Virgin West Coast 1st class...anyone else find it uncomfortable?

Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by Howardh, 26 Aug 2015.

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  1. Howardh

    Howardh Established Member

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    *Pendolino

    No problems with the service, plenty of coffee and snacks etc.

    Just the seating arrangements, the seats look old and grubby (maybe the colour doesn't help) but on the window sides the seats all have tables with the chunky leg/s that restricts where you can put your legs. In that respect, second class may give you more legroom if you aren't at a table seat.

    Can't remember what tables were like under the older IC trains, but I can't remember them being so big and having such wide legs. Never used 1st on any other TOC so can't compare.

    Anyone noticed similar "complaints" and if so, could it ever be addressed when trains are re-fitted?

    NB Don't think there are table-less 1st class seats with the flip-down table; anyone confirm this?

    Ah, I like a good whinge ;)
     
    Last edited: 26 Aug 2015
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  3. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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    [sarcasm]Yes, there's always far too many plebs on Advance tickets in there![/sarcasm]
     
  4. Howardh

    Howardh Established Member

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    I've heard a few workers on 1st explain they would rather deal with (us) plebs who appreciate the service and pampering than the miserable grumpy suited business types doing it on the firm's account.....:p
    Otherwise I couldn't possibly comment!!
     
  5. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I used to find you met the nicest people in the Standard smoking coach. And I don't smoke, though I did on occasions sit there due to the higher chance of a seat, many smokers choosing not to spend the whole journey there but to instead go there for a cigarette then return to non-smoking accommodation.
     
  6. Bungle965

    Bungle965 Established Member

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    Are the seats not exactly the same as the seats in Standard except they are a diffrent colour.
    Sam
     
  7. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Forum Staff Staff Member Global Moderator

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    No they're larger than standard class seats.
     
  8. misterredmist

    misterredmist Member

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    I think Virgin Pendolino 1s Class is fab, no issues with leg room or discomfort , whether on a double or a "Billy No Mates" single seat - as said above, I am always appreciative of the service given by the Staff , as I sit there gorging on alcoholic beverages as a "scum bag" Advanced Ticket purchaser ! so yes, you does like a whinge !!!
     
  9. 47271

    47271 Established Member

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    No, Virgin First is 2+1 abreast so the seats are much wider.

    I find it very comfortable, especially the unreserved Coach G in a quiet 11-car out of Glasgow when there are six other people in the entire carriage! Even when it's busy I value the extra space, especially for my elbows.

    I suggest First Class travel in a Scotrail 158 if you want to experience real disappointment in your accomodation. Or buy a First Class ticket and a Standard only Scotrail 170 turns up...
     
  10. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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    I'm often one of those "plebs", hence the sarcasm! The looks of disgust when I sit down in my jeans and indie-rock t-shirt (whilst behaving impeccably, I hasten to add!) makes the freebies so much sweeter!
     
  11. Howardh

    Howardh Established Member

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    Ah, now as mentioned above, the arm-rests. One can be lifted up out of the way, but the other is just a pain (literally!). Wish that could be raised or altered so it suits where your arm goes!!
    One good thing is the seats don't tilt backwards, that happens on airlines and it's horrible when someone *invades* your space....grrrr!
     
  12. QueensCurve

    QueensCurve Established Member

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    In my experience the Pendolini are uncomfortable full stop.

    Quite apart from the cramped interior, the ride quality is poor. It seems to be worst in the leading car where feeling the suspension hit the end stops is quite common.
     
  13. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    It *is* worse in the leading car, the reason for this is that the tilt degree required is worked out from the car in front to ensure no sideways jerks as the tilt compensates, but obviously the leading car has no car in front so has to go off its own sensors.
     
  14. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    Noticed this on a journey from Glasgow to Euston, it's really noticeable - although I wouldn't say it was unpleasant or uncomfortable, just a more lively ride.

    I don't mind the Pendolinos - as long as I have the freedom to choose which seat. So long as one chooses a decent seat, I find them very good - especially in first.
     
  15. sprinterguy

    sprinterguy Established Member

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    I thought that this was only a myth? The Pendolinos use an anticipatory system called Tiltronix, which can pinpoint the exact position of the train and anticipate a requirement to tilt:

    http://www.railforums.co.uk/showpost.php?p=2242191&postcount=21

    http://www.alstom.com/Global/Transp...ts/Press Releases/Factsheets/TILTRONIX_EN.pdf

    It was an initial problem on the APT-P sets, where the jerky tilt movement caused by having the sensors on the carriage they related to was resolved by moving the sensors to the preceding carriage, although this halved the redundancy of the system due to the lack of available connections between carriages. Surely Alstom were able to draw on 25 years of technological development to avoid such basic issues?
     
  16. ChiefPlanner

    ChiefPlanner Established Member

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    MK3's firsts were the epitome of true comfort - especially on a later day BR Pullman service.

    Little things like luggage racks having a window view - seats having wall views , massive bangs as the VCB kicks in , grating announcement chimes - walking 2.5 cars to find a toilet -

    Oh - how we looked forward to the future.
     
  17. 47271

    47271 Established Member

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    I agree that a Mk3 FO can be a very comfortable means of transport, but a lightly loaded Pendolino wins for me in the Scottish sections of the main lines, followed by Mk4s.

    I feel a lot more comfortable going through the Clyde Valley bends in a 390 than I do watching my coffee zoom across the table in an elderly HST making strange bumps and thumps round Cockburnspath or Grantshouse. It could be maintenance of the older trains, but the VTEC electrics do seem a lot more solid on the track than the Mk3s.

    If you can choose where to sit in Pendolino First Class; away from blank walls, noisy equipment, smelly toilets, kitchen kerfuffle, other passengers and the wrong sort of tilt, then it's a very pleasant way to travel!

    I appreciate that not everyone can arrange these circumstances...
     
  18. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    Not forgetting that irritating "rattling" noise you get in a pendo, due to poorly fitted fixtures.
     
  19. james60059

    james60059 Member

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    When I went to Carlisle Kingmoor Open Day, I treated myself to a weekend 1st Class upgrade between Birmingham New Street and Carlisle and return too and I must admit I was very impressed with it, I was sat in a "billy no mates" seat though but never mind :lol:
     
  20. cactustwirly

    cactustwirly Established Member

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    I find that a lot of people on this forum like to complain about Voyagers and Pendolinos for the sake of it, they don't complain about sprinters, even though they are worse.
     
  21. Bungle965

    Bungle965 Established Member

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    I beg to differ pacers are worse than sprinters.
    Sam
     
  22. 43074

    43074 Established Member

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    Well I would rather have a 158 or 159 over a Voyager anytime, thanks. Technically both Voyagers and Pendolinos are superb and the reliability figures speak for themselves, but they are bedevilled by a 'controversial' internal layout... They are the marmite of the railway world, people either love them or hate them.

    As far as Virgin are concerned the Pendolinos are excellent; they are reliabile and it is Alstom's credit that Virgin have such a high avaliability of Pendos worked so intensively day in, day out.
     
    Last edited: 27 Aug 2015
  23. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    You don't think it might be because some people think that what is supposed to be a modern train fit for the travelling public of today might be held to higher standards? :roll:
     
  24. sprinterguy

    sprinterguy Established Member

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    I'm astonished that anyone can't find sufficient space to get comfortable in Pendolino First Class. :shock: There's bags of room!
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    The Sprinters of classes 150 and 153 aren't up to the standard of an Intercity train, but that's hardly comparing apples with apples. If you're talking about Super Sprinters of classes 156 and 158 though, then I disagree and feel that, particularly with the air conditioned 158s, they are just as well laid out internally as a Voyager (if not better) despite being regional trains and not Intercity ones.
     
    Last edited: 27 Aug 2015
  25. crehld

    crehld Established Member Associate Staff Senior Fares Advisor

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    My only complaint with Virgin WC first class is that perhaps the table is a bit to far away from the seat. This makes it hard when you're trying to eat something or do work as you have to sit right on the edge of the seat and hunch over... but that really is clutching at straws and given I'm quite short it's probably more to do with than than the layout of the train.

    In all other respects the seats are comfy, you get a decent amount personal space and you're well looked after.
     
  26. Tetchytyke

    Tetchytyke Established Member

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    They're not uncomfortable, but the seats are nowhere near as comfortable as the first class seats on FGW or VTEC. I don't like the fact it's only the base that moves, rather than the whole seat tilting.

    I find standard class comfortable though, except the issue with the windows never lining up with the seats.
     
  27. jillo

    jillo Member

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    I think it's quite surprising how much difference there is and how it is not visible in the ticket prices...
     
  28. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    I agree this could be improved. There's no issues with lack of space though.
     
  29. 47271

    47271 Established Member

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    I don't like Voyagers either, but all you 158 fans out there, come to Scotland and enjoy riding in one of our unrefurbished sets for three hours or more. The 25 year old collapsed seat cushions and 15 year old manky carpet are unique inter city experiences unknown anywhere else on the UK network I think, unless anyone wants to start new threads for 'most uncomfortable long distance seat' or 'grubbiest carpet'.

    Or, right back on topic, pay handsomely for the premium product of First in one of the Inverness units - and see how that compares with a First Class seat on a Pendolino!

    To be fair, the state of these trains - and the laughable First Class in the ones that have been redone - isn't the fault of the original design which I have no objection to, but I have to compare the overall passenger experience versus that on Virgin.
     
  30. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    The Inverness sets, like the ATW ones, are lovely in Standard, far nicer than any Pendolino. I don't understand why First Class is basically just antimacassars, though.
     
  31. Amy Worrall

    Amy Worrall Member

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    I actually find the Pendolino first class more comfortable than that of East Coast — with the latter, the tables are too low and prevent me crossing my legs.

    Part of it may be habituation though —*I commute on the WCML, and only travel on East Coast occasionally.
     
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