Seats on FGW HST.

Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by AM9, 8 May 2015.

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  1. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    This is not another moan about seat types or their demise. I am about to book two Std. class seats on the Friday 12:06 to Penzance for a first-time journey to Cornwall, and would be grateful for any advice from forum members who have experience on the service as it is currently run. My preferences are:
    Forward facing, - essential for the other half
    Left (south) side to get coastal views where available
    Table for better view assuming the window lines up, if not available, which airline seats do line up?
    Access to power outlet, - not that important but desireable
    Prefer not to sit over the bogies for five hours.

    As other passengers may have the same wish list, are seats like this going to be reserved already?

    I did some research and came up with seats 55 & 56 in coaches A, B & D.
    Any views would be welcome. TIA.
     
  2. asylumxl

    asylumxl Established Member

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    I can't help you with most of that as I haven't travelled on FGW in quite a while, but every pair of airline seats have a power socket between them.
     
  3. CC 72100

    CC 72100 Established Member

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    Could this seating plan help you? http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1195/4603933958_3e9ccd7035.jpg

    55/56 would be on the left hand side of train in direction of travel providing that the set is in the normal order (coach A leading)
     
  4. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Yes that's the diagram that I found a slightly larger version of on the FGW site. Is there any way that I can find out where the windows are in relation to the seats?
     
  5. CC 72100

    CC 72100 Established Member

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    As for finding a diagram for that, I wouldn't know.

    However unfortunately the table seats are not the best (ie. pretty poor) for lining up with the window, the window tending to start 1/3rd of the way 'in', meaning that the one side has just pillar and you'd have to lean forward to get a really good view.
     
  6. irish_rail

    irish_rail Member

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    From memory, the table seats on the long distance (LA) sets (which 12.06 will always be as it has a restaurant on board), are better lined up with the windows than the table seats on the short distance (OC) sets, so you might be alright....:)
     
  7. DanTrainMan185

    DanTrainMan185 Established Member

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    Coach E seats 13 and 14 are normal airline seats facing forward and with a clear window.

    In fact, for all coaches 13 and 14 are the best seats, as these are at the London end of the carriage and face forwards.

    Edit: just realised this isn't on the coast side. In that case, 15 and 16 on the opposite side are good.
     
    Last edited: 9 May 2015
  8. CC 72100

    CC 72100 Established Member

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    You've got to be careful basing it on coach E though, as not only is this coach unreservable, but if it was one of the 'new' ones (with 8 tables, converted from former first class vehicles), then the layout is different as well.

    I think if it was one of the 'old' ones, then it has the same layout as B/D and coach A (up to the TM office)
     
  9. Nozzacook

    Nozzacook Member

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    I travel quite often from Penzance and book any seat. then I choose a more suitable seat in the unreserved coach E or F.
     
  10. DanTrainMan185

    DanTrainMan185 Established Member

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    Good point, however seats 15 and 16 aren't at tables even on the new layout.

    Furthermore, as its unreserved, this is where the OP should head to as seats in this coach are guaranteed to be free!
     
  11. 455driver

    455driver Veteran Member

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    So anyone that heads to the unreserved coach could be out of luck because you have decided to take a seat in it.

    I do wish they would enforce reservations!
     
  12. Dr_Intoxicated

    Dr_Intoxicated Member

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    I agree 100%, very selfish behaviour.
     
  13. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    In my experience people do not generally feel the need to do this on East Coast.

    Why? Because East Coast has clear seating plans available, and makes seats selectable when booking tickets. Therefore, people are able to book an appropriate seat of their choice.

    I believe that if FGW gave people the ability to choose an appropriate seat in the first place, people would not resort to having to book any old random seat and then look for an ideal seat on the day.
     
  14. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Agreed. Seat selection is also a service I would be willing to pay for, so more profit for the TOC too.
     
  15. DanTrainMan185

    DanTrainMan185 Established Member

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    The problem with that though is that many of FGW's HSTs are in a different layout at the moment. Some high-density, some low-density, some with the extra tables added, so even if such an option was avilable there is a possibilty that the desired seat a passenger has selected may not end up being that seat.

    With XC and VTEC, their seating plans for ALL of their stock are more or less the same (unless with VTEC a HST replaced a 91 for whatever reason).

    But aside from that, I agree. Many people have certain requirements, such as not wishing to travel backwards, having a table seat or sitting by the window. This is almost guaranteed with FGW (unlike XC!)
     
  16. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Thanks to all who have contributed to this thread. I now appreciate why it is difficult to give a straight answer. Today, I went to St Albans City to see what the booking office could offer. It seems that even they can't see a seating plan, (probably because of reasons stated on this thread, e.g the stock can vary and even without last-minute breakdowns, this far out, the rosters may change particularly with a timetable change next week). The system kept offering various seats, (it couldn't even offer left or right hand side as a preference. In the end I gave in and booked the tickets with these seats:
    OUT - C23/24 the plans that I have show those as LHS airline, rear of coach so hopefully forward facing.
    RET - B73/74 similarly, these are airline forward facing but LHS, so away from the coast.
    I think we can get there a bit earlier than the NRE itinerary suggests, and maybe get better seats. According to RTT, the trains departs from P8 having arrived as 1A77 from Penzance at 11:24. I don't know how early passengers are allowed onto either the platforms or the trains at Paddington. Can anybody help with that for a 42min dwell in the middle of the day please? I'm hoping that it isn't like the scrum for the 19:15 to Swansea! :(
    If I can find them, (even in the non-reservable coaches), I intend to remove the tags from the reserved seats that we have to release them. Is this allowed or should I tell the TM?

    The next problem is to book seats on the train from ZFD to PAD. Trouble is I can't decide where to sit as I dont know whether it will be a S7, S8 or even a Fake8. ;)
     
  17. 455driver

    455driver Veteran Member

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    FGW seem to be putting the converted 1sts into position E or F so there should be standardisation of formation eventually.

    I saw one set the other week with 3 ex 1sts in it (B, D and F) so there is some room to go yet.
     
  18. DanTrainMan185

    DanTrainMan185 Established Member

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    They're both forward facing so you're fine on that part, however 73+74 are against a window pillar so you won't have much of a view unless you can move to alternative seats!
     
  19. BestWestern

    BestWestern Established Member

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    Just be aware that there are currently a great number of sets which are marshalled other than in the 'standard' fashion. Coach B/C/D are all commonly found to be the 'wrong' type of coach at the moment, C and D in particular. Also bear in mind that, on the same basis, there will be some sets in reverse formation. The best place for a guaranteed seat location is Carriage A, which will always be in the right place (but could still be at the wrong end if it's in reverse, of course). Do keep in mind that A is the Quiet Carriage however.
     
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