees with a quality selection and good stock levels, and that any old cheap outsourced rubbish is OK for the trolley.

    This really has to stop. Make the trolley good (and have enough of them that I'll see it frequently enough in very long trains), and it'll definitely be my preference. Oh, and if it will be missing, put it on the PIS reliably so I can make other arrangements.
     
  2. aar0

    aar0 Member

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    Order them from the trolley. From my experience everything you could get at an HST buffet you can get from an IET trolley. I agree - the GWR bacon rolls are excellent!
     
  3. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    When I travel from Penzance to London I can choose between car and train. Cost is not really a factor, as I can't book far in advance, so can't get a low fare. Given that where I'm going to after Paddington is not an easy journey by public transport, then car might be the easier option and gives me more flexibility. Against that, my car has started to play up, being quite old, and I'm not comfortable with the thought of making two long journeys within three or four days as I get older too. So, what I'm saying is that the provision of buffet facilities could well be the deciding factor in whether I go by train in future: apart from anything else, the state of my legs makes it imperative I get a proper stretch every couple of hours or so, and more than just to the loo! That, and what I read about the hardness of the seats compared to HSTs, may well make my mind up in the near future.
     
    Last edited: 25 Apr 2019
  4. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    FWIW I often break up journeys unnecessarily for that reason. A split at New St is a favourite for a walk round (I like Brum city centre these days) and good takeaway food facilities in the station. I think I would for Penzance too, though I know not exactly where.
     
  5. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    It'd usually involve a 2 hour wait for the next train, though! Plus, for me, having to drag luggage around while, unfortunately, using a stick.
     
  6. Deafdoggie

    Deafdoggie Established Member

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    No need to wait two hours! Break journey at, say, Plymouth & Bristol. Plenty of trains.
     
  7. Mitchell Hurd

    Mitchell Hurd Member

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    GWR have said they're working on how to improve the catering service on their new trains.

    The RMT are aware of this. I'll be very cross if there's a strike over this - especially as we're approaching the busy summer period and that I have 3 fantastic GWR trips coming up (one on the 16th and 18th of next month and the 02/06/19 which the June trip is to Liskeard)!

    A buffet now would mean more money and more work for GWR and network rail as regards platform lengthening just to accommodate a new buffet carriage. Plus, psyically disabled people would appreciate a trolley service compared to getting up and walking to the buffet car.

    Sorry but I'm with GWR on this one - to be fair they're trying to gain customers trust again!
     
  8. CapitalStar378

    CapitalStar378 Member

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    The East Coast 801s have a small buffet in one of the existing carriages, there's no suggestion that the train needs to be lengthened.

    The 800s for me are a step back in comfort and experience. I've only seen the trolley at seat on one journey. It was always part of the pleasure of train travel to walk along to the buffet, maybe hang out there for a drink. Broke up the journey.
     
    Last edited: 25 Apr 2019
  9. PHILIPE

    PHILIPE Established Member

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    If service is at seat, then the service has to drastically improve. Passengers are sitting for long periods without seeing a trolley and don't even know if they are going to see one at all. You've only got to read GWR Twitter Feed to see the number of posts from passengers asking about the trolley especially from those who have been sitting for long periods of time. On previous track record I'm wondering about the credibility of the improvements mentioned or is it just a cut and paste reply.
     
  10. Essexman

    Essexman Member

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    I've tried but been told that they're not available.
     
  11. HowardGWR

    HowardGWR Established Member

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    I suppose if an announcement could state 'the Refreshment Trolley is now in car x' that could help those who can't wait. That was done on a crowded XC service I was on, when, due to that overcrowding, we were told where it was parked. I wandered down and got what I wanted.
     
  12. mde

    mde Member

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    Yep - they also supply sandwiches to some of the supermarkets under own brand labels (Tesco being one). Slapping a Ginsters label on it doesn't make it premium, unfortunately.
     
  13. Geoff DC

    Geoff DC Member

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    And would mean no-one in Cornwall would buy them :rolleyes:
     
  14. jimm

    jimm Established Member

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    My general experience on GWR IETs is that the staff do indeed announce where they can be found if the trolley is providing a static service for part of a journey.
     
  15. HowardGWR

    HowardGWR Established Member

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    That's indeed as good as buffet then, assuming roughly the same assortment is available. Just raising (again!) the double five car 'problem', I wonder if such a length needs two trolleys anyway, thus overcoming the lack of a gangway between the two halves. After all, on an Airbus A320 with 180 pax, two trolleys and four stewards would be available, even on a one hour flight from Gatwick to Amsterdam.
     
  16. JN114

    JN114 Established Member

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    In theory, all 10 cars are rostered to have 4x customer hosts - 1 standard class and 1 First class in each set (with the front set First Class host additionally holding front set lead responsibilities). Whether that gets covered or not on a day-day basis remains somewhat more hit and miss; but all 10 cars should have a minimum of 6 staff at the planning stage - Driver, TM and 4x CH.

    With aviation it’s a legal minimum requirement - X flight attendants for every Y passengers. An A380 with 555 seats will have a much higher minimum crewing requirement than a Dornier 228 with 25 seats. See the various “keep the guard on the train” disputes for both industry; union and public attitudes to rail staffing.
     
  17. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I'd say so, yes, as otherwise you're waiting too long to be served. Which is one thing in favour of a buffet roughly in the middle - one member of staff can more easily serve the whole train.
     
  18. HowardGWR

    HowardGWR Established Member

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    He /she /they would not be able to if the demand was involving even only half the pax on board a nine car or ten car. I assume that the only reason fewer people visit train buffets (they would be overwhelmed otherwise) is that folk don't want to leave their luggage unattended or don't wish to traipse through 4 coaches. If a trolley appears through a packed coach, it is noticeble how many people buy something. I can only assume this is business lost when only a buffet is provided.
     
  19. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    The IEPs are clever in that the buffet uses some of the non passenger crumple zone space inorder to still maximise seat space elsewhere which then meant it needs to be in an end car...
     
  20. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    Do you mean the kitchen in an end car?
     
  21. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    Yes, bad wording on my part
     
  22. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    Pendolinos. Meridians and Voyagers are the same, with galley-kitchens in one of the driving vehicles.
     
  23. irish_rail

    irish_rail Member

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    I'd be interested to know the proportion of travellers on the London to Cornwall route who actually are travelling alone. It's quite possibly less than u think. And I don't buy the whole security concerns. When I walk up to the buffet I assume my fellow passengers will hopefully notice if someone did try and nick something . Obviously if the carriage was fairly empty I may be less enticed to leaving my belongings but generally I've never had an issue in doing so .
     
  24. 43096

    43096 Established Member

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    Have a look at the standard class end of an IEP and see if you change your mind on that.
     
  25. tnc1997

    tnc1997 Member

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    The GWR IETs only have a non-public area (kitchen) at the first class end of the train and not in the DPTS carriage as noted upthread, so it's unlikely to be a "crumple zone". This is different to the situation on CrossCountry voyagers, where there are non-public areas of similar size at both ends of the train.
     
  26. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    ...and then only because the requirements for passenger free end zones were differently defined back then. The onerous requirements applied at the time the Voyager and Pendolino were designed were subsequently relaxed...
     
  27. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    And indeed you will find standees in the Voyager "bike area" more often than not.
     
  28. KC1

    KC1 Member

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    That would be amazing. Where is the petition for that?
     
  29. Reliablebeam

    Reliablebeam Member

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    There's certainly some interesting discussion on here. But I have to say, having been a heavy user of the GWR for >10 years, I don't miss the buffet. In all that time, I've only ever used it if I happen to be in the same carriage or one of the adjacent ones. As some members have alluded to, many of us are very wary of getting up and leaving luggage unattended, and I have been the victim of theft on the railway losing £1k worth of equipment, so it does happen (and on a line that I'm sure many of you would least suspect!). I was also not very keen on the 'tradition' some fellow commuters had of gathering and making a nuisance/obstruction of themselves in that area. I would also not want to lose seats, which are now easier to come by the 9/10 car sets - they could however cut into first class all they want!!
     
  30. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    These days I take it with me, having a small rucksack on my back is no great issue while going for a wee/coffee/both. If I'm going somewhere for several days, my bag of dirty clothes can stay on the rack - if they want to nick that, good luck to them.

    I would prefer a trolley if the service was reliable - the trouble is they almost never are. For some reason only ScotRail seem to be willing to run the trolley in-house which seems to be necessary to deliver that.
     

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