SWT West Of England First Class?

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tango602

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Hello, I am travelling first class between Exeter St Davids (EXD) and Basingstoke (BSK) in April on the 1726 from Exeter St Davids (EXD), what can I expect in first class on this service?
 
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Greenback

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I haven't travelled First Class on that route, but as far as I am aware there are no free refreshments on SWT. I am ready to be corrected, though.
 

Urban Gateline

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The class 158/159's on that route arguably have the best first class out of all SWT rolling stock, you get a very spacious seat, there are also single seats or two seaters depending on what you prefer. Greenback is right that there's no freebies in terms of refreshments, as those are done by RailGourmet.

I'm not sure what type of ticket you have, but some Advance fares in 1st Class on that route are very reasonable indeed!
 

tango602

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The class 158/159's on that route arguably have the best first class out of all SWT rolling stock, you get a very spacious seat, there are also single seats or two seaters depending on what you prefer. Greenback is right that there's no freebies in terms of refreshments, as those are done by RailGourmet.

I'm not sure what type of ticket you have, but some Advance fares in 1st Class on that route are very reasonable indeed!
Thanks molesey boy, I have an Advance 1st Single Ticket with 16-25 Railcard with the route being AP SWT Only for £11.90, it is very reasonable :)
 

CC 72100

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As other posters have pointed out, you don't get any freebie refreshments, but you do get wider seating, with choices of table of 4 or tables for 2. It's normally the leading half of the first coach towards Waterloo, and I've never seen people use the doors at that end of the coach, so you'll likely to be undisturbed by people who walk through.

On the whole I really rate SWTs 159s, such comfortable and thick-padded seating, plus always well maintained in my experience
 

Oliver

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I use the route quite often. Actually second class is pretty good. First class offers more space and power points for laptop, etc. The line is not fast, but it goes through a series of pleasant stations and countryside, and you get a nice sort of passenger.

Most trains west of Salisbury are 3-car. If you're travelling to London you tend to find that the three cars from Exeter get quite busy as they approach Salisbury, but tend to be emptier after. That's because lots of passengers get off at Salisbury to change for Southamption, etc, and those that get on there have already boarded the three cars which are waiting in the station.
 

Greenback

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Thanks molesey boy, I have an Advance 1st Single Ticket with 16-25 Railcard with the route being AP SWT Only for £11.90, it is very reasonable :)
I would be happy to travel in any first class for that distance at that price, even if there are no complimentary refreshments :D
 

swt_passenger

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Most trains west of Salisbury are 3-car. If you're travelling to London you tend to find that the three cars from Exeter get quite busy as they approach Salisbury, but tend to be emptier after.
The 6 car up direction trains through to Waterloo are at 0641, 0826, 0926, and 1626 if it's of interest. Later 6 car trains exist but split en route.
 

tango602

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Thanks swt_passenger, I was actually wondering that but was not planning to ask about it. Its also nice to know from the rest of you about the seating and positioning of first class within the formation of the train.
 

Failed Unit

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I believe the set of doors immediately behind the leading cab on South West Trains 159s are for use by crew only.
Yes I have heard this as well, I have heard that it is for security and to enable the driver to do thier job as they won't have passengers hanging around the area. Don't know why this is only an issue in the SouthWest however.
 

CC 72100

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I believe the set of doors immediately behind the leading cab on South West Trains 159s are for use by crew only.
That seems a likely explanation, as there is a sign at the end of the coach, which looks as if it can be illuminated that says 'Please only use these doors in an emergency. Alternative doors can be found at the other end of the coach'

This was the back doors of the first 159 on a doubled up, 6 car working, so the sign was not illuminated and they were used normally.
 

swt_passenger

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Yes I have heard this as well, I have heard that it is for security and to enable the driver to do thier job as they won't have passengers hanging around the area. Don't know why this is only an issue in the SouthWest however.
The 442s also had the same feature when in use with SWT, not sure if they still do? Apparently the original rationale was that because there was no separate driver's door, it was considered particularly awkward for passengers to be present in the lobby - especially on the four track sections, and with the third rail, if the driver had to get out the train to go to a signal telephone.

Some think it was insisted on by ASLEF when the trains were new, but if that was the case, surely they'd have made the same claim everywhere else?

What is a bit of an own goal is displaying 'out of order' externally, using the normal illuminated indication. This probably makes people on the platform think all the trains have defects...
 

Failed Unit

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The 442s also had the same feature when in use with SWT, not sure if they still do? Apparently the original rationale was that because there was no separate driver's door, it was considered particularly awkward for passengers to be present in the lobby - especially on the four track sections, and with the third rail, if the driver had to get out the train to go to a signal telephone.

Some think it was insisted on by ASLEF when the trains were new, but if that was the case, surely they'd have made the same claim everywhere else?

What is a bit of an own goal is displaying 'out of order' externally, using the normal illuminated indication. This probably makes people on the platform think all the trains have defects...
Make sense, but as you say not a problem elsewhere. (although I guess they don't really enter 3rd rail regions elsewhere)

Imagine the chaos of EMT or Northern did that with thier 153s, I have seen them so overcrowded the driver has struggled to leave the cab to speak to the signaller, asking them to move down to the coach but finding there is nowhere for them to go!
 

starrymarkb

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It was Network South East who wanted the leading doors locked out, they've had it since new as have the 442s... All other NSE stock had a separate driver's door
 

Zoe

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Is the internal door to the leading vestibule locked on the 159s?
 
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swt_passenger

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It was Network South East who wanted the leading doors locked out, they've had it since new as have the 442s... All other NSE stock had a separate driver's door
I had a bit of a WTF? moment when the 'Grumpy Old Man' column in Today's Railways UK had a rant about it only a few issues ago, as though it was something newly introduced. I think they (TRUK) were trying to make out it was some sort of plot to disadvantage First Class passengers at Waterloo - but in my experience the doors come into normal use as soon as the cab is switched off - and of course it only applies to one First Class section of the three or four in multiple in the peaks...

--- old post above --- --- new post below ---

Is the internal door to the leading vestibule locked on the 159s?
Certainly is, and only the one being driven from when in multiple, any others operate normally. It has an emergency 'break glass' over-ride switch, (like a fire alarm) for use by passengers in an emergency, or the guard can use a T key to get through if he needs to.
 
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bailey65

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Swt do a special offer first class upgrade at weekends for a fiver each way which isn't bad especially if you are doing a long trip like waterloo to exeter or weymouth it's worth the extra comfort and it would be even better if there was wi fi as well.
 

swt_passenger

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I believe you can upgrade with an advance ticket, its megatrain that is the no no.
Correct.

SWT website said:
Upgrade from Standard to First Class at weekends and public holidays, for just £5.00 per person. Just take a seat in First Class and buy your upgrade from the Guard. Upgrades are available for holders of all Standard Class tickets (except megatrain) and subject to available space.
 

heart-of-wessex

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I had the unfortunate ride on a 159 from Waterloo to Trowbridge in FC, thinking it would be great.

Well, considering I was on it from the start, the tables were a mess with crisp bits scattered across the table (I guess the contract cleaners were elsewhere) and throughout the journey I found the seats weren't that well padded, compared to the cushion seats in Standard class.
Now, I prefer to travel in Standard class as they are my favourite seats!

Just my opinion though, others will prefer the FC seating of course, but for me? no taa!
 

wintonian

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I had the unfortunate ride on a 159 from Waterloo to Trowbridge in FC, thinking it would be great.

Well, considering I was on it from the start, the tables were a mess with crisp bits scattered across the table (I guess the contract cleaners were elsewhere) and throughout the journey I found the seats weren't that well padded, compared to the cushion seats in Standard class.
Now, I prefer to travel in Standard class as they are my favourite seats!

Just my opinion though, others will prefer the FC seating of course, but for me? no taa!

I've always found them to be far cleaner than the rest of SWT's stock, but then I do travel on 444/ 450's far more often.

As for the standard class seats they are indeed far superior to the first class ones on many classes - long may they stay with SWT. :grin:
 

bailey65

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The 159's are quite long in the tooth now i can't believe the first batch were built back in 1989 to replace class 50's but they are great units to ride in and comfortable as well the recent refurbishment has made them even better.
 
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