Unusable seats on Northern trains

Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by Starmill, 10 Jul 2019.

  1. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    Why have there been so many Northern units come back from 'refurbishment' recently with the seat layout modified such that some rows of seating can no longer be physically used by the majority of people? This class 150 has a row that I tried to sit in but physically couldn't get my legs into. I know standards are low around here, but how's this considered acceptable by anyone?

    It would be better for everyone if those seats just weren't there, and this was left as luggage space. In my view, if a space is taken up entirely by seats with nowhwere between them for people at all, they shouldn't be allowed to count as seats for the purposes of DfT statistics. This isn't like the argument over exceptionally uncomfortable seating due to being too cramped to get all of your body parts into the space around it (as with, for example, the 450) it's about that actually being impossible for most people.

    I would like to see David Brown sitting in the seat by the window with one of Northern's daily passengers sat beside him...

    The unit pictured is 150223.
     

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  3. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    That's actually comedy. Presumably it ticks a box for being two more seats, but in fact will be used as a luggage stack.
     
  4. cactustwirly

    cactustwirly Established Member

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    Wow it's actually worse than a TfW 150! How is that even possible? :lol:
     
  5. superalbs

    superalbs Established Member

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    Looks like a good seat for people without legs, but unfortunately I have legs...
     
  6. PomWombat

    PomWombat Member

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    At 6'2", welcome to my world.

    On most seats on almost every 142, 144, 150, 153, 156 and 158.

    They're all, frankly, hostile environments for someone tall
     
  7. mde

    mde Member

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    Goodness that's almost comedic.

    Surely the better solution here would have been to remove one seat, rotate the other by 90º then call it a priority seat (the location next to the door being handy). Granted, it'd perhaps look a little absurd, but, it works on other units, and, it'd actually mean at least one seat was usable…

    Also, those photos are a good indicator as to why the refurb spec being changed back to moquette was necessary - those seat covers are appalling.
     
  8. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    717s are full of priority seats set like this, and those seats in the photos are a total joke!
     
  9. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    Looks worse than some of the refurbed 156s, the airline rows in this email are quite tight but that's definitely worse!
     
  10. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    We used to have some decent trains on Northern, but these clueless wonders seem determined to ruin even those.
     
  11. Bantamzen

    Bantamzen Established Member

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    Have the fitters employed the same team that designed the penultimate row on the bottom deck of many Wright Ecplise Gemini builds? If anyone has "enjoyed" those seats will know what I mean.
     
  12. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I suppose this is the final result of the DfT driven demand for "x,000 more seats in the peak!" that politicians have long crowed about without being willing to stump up for more vehicles and infrastructure in large parts of the country. You end up with trains that have pairs of seats that doubtlessly count for stats but can only realistically be used by one person sitting sideways! Even the Northern 156s we get around here are terrible for legroom (and they were done under old Northern!). I can just about jam myself into one seat but it's only comfortable if I sit sideways. A 142 turning up (or an ex-Scotrail 156) is in many ways preferable!
     
  13. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Or just new seats. The ironing-board-fitted Class 158s have excellent legroom despite having a layout near identical to the units as built (which have poor legroom) simply because the seat backs are about 2" thinner so you get all of that as legroom. While that layout wouldn't be generous with ironing boards, it would be usable by many.
     
  14. KevinTurvey

    KevinTurvey Member

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    As you say it would be better just to take them out and use as luggage/standee space. On many busy sprinters with 2+3 seating a lot of people seem to stand anyway rather than squeezing into the remaining empty seats. The centre third seat often just makes a nice bag table for those either side.

    The 150/2/s are terrible for this, when new they were too small, and in the last 30 years people have become bigger.

    The 144's and 153's would have been much better if they had lost a seat per column and shuffled them up to give an extra 2 inches to everybody else.
     
  15. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    The problem is that I liked the old seats. Yes, the leg room wasn't the best, but it wasn't terrible either. Travel on a 156 used to be a pleasurable experience.
     
  16. AMD

    AMD Member

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    That's not new seats, that's still the old configuration with new covers and resprayed backs.
    That's as far as the investment in the 150/155/156 fleet is stretching to as only the 158 fleet are getting new seats.
     
  17. 185

    185 Established Member

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    Clearly a much publicised 'PRM modification'.

    Thus, you, Mr Passenger, now have reduced mobility. :p
     
  18. Chrisyd

    Chrisyd Member

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    My observation is that the new cushions on the seats are thicker (either by design or lack of wear) and so seats that were just teetering on the edge of being unusable now are.
     
  19. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    I'm not sure. I think an extra 2-3cm wouldn't have done it for my legs. I still wouldn't have been able to get in there. It'd be a 5-6cm more legroom needed I think for my knees to fit. You're absolutely right that the cushions are bigger in many units though.
    Agreed.
    So that's the idea :lol::lol::lol:
     
    Last edited: 11 Jul 2019
  20. RailWonderer

    RailWonderer Member

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    Hahaha. This, is comedy.
     

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  21. SC43090

    SC43090 Member

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    i agree the refurbished seats are horrible when i had to suffer a refurbished class 150/1 the other week from New-mills Central to Sheffield it was virtually impossible to sit other than sit side ways, so i ended up standing..... Its just an awful refurbishment......

    SC 43090
     
  22. Andrew Holland

    Andrew Holland Member

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    I haven't but I think I know what you mean. OT but too many bus designs have internal seating layouts designed for either kids or people with no legs. Given I have a car, I rarely use buses but dread it when I do. My local route here is actually an Arriva-run service where, for once, the buses they use on it (Wright bodied VDLs IIRC) actually have okay legroom (and I'm 6'1" tall), though Arriva is not known for legroom overall.. I have previous long term and painful experience of their former operation in Malta. The fleet of King Long buses they bought for the operation were too tight for legroom for even Maltese folk (who are not known for being tall), never mind us Brits! Thankfully (for a variety of reasons) Arriva's fling with a Chinese manufacture was short lived and it declined to buy any for the UK operations (if the Malta operation had been a success it would have been likely that UK orders would have followed apparently). But still Arriva's prowess with knowing sod all about how people with legs are actually supposed to fit in seats seems to continue...
     
  23. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    With low-floor buses layouts are often constrained by the position of wheelarches and steps up, to be fair to the operators. Only really on double deckers (with the completely flat upstairs floor) is there full flexibility.

    As an example Hamburg's Schnellbus services had a very odd and inefficient layout in order to add legroom on the Merc O405, because there's only really one standard (quite tight) layout that properly works on those.
     
  24. talltim

    talltim Established Member

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    Wonder what Northern’s response would be if you tweeted them the pics?
     
  25. Camden

    Camden Established Member

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    They surely can't not know? I have never known a train operating company be so bad at seating as Northern Rail. What they've done to the previously perfectly fine Thameslink stock is just awful on every level. Colour and finish both stain magnets and shows up how poorly the trains are cleaned, and it seems some kind of rule that seats must not be comfortable at any cost.
     
  26. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    The lighting on all the refurbs is also hideous - cheap "drop-in-fluorescent-replacement" LED tubes at a horrible colour temperature, and on Class 155s even worse a floodlight in your face if you're facing the cab end.

    I do like the extra legroom the ironing boards provide on the 158s, but everything else is just cheap and very, very nasty, just like the TOC as a whole.

    Interestingly, this isn't just an Arriva thing - ATW's refurbs were of very high quality, particularly the LHCS and Class 158s - the latter is only beaten by the ScotRail Inverness sets (and only because ScotRail chose the large headrest on the Grammers).

    As for painting used seat frames black....don't worry, the vandals will soon have them scratched with their tags. An unbelievably stupid idea designed by someone with their head firmly in a bucket of sand.
     
  27. Plethora

    Plethora Member

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    A well run social media campaign could probably shame them into doing something.
     
  28. Paul_10

    Paul_10 Member

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    I get the impression the refurbishment was done on the cheap because the intention could well be the ex BR stock could all be withdrawn within the next franchise so only 10 years or so really. Its one of those the important bits is getting the PRM and corrosion repairs done and the interior refit was secondary.

    Nonetheless as I have said in the past, lighting diffusers on the 150/1 and the porterbrook 156s could well make any lighting less harsh and not make the trains look as old as they are!

    As for the seat backs being black, what's the alternative? Surely whatever colour they are, vandals will be able to etch on them? It's how Northern respond to any etchings by either painting over it or any other technique is more important to prevent copycat etchings.
     
  29. kimflop

    kimflop Member

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    I wish you would take this up with Northern. Via their twitter or FB. I would love to know what they say to the pics. And gawd...... those seats are absolutely filthy. Number one reason i will never give up my car for that. As a railway worker, i feel bad discouraging rail travel, but jesus, look at it. Did you catch Fleas?

    It makes a bus look more attractive than rail, and that should never be the case.
     
    Last edited: 12 Jul 2019
  30. js1000

    js1000 Member

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    Apparently 150s are great, reliable stock according to some on here. They've clearly never travelled on a grotty, noisy and cramped Northern one with unusable seats. And that's if the cloth seats are not smeared in muck.
     
  31. BigCj34

    BigCj34 Member

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    The seat stains don't look great, and the skirting looks dirty. It seems with Northern, this franchise and the old one, an inability to keep the trains looking clean and not tatty which no amount of refurbs will solve if maintenance is not kept on top of.
     

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