Travel in declassified first class when timetable shows standard only

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by mawallace, 18 May 2019.

  1. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    The design was to have the middle with the accessible coaches and toilet, so they'll always be in the middle at core stations regardless of the length.

    I also think a smaller first class section, whereby people are expected to walk through a 12 coach train to try the other end, is not a great idea either.

    In fact, having it as it is seems to work well. Advertise first class at the front of the train, so it's nice and consistent given 700s can run in reverse formation at times.
     
  2. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    The problem is too much 1st class provision was specified by the DfT on the 8 car trains. To mitigate this GTR decided to declassify the rear 1st class. Problem is passengers can’t be expected to know whether they’re on an 8 or 12 car train so the declassification has to apply to all 700s.
     
  3. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    It would not be particularly difficult to have stickers in the windows saying "Where this is at the rear of the train, it is available to Standard Class passengers" vs "This area is First Class at all times".
     
  4. Mutant Lemming

    Mutant Lemming Established Member

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    Yes but on locals the front is also declassified - so if you board between St.Pancras and Blackfriars how would you know if the train that comes in has one or both first class sections declassified ?
     
  5. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    Showing it as declassified on the displays is just fine, and I also think that most people would rather it isn't widely advertised - wouldn't they?
     
  6. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    The number of cars doesn't affect whether the rear 1st class is declassified, it's the service, i.e. on the MML, all trains have declassified 1st at the rear whether they are 12 car or 8 car. On the Sutton loop slows, both ends are declassified. If there is any doubt, watch the PIS to check whether the message is included. I think that is when the rest of the train gets the message about leaving luggage unattended. If there isn't a message, then better to retreat. Nothing lost then.
     
  7. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    I realise that but the reason for declassified 1st is because when the trains were ordered far fewer standard class seats were specified than the trains they replaced. There was no reduction in 1st class seats.

    They could get away with this by saying that the trains were longer which is true where a 12 car replaced an 8. But an 8 car class 700 replacing an 8 car 317/321/365 meant far fewer standard class seats but the same number of 1st. This was felt to be unacceptable and the compromise was to declassify the rear 1st class compartment.
     
  8. Sleepy

    Sleepy Member

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    Ref. Greater Anglia : Norwich to Sheringham & Gt. Yarmouth/Lowestoft has been declassified for 170 workings for some time. The change from now on is Norwich to Cambridge & Ipswich to Peterborough/ Cambridge and Lowestoft which will be declassified until replaced by Stadlers.
     
  9. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    Not all locals. I believe about four Sutton loop services have first class and thus technically the front coach is only for first class ticket holders.

    It might also get confusing when the internal displays don't work as those are the ones to say the rear section is declassified. I had this recently.
     
  10. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    Actually, the class 700s saw the provision of first class seats more than double against the previous trains used on the MML. If it had been the same as previously there would have been little need for declassification.
     
  11. Mutant Lemming

    Mutant Lemming Established Member

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    The on board displays seem to be playing up or not resetting from previous journeys with more frequency these days - along with the on board announcements also being incorrect or out of synch. Have had two counter incidences - one of sitting in the leading first car of a Brighton service (with a first ticket) while the display said it could be used by standard ticket holders and then bound for Luton Airport Parkway in the rear section of a stopper with the display stating it was for first class ticket holders only. It's difficult enough to work out which tickets you need for what sections of the train as it is without the on board displays telling you otherwise.
     
  12. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Whilst it might be convenient to travel in declassified 1st seats, it's hardly a great loss if the situation isn't clear and a passenger has to sit in a standard class area.
     
  13. Mutant Lemming

    Mutant Lemming Established Member

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    When you have a busy route with people heading up to the airport (Luton) it is something of an inconvenience to have to stand for the journey as opposed to utilising a first class section which you may be able to use with your standard class ticket. Prospective passengers on this route just need some greater clarity on the situation as the current set up is confusing.
     
  14. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Window stickers (also on the internal doors) explaining the situation would make sense and would be much clearer than it just being on the PIS about once every few minutes.
     
  15. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    I don't see how it's confusing.

    The front of the train is first class (when advertised). The back isn't, and on some services where first class isn't advertised, or even specifically stated as 'not available' then you can use either end.

    People with first class tickets can be sure there's always first class at the front, whichever way around the train is. It's very clear and only an issue if someone is riding a train for fun and stays on, whereby you need to change ends if you want to use the declassified bit.

    If someone with a first class ticket goes in the 'wrong section' so what? It might be busier, but they still get the table and power socket, and a more comfy seat.

    I really fail to see what the problem is. A smaller section at both ends (and enforced at both ends) seems more of a mess, as you have to walk through 8 or 12 coaches to see if there's a seat at the other end. It's not just 4 coaches as per a 365, where in 8 or 12 configurations you get double or triple the amount of seats to check out - with no open gangway.

    The 387s are a mess and by far the worst first class configuration.
     
  16. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    Trust me, if there are no unoccupied seats in standard class there certainly won't be any in the declassified first class section.
     
  17. Mutant Lemming

    Mutant Lemming Established Member

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    along with random chance of what will happen if the RPIs are on the train
     
  18. Mutant Lemming

    Mutant Lemming Established Member

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    Many of the people who use the service up to Luton Airport Parkway are not regular travellers and are unfamiliar with the situation. If a local service arrives they can sit in that section if the rest of the train is busy, if it's a fast they can't - there isn't any obvious indication for this. The trains are the same, they are going to the same place yet there are different rules regarding those trains that aren't obvious- how can you say that ISN'T confusing ?
     
  19. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    It's very confusing and I know the railway.

    Really, they'd have been better going for a mixed Standard-only layout like the S8 or Crossrail stock - decent quality 2+2 for longer journeys, longitudinal for shorter ones and to aid circulation.
     
  20. swills

    swills Established Member

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  21. swills

    swills Established Member

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    The GA website for tickets also only gives standard class fares (£14.70 single) Low to Ips.
     
  22. mawallace

    mawallace Member

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    Thats the point i was making. Cant buy first class, is not advertised as first class, but as the compartment has first class only greater anglia says its not been declassified so you can't sit there without first class tickets
     
  23. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    I’m currently on the 07:02 from Stevenage to City Thameslink, travelling in the rear 1st class compartment.

    The display says it is for 1st class passengers only....
     
  24. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    There are three choices for everybody,
    1) travel in standard class, as appropriate for the ticket you hold
    2) travel in the area marked first class and check that the PIS shows the message indicating that it is declassified
    3) pay for a 1st class fare and choose wherever you want to sit (including the from 1st class area)
    Since the class700s were introduced, I have never encountered an RPO on any MML Thameslink journey. I rarely travel in the peaks and given the sheer number of passengers that the trains carry then, I doubt that RPOs would be able to operate effectively anyway. Additionally, on most peak services, regular travellers have already grabbed the rear first class seats (and sometimes standing space in the hope of getting seats as soon as they become vacant), so there is little opportunity for casual travellers to get a look in. There is also the issue that there is more room to manoeuvre luggage in standard where the gangways are much wider.
     
  25. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Precisely, - with the amount of informal publicity that GTR has released on use of the rear 1st class area, they would find it difficult to make any prosecution for unauthorised travel in that area stick.
     
  26. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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  27. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    Given that we are talking about travelling to Luton Airport Parkway, what will happen if there are RPIs on the train is that they will check tickets and nothing more - as long as a valid ticket is held.
     
  28. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Then it is closed to passengers (unless you have something like an All Line Rover). They are allowed to do that.
     
  29. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    If they know the back is always declassified they can go there. If not, they'll sit or stand in standard. And as already mentioned, if a train is that busy then first class is likely full anyway. On peak trains, chances are people will go to the declassified section first and stand even if there are seats elsewhere.

    It really isn't a problem IMO. If people are unsure, they'll stay out of first class. If they did go into first without knowing then they're just as likely going to go up front and not care - until caught.
     
  30. PeterC

    PeterC Established Member

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    Advice on previous theads has been that if a service is advertised as standard class any first class accommodation is declassified by default. Going back to the OP about Greater Anglia I checked a couple of timetables. Where there are no first class services explicitly advertised there is also nothing in the timetable to say that accommodation is standard class only.

    This gives the situation where it could be arguled that you could travel in first class, if available, on the 07:50 from Harwich Int to Ipswich as the timetable 5 shows it as not having first class while you could be barred from first class on the 07:27 Lowestoft to Ipswich as timetable 6 simply doesn't mention class. Or am I missing something?
     

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