Virgin Euston to Piccadilly failed MK

Discussion in 'Allocations, Diagrams & Timetables' started by high camera, 6 Jul 2018.

  1. high camera

    high camera Member

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    23.00 hr departure left Euston late and then crawled into MK

    Now offloaded and waiting for replacement

    Anybody have any info on whats happening ?

    Need to get home !
     
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  3. SideshowBob

    SideshowBob Member

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    What, eventually, did happen? I assume you got home in the end?

    <rant> It sounded like an utter disaster, with overhead wire and signalling damage/faults causing widespread disruption on both West and East Coast Mainlines.

    The misery of all this being compounded for the unfortunate passengers involved by multiple air-con breakdowns on board the stranded trains and the usual breathtaking levels of inefficiency and ineptitude shown in getting bottled water to stations to deliver to trains when they eventually called at them.

    All of this combined with the lack of accurate and succinct information to TOCs staff on trains, at stations and on social media feeds for them to disseminate to the general public, regarding (for example) expected length of delay or ticket acceptance with other operators on alternative routes, in a timely and helpful manner makes our railway appear to be the very essence of chaos, inefficiency and high-handedness.

    Which is a real shame, and needs urgently to change. Starting, I would venture to suggest, with our esteemed Secretary of State. </rant>
     
  4. ANDREW_D_WEBB

    ANDREW_D_WEBB Member

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    Real Time Trains shows it 64 late into Manchester
     
  5. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    A slight over reaction. What alternative ticket acceptance do you expect to be in place on the 2300 service from Euston to Manchester?

    Breakdowns happen sometimes.
     
  6. high camera

    high camera Member

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    Hi

    Sorry for delay in answering.

    Yes got back to Manchester just over an hour late, which is pretty exceptional considering VT had to find a spare train to redeploy.

    Staff were a little reluctant to say what had happened but I overheard a discussion about an axle sensor ? What was unusual priir to MK was a loud multiple impact on the lower outside of my carriage. Sounded like when your car hits overgrown branches on a country lane !!

    Anyway VT staff were great, Im really impressed, The guard told everyone about the compensation scheme and then walked the entire train chatting to everyone. 1st class customer service.

    I do get the impression though the driver was on a mission to get the delay under 60 mins but I think Cheadle Hulme Junction put paid to that, yes 64 delay.

    Cheers
     
  7. louis97

    louis97 Established Member

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    The train activated a Wheel Impact Load Detector at Cheddington.
     
  8. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    WOW - a spectacular silly rant. Another who wants the Haynes manual of railway operations opened and a precise delay minute number issued the moment a breakdownn occurs. Life isnt like that.

    yesterday ( and the previous day for different reasons) were bad ones for the WCML. There were multiple issues compounded by hot weather. The knock on effects were very bad.
     
  9. gord

    gord Member

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    Was on the 13:43 Euston to Wolverhampton (train carrying on to Glasgow) yesterday. Was having a chat to the train manager who was also getting off at Wolverhampton. She told me that judging by her radio, we got through just in time before it all kicked off. Not sure how the rest of the journey went to Glasgow for the passengers who were still on the train though.
     
  10. Deafdoggie

    Deafdoggie Member

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    For the benefit of the slightly thick-like me for example-what does this actually mean?
     
  11. louis97

    louis97 Established Member

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    In simple terms this system detected a defect with one of the trains wheels. This required the train to be stopped and ultimately taken out of service for investigation.
     
  12. Deafdoggie

    Deafdoggie Member

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    Thank you:D
     
  13. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    Google Wheelchex or Gotcha wheel impact load detectors and it gives you more info. I think Cheddington is still a Wheelchex, Gotcha is a newer better system.
     
  14. SideshowBob

    SideshowBob Member

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    Buses and taxis, if necessary. Which doesn't (or at least didn't) appear to be/have been the case here.

    Not at all; I just think that the railway is spectacularly bad at communicating when anything goes wrong, never mind when major delays occur on two of the country's busiest and most important railway lines.

    However, my greatest concern is what happens when unusually extreme (in terms of the UK) weather is thrown into the mix, i.e. the high temperatures yesterday plus the overcrowding on those trains that did run. The Virgin Trains twitter feed tells its own story. Multiple complaints from passengers about no air-con and no water. I accept that there needs to be some element of personal responsibility on passengers' part, but what about kids, the elderly and the disabled, including anyone with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)? The process of supplying bottled water to stations and thence to trains should be a simple one, yet for some reason it never is.

    This, compounded by the apparent unwillingness of Train Managers to declassify First Class in times of severe overcrowding, thus forcing large numbers of Standard Class ticket holders to crush into other carriages and vestibules, with many sitting on floors and the resultant difficulties in accessing toilets/buffets or shops/train crew, could be mitigated at least a little bit, quite easily, it seems to me.

    And if improvements in these areas were made, it would give a much better impression of the way in which the railway operates, especially to those who don't use it often, otherwise what incentive is there to continue to use it? I can't see how hiding behind limp platitudes and corporate management-speak on social media achieves that.
     
    Last edited: 7 Jul 2018
  15. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    Perhaps you could outline the simple process. I would be interested to see it. As I said it was bad on WCML south the day before. I suspect any stocks were used up then.

    that is normal sadly - regardless of weather!

    But ( and I don't want to be argumentative) it isn't that simple. The information is often changeable as the time needed to fix something. Many seem to think that an immediate announcement should be broadcast over every possible channel outlining the exact reason for the delay. I suspect saying "we don't know but we are looking" would be met with equal scorn form the same posters complaining about the lack of info!
     
  16. SideshowBob

    SideshowBob Member

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    Bearing in mind that no system is perfect: Keep an eye on weather forecasts, communicate with suppliers and plan accordingly to ensure adequate spare supplies, and be in a position vis-à-vis paperwork, equipment and personnel to deliver unusually large amounts of a particular item to both usual and perhaps a couple of unusual locations, unusually quickly and repetitively, for a temporary period of time.

    Indeed; I appreciate that these situations can (and normally do) change very rapidly, and that NR are not a blue-light emergency service, but I still think that, from the layperson's point of view, information that is provided comes across as infrequent, unclear and contradictory (I don't want to get started on the "operational incident" thing, so I won't!).

    So I'm not sure about that last bit - I think there's an argument for saying that being honest enough to at least occasionally say things like that would actually be looked upon favourably by more passengers than look upon phrases like "operational incident" unfavourably.

    I'm not aware of either VT or LNER having used that phrase yesterday; I'm just using it to try and illustrate my point above.
     
    Last edited: 6 Jul 2018
  17. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    Who's going to pay for people to be on standby to deliver this emergency stock anywhere in the country at the drop of a hat.

    LNER trains do carry a supply of bottled water in the DVT which is labelled for emergency use only. I don't know about VT, I suspect they do as well but it might have been used earlier in the day given that disruption was experienced. They should've replenished it before the train set off but maybe there wasn't sufficient stock available at Euston to do so, maybe there wasn't time (some turnarounds are as short as 20 minutes).

    Maybe they should've cancelled the train due to no emergency water supply on board but then they'd have been ridiculed.....

    Yes it's frustrating.
    Is it right - no.
    But sometimes things go wrong, especially when you're transporting millions of people around

    Damned if you do and damned if you don't.
     
  18. SideshowBob

    SideshowBob Member

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    The TOCs, I would have thought. The wholesale price of bottled water is tiny, and the TOCs mark-up is colossal. It's for a temporary period of time. It would ultimately cost them very little. Do they want good PR, or don't they?

    Also, I didn't say "anywhere in the country"; I said "...usual locations, and perhaps a couple of unusual ones..."

    Hence my point about paperwork, equipment and personnel.

    Indeed they would, and rightly so.

    Indeed; it's how you deal with it, and by extension, how much good PR you want, that counts, IMHO.
     
  19. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    It's not the cost of the water that's the issue, it's transporting it to where it's needed at the drop of a hat. TOCs are not particularly profitable businesses, they are not going to pay, it will be passengers that end up paying.
     
  20. SideshowBob

    SideshowBob Member

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    I didn't say "at the drop of a hat" either. I said, in a nutshell, plan, anticipate, and communicate. Get adequate spare supplies and adequate staff on adequate hours with overtime where necessary within the bounds of relevant legislation. It's for a temporary period. This is the 21st century. I'm not qualified in logistics, yet somehow feel entitled openly to ponder the question of exactly how hard this can be.

    I think that any TOC wanting good PR should do that, and absorb at least some of the costs.
     
  21. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    Ok, some things to think about.

    Let's place strategic supplies of bottled water at main stations along the route. How much are you going to need 1 or 2 pallets, or more? At every main station.
    Bear in mind that if there's 700 people on a train then this equates to around 60 cases, which is around a pallet. How many trains worth of water do you keep at your strategic location?
    Where are you going to store it?
    How are you going to get it from wherever it's stored onto the train? The chances are it'll be in a station building so you'll need manual handling equipment, it might need to have go across the footbridge.
    Who is going to move it? Have you trained them to move bulk amounts of water (yes it's only water but if you need to get 60 cases of water to a failed train the person doing it needs to be properly trained and have the right equipment)
    What job is the staff member moving it not going to do while they move the water?

    What happens if the train breaks down away from the station? Let's say it breaks down in a remote area?
    Let's just get some water from the nearest strategic station.
    Who's going to move it? Is there a lorry driver and vehicle available? Do you expect the railway to pay a retainer to have this service available 24/7?
    How long is it going to take them to get to the station with the water.
    They've then got to load up. Does the vehicle have the right equipment to do this (thinking tail lifts, fork lift truck etc.
    How long will it take the driver to get to where the train is stranded?
    Who unloads the water at the other end. Is the right equipment available....

    The water will have a best before date. If it's not used what are you going to do with it? Who's going to move it etc. etc.

    It sounds really simple but it's nowhere near as simple as it sounds...
     
  22. SideshowBob

    SideshowBob Member

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    Keep an eye on how fast your stocks are dwindling, and with the resources available, respond as best you can.

    Not necessarily; start with the ones where you usually supply replenished stocks of food and drink to trains, but be ready where necessary to provide stocks of a particular item - bottled water, in this case - at one or two other locations in addition to this, where this is viable and practical.

    I don't know, that would depend on how in-demand a particular item - in this case, bottled water - might be, and what kind of storage space you have available, and the capacity of said storage space. Where possible, keep an eye on demand, and respond accordingly. Store it where you normally store it, and make use of any appropriate alternative/overflow storage space you might have available, either at your normal station or, where possible, also one or two alternative ones at which trains will also be stopping, for the temporary period of time required.

    The same way you normally do, with the job carried out by the people who normally do, plus other people willing and able to give them a hand if required - ideally, these would be immediate departmental colleagues doing some overtime (an extra hour or two at the start/end of a shift, or extra staff on the same shift, perhaps) - but only if you have sufficiently good industrial relations and team spirit, and can do this within the bounds of relevant legislation.

    Required training can be incorporated into your normal, routine on-the-job training, and/or made part of your job induction process. Refreshed at regular intervals. All part of what I said about anticipating unfortunate turns of events, and being ready for them. Plenty of other industries do this.

    I don't know; that would depend on what stage they were at with their normal workload and routine. Check, and respond accordingly.

    This has not been part of the discussion so far, and I have never suggested that anything like this should be attempted. My point was, is, and is likely to remain being that supplies of water be made available at stations to be delivered to trains once said trains reached those stations, and to do the best you can within the resources you have available plus any extra resources upon which you might be able to call, to look after your passengers as best you can, with as cheery a disposition as you can muster. And be as visible as you possibly can whilst doing it, as part of a genuine effort to look after your passengers and give as positive an impression of the railway in general, and your organisation within it in particular, as you can to them.

    Either sell it at a reduced price, or donate it to your local foodbank, homeless charity or women's refuge.

    With a bit of imagination, motivation and good leadership skills, I see no reason why it couldn't be that simple.
     
    Last edited: 6 Jul 2018
  23. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    I don't think you realise how complex operating supply chain and logistics really is. One pallet of water would be enough to supply one train.

    The lead time to get additional water from a supplier to a station would be a minimum of 24 hours, more likely 48 and that would be if you had regular arrangements with them.
     
  24. SideshowBob

    SideshowBob Member

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    That is quite likely; as I said, I'm not qualified in logistics. I work in the entertainment industry, which depends on good PR and good customer service, so much of what I've said is based on that, and direct experience of significant delays, sometimes in unusual weather, whilst undertaking long-distance travel to both remote and unremote parts of the UK railway network, and the responses of different TOCs to it. All anecdotal, and completely unscientific. I am a big fan of the railway, and concerned about reports of falling passenger numbers. I want that to be a blip, not a trend. I want better access and provision for disabled people using the railway, not least as a Disabled Persons Railcard holder myself. I think the railway is micromanaged by an incompetent Secretary of State. I want all these things to change. I'm on this forum to learn more about the railway, and to try and campaign effectively for the changes I'd like to see. Like the railway, I'm sure my technique in doing so will improve over time.

    The bottled water is just a manifestation, or particular example, of the unnecessarily complex way in which the railway operates. Combined with the poor conditions and quality of information reportedly received by passengers yesterday, it saddens me greatly, and I just cannot shift the feeling that situations like the one yesterday could easily be made just a bit more bearable for those caught up in it, if only there was sufficient imagination, motivation and good leadership skills.
     
  25. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    I agree with the majority of this. This forum is certainly the place to learn more about the railway. I don't work and never have worked on the railway but I do have some knowledge of logistics.

    Generally speaking we have an excellent railway in this country. Yes there are issues and we do like moaning about them but on the whole the staff do an excellent job of moving us around. Everyone says it's so much better in Europe but that really isn't true. You won't find the frequency or speed of our services.
     
  26. Deafdoggie

    Deafdoggie Member

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    I’ve previously worked in logistics, believe me there’s no way anything like you’re suggesting could be done.
    Customer service isn’t all about giving customers what they demand.
    Having hundreds and hundreds of bottles of water at stations isn’t easy or cheap.
    West Coast only replenish at Euston, Birmingham, Preston, Edinburgh & Glasgow in quantity, no other location would have anywhere near enough storage-Preston don’t as it is, you’ll often see pallets of water on the platform in winter as they haven’t got the space.
    But what happens if the wires come down at Rugby? Trains backed up, water supply on board used up. First northbound restock point is Preston, first train gets there uses up a pallet restocking. Next train to arrive also needs a pallet, then the next...how many pallets of water can you have stored where you already don’t have space?
    Supermarkets are the big players and they are struggling to get supplies, smaller users (like it or not, the railways are) are way down the pecking order. They can’t have hourly deliveries.
    I know it’s not what you want to hear, but it’s not good customer service promising what can’t be delivered.
     
  27. SideshowBob

    SideshowBob Member

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    Thank you, I appreciate that. I'm going to take a calculated risk on assuming that your knowledge of logistics is greater than mine, which starts and ends with 6 months of working in a local supermarket warehouse many years ago.

    I don't particularly like moaning, and I could almost certainly have worded my initial reaction to this thread better. I agree we have, by and large, an excellent system in this country, but I also think it could be significantly better than it currently is, and that small improvements that would be very welcome among passengers, many of whom have paid high prices for the right of access to and use of the railway, could easily be made.

    It's good to know that we are both on the same side at least in some respects, though. Good to chat with you. Enjoy the rest of your evening.
     
  28. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    We have been told the service was 64 minutes late reaching Manchester. How would buses and taxis have improved on that?
     
  29. SideshowBob

    SideshowBob Member

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    So what's the alternative? Try and find some way of shifting extra bottled water to mainline railway stations, on baking hot days, through which services are significantly delayed and overcrowded, and upon which multiple air-con failures have taken place, in order to provide a modicum of relief to the passengers aboard them? Or do you just take their money, shrug your shoulders, and walk away?

    Sorry to sound belligerent or antagonistic, but if one passenger feels that that isn't good enough, then I wholeheartedly agree with them.
     
  30. SideshowBob

    SideshowBob Member

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    In this particular case, it wouldn't. In other, similar cases, it would and does. I've been taxied from Inverness to the Isle of Skye courtesy of Caledonian Sleeper twice in the recent past, while others have been taxied from Inverness to Wick; all following significant delays due to infrastructure and train faults. It isn't always the best or most appropriate solution and my initial response to the point raised was perhaps a little hasty.
     
  31. tsr

    tsr Established Member

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    In reality, often it’s better to ask people if they’d like water rather than just handing them a bottle which they then take home and use in 3 weeks’ time. By actually asking people if they want water on a train which has been stranded / has failed air con, I’ve found only about half or two-thirds of the passengers will usually actually want it, especially if they think they’ve already had plenty to drink that day (eg. the later you get in the evening, the less fussed people seem to be...).

    In reality the individual packs of water bottles are not the hardest thing to store or move anyway - the difficulty comes when trying to cradle a half-opened pack of bottles in one arm and not dropping the lot on people’s feet while you walk through a really busy carriage!
     

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