Train services which do not include first class accommodation

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yorkie

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The new Conditions of Travel from 1 October 2016 state:
15. Using first class accommodation
15.1 Some train services include first class accommodation. Where first class accommodation is available, the relevant seats and area(s) of the train will be clearly marked.
There has been some debate in another thread about which train services do not include first class accommodation:
Do trains from Inverness to Kyle, Wick and Thurso have first class?
Interesting question. Unless labelled as Standard accommodation, I would suggest they now will.
Some certainly have first class accommodation, often it is declassified but I'm not sure that it always is..
These trains have standard seating only.



I believe that if it states on printed or online timetables that a train has "standard class seating only" then that is definitive, feel free to discuss...
 
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trivran

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I know we've done all these arguments before, but..

The timetable is the best place to start with these things. With Greater Anglia's timetables, there is always an indication of whether a train conveys first class accommodation or not. This indication is the familiar '1' symbol. Accompanying text tells us that 'First class accommodation [is] available' on services so marked. GA go to lengths to ensure that only trains where first class accommodation is available are so marked. Trains without first class are not marked by the '1' symbol. Where these services are operated with segregated trains it is often the position of both passengers and staff alike that there is still no first class accommodation available on these trains. First class is not 'declassified'. Announcements are made to the effect of 'Passengers may sit in first class', but the word 'declassified' is not used. This would give authority to the 'Holy Timetable' argument.

..it would, but for the fact that people empowered to check tickets have been known to disagree with this. This includes people employed by Abellio and not employed by Abellio. The Disputes and Prosecutions forum contains a few examples. On the Greenford Branch, operated currently by GWR, such a situation has been avoided by the placing of signs around the first class area noting that passengers may use it. Sadly I cannot remember the particular wording. Whether it was words to the effect of a permanent declassification, or acknowledgement of the lack of first class accommodation, would make all the difference.

As a final TOC example, some trains run by London Overground contain a 'first class' section. However there is no segregation on London Overground. Passengers are thus always entitled to use first class areas. This has never been an issue. To that end, and to my mind, these three examples lend almost nothing but credence to the idea that the timetable is definitive. A few minor misplaced Penalty Fares here and there do not negate this.

The introduction in October this year of condition 15.1 of the NRCoT could well change this. No supplementary 'information boxes' are attached to any part of condition 15. Therefore all of it is intended to be and will be contractual. The particular contention would be in the wording of 15.1: "Where first class accommodation is available, the relevant seats and area(s) of the train will be clearly marked." Does the marking of an area as first class only take effect when first class accommodation is available? Or is first class accommodation only available where marked? Do markings negate our otherwise 'authoritative' timetables? To me, first class is only in existence on a train where 'available' as in the timetable, and then 'marked' as in the NRCoT. The NRCoT seems to draw its wording from that contained within timetables. It would be most helpful for the NRCoT to clarify this for us.

It is very easy to argue that where first class accommodation is 'marked', it then becomes 'available'. What about in the situations where a first class carrying train rocks up to form a standard-only service? Does a portion of the train immediately become unavailable? Should train crew, station staff et al. have to make explicit at all hours that there is no first class, or should they be able to rest knowing that this particular train never carries first class anyway? What happens in situations where a TOC 'borrows' a train from another, permanently or otherwise, where there are first class areas marked, but they do not wish to carry first class passengers? Need they also go to the huge effort of letting passengers know that there is no first class, or should they stick with the sensible approach adopted to by LO and realise their customers will figure it out, by such methods as 'looking at the timetable'? I do not disagree that TOCs should get off their arses and remove any such demarcation, but in the interim a solution must be available.

Using the NR website to ascertain the availability is a different kettle of fish altogether. Again, the new NRCoT, in condition 20, gives hope to those that abide by the all knowing wisdom of the internet, even if it makes reference to an entirely different situation and is not really explicit enough.

The best way to resolve all of this, of course, would be the words of a statement issued by ATOC, the DfT etc. (barring anything sensible like clarifying in their contracts). Does any such statement exist? Comboios de Portugal are able to be very clear on this. Only certain trains have first class. All trains of these types have first class. If you hold a standard class ticket you will damn well not use first class until you pay for it. There is no such rubbish involving the timetable for determining which trains have first class. Great Britain should be able to be just as clear.
 
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najaB

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My take on it is that the marking is enough to make the area 'first class accommodation' since that is a property of the physical object.

The TOC can choose to use that accommodation to convey ticket holders of either first or standard class on any specific service, and then makes that intent clear in the timetable or other published notices.
 

globetrotter

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By setting aside certain areas as "first class accommodation", standard class seating in that train has been somehow reduced. So there is less seating and room available to passengers holding standard class tickets.

From that we can extrapolate, I think, that the operator is running trains and providing accommodation according to a contract. If, for operational reasons, the operator chooses to use a different train that includes first class accommodation then that accommodation is available to anyone using that train as the operator is not entitled to reduce the amount of accommodation available to standard class ticket holders.
 

47513 Severn

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The new NRCoT do not prohibit TOCs from declassifying accommodation if they so wish; if they do so it is not then First Class accommodation. The thing that appears possibly no longer to be the case is that in the absence of them actually having done this FC is not FC if the train is not timetabled to have it.

This!

First class is 'advertised' (or not) in timetables and elsewhere to allow customers who wish to use it to select suitable services. Similarly the standard class only shown in the screenshot is for customer information. I don't believe it forms a contractual obligation to not have first class on the train and the new NRCoT seem to confirm this. Many operators routinely declassify first class on trains where it is not advertised but that doesn't set a precedent. It remains a nice perk at the discretion of the operator, not a right.
 

infobleep

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Are there any train services for which you can't buy first class tickets between any of the stations?

What about Guildford to Ascot. That uses 450 trains on Saturdays which have first class. I don't think you can get a first class fare between any stations on that route.

So should the middle first class section in each part of the train be locked out of use? Impossible as it blocks the thoroughfare to other parts of the standard class train.

Of course South West Trains could make announcement on the train but whenever I've used it, I've not always heard an announcement from the guard. There's no automated one as far as am aware.

Wouldn't bother me if they wanted to offer first class only on Saturdays but they don't it seems.

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47513 Severn

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I suppose the first class All Line Rover means it is possible to have a FC ticket valid on any train that might have it whether scheduled or not.

An old thread on the subject discussed the Norwich to Sheringham line which has no first class fares but occasionally sees class 170 units used. There are probably other examples.
 

30907

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Comboios de Portugal are able to be very clear on this. Only certain trains have first class. All trains of these types have first class. If you hold a standard class ticket you will damn well not use first class until you pay for it. There is no such rubbish involving the timetable for determining which trains have first class. Great Britain should be able to be just as clear.

But, in Portugal, how do you find what type your train is? I presume you mean "train of category X" like IC, AP, IR...? - and this information is contained in the timetable (in whatever form). Just like in GB where the (1) symbol is used.

I agree with the consensus that the timetable (in whatever form) should be definitive -as has been the case since time immemorial (or at least since I occasionally caught a train home from school formed 4EPB+4CEP...).
 

greatkingrat

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By setting aside certain areas as "first class accommodation", standard class seating in that train has been somehow reduced. So there is less seating and room available to passengers holding standard class tickets.

From that we can extrapolate, I think, that the operator is running trains and providing accommodation according to a contract. If, for operational reasons, the operator chooses to use a different train that includes first class accommodation then that accommodation is available to anyone using that train as the operator is not entitled to reduce the amount of accommodation available to standard class ticket holders.

Of course they are, otherwise they would be in breach of contract every time they sent out 4 coaches instead of 8.
 

Merseysider

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infobleep said:
Are there any train services for which you can't buy first class tickets between any of the stations?
Yes, Manchester Piccadilly to Oxford Road ;)

Probably a few other station pairs on the Man-Blackpool/Windermere routes which Northern have recently acquired 185s for
 

LowLevel

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By setting aside certain areas as "first class accommodation", standard class seating in that train has been somehow reduced. So there is less seating and room available to passengers holding standard class tickets.

From that we can extrapolate, I think, that the operator is running trains and providing accommodation according to a contract. If, for operational reasons, the operator chooses to use a different train that includes first class accommodation then that accommodation is available to anyone using that train as the operator is not entitled to reduce the amount of accommodation available to standard class ticket holders.

Of course they can. As a guard I can lock portions of the train out of use at any time for a variety of reasons. It's frowned upon to do it frivolously but it's up to me how to operate the train.

There's nothing to say that an employee can't choose to take the first class accommodation out of use entirely on standard class services, and not allow you to sit there.
 

globetrotter

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Of course they can. As a guard I can lock portions of the train out of use at any time for a variety of reasons. It's frowned upon to do it frivolously but it's up to me how to operate the train.

There's nothing to say that an employee can't choose to take the first class accommodation out of use entirely on standard class services, and not allow you to sit there.

Of course as a guard you could take portions out of service for all kinds of reasons (e.g. malfunctioning doors). I think you are missing the point that I was trying to make.
 

Whistler40145

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I've had the situation on a loco hauled service from Edinburgh Waverley to Preston, which joined with a Glasgow Central portion at Carstairs, whereby we had 2nd Class tickets, but the stock was wholly 1st Class compartment stock.

What other instances of this occurred in the past, but probably don't happen on the Modern Day Railway?
 

Bletchleyite

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Of course they are, otherwise they would be in breach of contract every time they sent out 4 coaches instead of 8.

They are, and will be penalised financially for doing so.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
The Watford Jn - St Albans Abbey line only has first class season tickets, not day tickets, and the trains are advertised as having first class.

In practice... ;)

Whatever happened to dedicating a 319/4 to it so it was genuinely Standard only as it used to be?
 

Tetchytyke

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I don't think much changes, to be honest, the same arguments as before still apply now.

First class accommodation, where marked, is only for first class ticket holders unless standard class ticket holders are given permission to sit there. A written notice from a TOC stating that first class is automatically declassified on services marked as standard class only would count as permission.

The other argument would remain that it isn't clearly marked as first class accommodation if the timetable and/or the PIS states that the train is "standard class only".
 
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