VWC Reliability Up!

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Max

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Source: railwaypeople.com

Virgin Trains West Coast performance has risen to 91% during January 2006. This is a 22% increase on last year's performance! This also comes close after a survey by rail watchdog Passenger Focus, who showed that 82% of passengers were satisfied with their journey, and 80% being satisfied with timekeeping and reliability, a 9% improvement.

The original text and full story can be found here: http://www.railwaypeople.com/rail-news-articles/flying-start-to-2006-for-west-coast-line-976.html

I think this is great news for passengers, and considering the engineering works that are taking place, is good for Virgin as well :)
 
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richa2002

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I know; it's wonderful when you have to wait at Stafford for 8 minutes due to stupid amounts of recovery time.
 

Guinness

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But life continues to go on despite people complaining about arriving early by upto 25 minutes.

91% is excellent with most of it for Pendolinos finally achieving a better CPM Figure. Same happened with 175s and 458s, after years of poor reliability the Alstom Trains finally do something desent. :)

Good news not just for VT, NR and Alstom but for the Railways on the whole. If only the Daily Mail and Daily Mirror slapped it on the Front Page... *Dreams*
 

Max

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Julian G said:
15mins at Reading
When I was at Reading my service north only waited for about 5 mins. And anyway, thats VXC, so different statistics. They're still not great, am I right ;)
 

yorkie

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Do these figures include weekends? I wonder if they include the replacement buses ;)

The figures are good, but comparing them to previous performance when there was much work still to be done (there still is in some areas but that's more about increasing capacity than reliability) on the route, is a bit like comparing apples and oranges.

The WCML was in a terrible state, due to years of under-investment by the then-Tory government, but now many billions (what's the latest figure?) have been spent on it, so you would expect it to be right up there in the performance stats.

The OHLE masts are far more robust than on the ECML (e.g. if the catenery comes down on one line on the WCML, it won't bring the rest down, but it will on the ECML! Just look at the contrasting way the catenery is supported on the different routes), and most of the track, signalling etc has been renewed.

It is a great shame that some of this money wasn't made available on the ECML, only relatively modest improvements were requested but only one (Allington chord) got implemented, as the WCML took all the money. :(
 

Sprog

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Its Recovry Time.

Virgin are just taking advantage of the system and making it look like they are preforming miles better....

They may be improving a little, but still Recovory time is how they are doing it!

Oh well.....
 

Gareth Hale

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They are running better, or too good, maybe they should shorten their timetable because of the faster trains and speed limits? I don't see why they got rid of the 47's though, those 220's, 221's and 390's are well crowded.
 

Max

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Gareth Hale said:
They are running better, or too good, maybe they should shorten their timetable because of the faster trains and speed limits? I don't see why they got rid of the 47's though, those 220's, 221's and 390's are well crowded.
True, but 47s cannot get up to 125 mph. Anyway, I don't really think we should reopen the Voyager/Pendo vs HST/47 debate again, its already been discussed at length ;)
 

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47s are equals broken. At the end Virgin were having to hire in everything from D9016 to FM Rail 47s to EWS 47s to even using freight locomotives when the inevitable 47 sit down occured. The 47s were totally shagged and something had to give.
 

matt

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The OHLE masts are far more robust than on the ECML
Only as far as Weaver Junc where the OHLE switches to the newer ECML type. Also the work on the WCML isnt finished yet. The ECML has been worked on a lot more recently than the WCML which I expect some parts havnt changed since the 1960s
 
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spm_43030 said:
Its Recovry Time.

Virgin are just taking advantage of the system and making it look like they are preforming miles better....

They may be improving a little, but still Recovory time is how they are doing it!

Oh well.....

It also has alot to do with the pendos are becoming alot more realiable. To the point where VXC has hired them to cover diagrams
 

metrocammel

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Richard Armstrong said:
I know; it's wonderful when you have to wait at Stafford for 8 minutes due to stupid amounts of recovery time.
I agree, the recovery time on Virgin is rather ridiculous.... it says somthing when the class 90 with mk2's , which is limited to 100mph has somtimes up to 5 or 6 minutes in Stafford waiting untill the booked time - OK that is VXC, but as Richard quoted above, many of the Liverpool trains have around 10 minutes slack time, and usually end up waiting in Stafford for 7 or 8 minutes. Another joke is the slack time given between Manchester and Stockport, and vica versa - around 12 to 13 minutes for 7 mile run on the fast lines.. no wonder Pendo's arrive 5 or 6 minutes early into Picc quite often - Call me cynical, but I think the timings are slightly longer to give the impression to the passengers that "Oh, my train was early... things are really improving since all this investment". Cause a train thats on time, or a few minutes down is no improvement on before the investment... As really when 87's & 90's ruled on the WCML, the service was rather good (there was the odd severe delay due to failures / or things beyond Virgins control - but that still is the case today) And I remember being on 87's in the early 00's that had to wait a couple of minutes or so at stations till the departure time, and when you look at the timetables, the timings aren't amazing now... In my 1966 to 1967 timetable, the quickest Crewe to London train was 1hr 58, today the quickest is 1hr50 - 8 minutes cut off in 40 years isnt that much... especially when the speedlimit is 25mph more now than it was then.
 

Max

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Surely Virgin are going to eliminate the point of upgrading the west coast main line for 125 mph running, and even purchasing the pendolinos, as any time gain will be lost in slack.
 

Guinness

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Perhaps in light of the better Pendolino reliabilty the Summer Timetable will have faster journey times with less slack.
 

andel

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Personally so long I don't have to listen to other passengers complaining 'cos they're running late 'cos of Virgin, I'll support anything, esp if i get an honest arrival time now.
 

voyagerdude220

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AlexS said:
47s are equals broken. At the end Virgin were having to hire in everything from D9016 to FM Rail 47s to EWS 47s to even using freight locomotives when the inevitable 47 sit down occured. The 47s were totally shagged and something had to give.
And that time 2 or 3 years ago, when an EWS 37 :D had to rescue a failed VT HST in the Totnes/Plymouth area, on a Manchester Piccadilly service

(can't remember fully what happened, I just remember it being a summer Saturday, and seeing one or two fots of it...)

mmm.. where's that hellfire smilie?
 

87015

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yes, the cross-country summer saturday gala days! Great fun!

One of the better days I was out has to be 22/8/98, when the following was had on a west mids daytripper

37426 1007 Birmingham-Holyhead, Wolves-New St-Wolves
86251 0913 Liverpool-Weymouth, Wolves-New St
47293 0636 Poole-Liverpool, New St-Wolves, had replaced 477xx at New St
37421 0836 Holyhead-Birmingham, Wolves-New St via BS and Vauxhall
47363 0913 Liverpool-Weymouth New St-Int'l (yes, same train as above!, approx 250late) Further delayed at Int'l due to handbrake left on by guard out of New St...
47818 0920 Weymouth-Liverpool, Int'l-New St (what, a servicable twank?)
58017 0910 Edinburgh-Bournemouth, New St-Cov.
finished off with a blast of 100mph running off 55022 on the Ramsgate and 87022 home, even falling onto a GE321 back to Leighton!

Not bad for a first post!

Ian 87015
 

voyagerdude220

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Sounds great fun!

I don't see why VXC doesn't borrow 390's for Manchester to Brum shuttles, and the small amount of Edinburgh/Glasgow to Birmingham shuttles, because VWC has borrowed some 221s for Holyhead services, and it would make sense to run whatever VXC could do with 390s, on services solely under wires, so that 220/221s can re-shuffle, and get more double-sets on busy services. (although most VXC are busy, and meet a peak time sometime along the journey)

Also, why didn't VT retain at least 33.333 % ;) of older stock, mainly HSTs, to support 220/221s during the introduction of the 220/221s, so that VT could paint a picture of what It would be like, running solely 4/5 car units?

If only I could control VT.. I'd definately get proper catering in FC on 220/221s... (And more Std cariages in them)
 

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VXC have been known to use 390s on the Brum to Manchester services before, but it's by no means a common occurance - they are still slower than a Voyager at acclerating. The trips Cross Country are hiring Pendolinos for are Birmingham New Street to Glasgow Central/Preston etc.
 

voyagerdude220

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Well with all that recovery time, Pendos should easily be able to arrive/depart on time at stations, on a Voyager's timetable/service ;)

Is their any common 390 workings between Preston & Brum, as I would be happy to get one sometime on the way to Somerset, preferbly on a weekday.

Having said that, the rubbish snack box's would probablly still be in use in FC, but I'd still be happy to go on a lovely 390, instead of a 220/221, mainly for a change.

For FC travel, I prefer 390s, because of the fact they've allways been practically desserted when I've been on them, with the 4 FC cariages providing plenty of capacity! (off-peak)

The toilets in Pendos are also alot better than Voyagers, because of the mix between jumbo wheel-chair sized kind of ones, and the ordinary sized ones.

Having said all this, against 220/221s, and pro 390's, you can't run 390's between Bromsgrove & Penzance, and other sections of the XC network! I also wouldn't want to just see 390s all over the VT network, with 220/221s virtually out of service, because of additional overhead power lines, because I do like seeing 220/221s, its just that they have their obvious faults. (Many of which could be rectified with investment for cariages etc)
It's just that whatever the 220/221s have, the 390s have more of. (e.g far bigger shop etc)

Are any services booked between Preston & Birmingham to be 390's? (Apart from weekends, with London VT6 services running via Brum)
 
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voyagerdude220 said:
Well with all that recovery time, Pendos should easily be able to arrive/depart on time at stations, on a Voyager's timetable/service ;)

Is their any common 390 workings between Preston & Brum, as I would be happy to get one sometime on the way to Somerset, preferbly on a weekday.

Having said that, the rubbish snack box's would probablly still be in use in FC, but I'd still be happy to go on a lovely 390, instead of a 220/221, mainly for a change.

For FC travel, I prefer 390s, because of the fact they've allways been practically desserted when I've been on them, with the 4 FC cariages providing plenty of capacity! (off-peak)

The toilets in Pendos are also alot better than Voyagers, because of the mix between jumbo wheel-chair sized kind of ones, and the ordinary sized ones.

Having said all this, against 220/221s, and pro 390's, you can't run 390's between Bromsgrove & Penzance, and other sections of the XC network! I also wouldn't want to just see 390s all over the VT network, with 220/221s virtually out of service, because of additional overhead power lines, because I do like seeing 220/221s, its just that they have their obvious faults. (Many of which could be rectified with investment for cariages etc)
It's just that whatever the 220/221s have, the 390s have more of. (e.g far bigger shop etc)

Are any services booked between Preston & Birmingham to be 390's? (Apart from weekends, with London VT6 services running via Brum)

No booked pendo services that run between Preston and Brum.

And why are you moaning about the snack boxes? You dont have to have them and we dont have to give them you. They are complimentary on behalf of virgin trains.
 

voyagerdude220

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Bonnie Prince Charlie said:
And why are you moaning about the snack boxes? You dont have to have them and we dont have to give them you. They are complimentary on behalf of virgin trains.
I'm not complaining about the contents of the snack box's, it's just that they're far too little (especially in comparison with VWC), when your travelling on a long-distance journey, because of the 1 snack -box limit. I do rather like the snack box's.

I know that 220/221s don't have proper catering facilities (e.g kitchen), which the Pendos do have, but If you have a look at what Hull Trains offers on 222s, I don't know what the problem with providing a better service on 220/221s is..

Do you work onboard VT? If so, where- I wonder If I've seen you before?
 
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voyagerdude220 said:
I'm not complaining about the contents of the snack box's, it's just that they're far too little (especially in comparison with VWC), when your travelling on a long-distance journey, because of the 1 snack -box limit. I do rather like the snack box's.

I know that 220/221s don't have proper catering facilities (e.g kitchen), which the Pendos do have, but If you have a look at what Hull Trains offers on 222s, I don't know what the problem with providing a better service on 220/221s is..

Do you work onboard VT? If so, where- I wonder If I've seen you before?
That is another thing, we are not West Coast, we are a totally seperate company from them and we always get compared. Its simply due to them carrying the Virgin brand.

1 snack box limit, hmm, if someone is on my train long enough i will give them more, especially if they have paid alot of money for there ticket. but then again Its a rare occurance for me to be in first class.


XC
 

voyagerdude220

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Bonnie Prince Charlie said:
That is another thing, we are not West Coast, we are a totally seperate company from them and we always get compared. Its simply due to them carrying the Virgin brand.

1 snack box limit, hmm, if someone is on my train long enough i will give them more, especially if they have paid alot of money for there ticket. but then again Its a rare occurance for me to be in first class.


XC
I'm happy to hear that then :)

I know that VXC & VWC are two spearate franchises,but to me, and the majority of the passengers, they are "Virgin Trains".
I personally say "Virgin Voyager" , or "Virgin Pendolino" service, even though I know which ones are XC & WC.

At least the companies aren't called "Virgin One" and Virgin Two" Imagine the confusion in the south east, with a populary named TOC ;)
 

metrocammel

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voyagerdude220 said:
I'm happy to hear that then :)

I know that VXC & VWC are two spearate franchises,but to me, and the majority of the passengers, they are "Virgin Trains".
I personally say "Virgin Voyager" , or "Virgin Pendolino" service, even though I know which ones are XC & WC.

At least the companies aren't called "Virgin One" and Virgin Two" Imagine the confusion in the south east, with a populary named TOC ;)

It gets strange at Piccadilly when Pendolino's are still on the tanoy as "Virgin Trains service..." whereas the class 90 on the Manchester - Brum is a "Virgin Voyager service....." .... thats is the disadvantage of having pre-recorded messages, and Virgin have obviously put all their eggs in one basket - and not anticipated they will be relying on mk2 stock in 2006 - (Though I for one aint complaining!!) Also I noticed on the "Daily Mail" ticket offer, reading the article that goes with the vouchers it states "All our services are operated by either Voyagers or Pendolino trains with plug points" (although Pendo's do have a lack of plug points in STD - being restricted to table seats only - unlike voyagers). I also found it funny the other day when a German TM on the Man-Brum XC 90 said "Welcome to Virgin Voyager service for Birmingham- there is a train shop at front of train(!)" (the "shop" on the mk2 set is a makeshift trolley + luggage rack combo - which is quite novel but isn't really a "shop" - and you get the old "XC" written receipts instead of the printed thermal types like on Voyagers.
 
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