Whats wrong with 'plastic'?

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HSTfan!!!

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I'm not against new trains as such, just wish they'd make a better job of simple things like seats! :shock:
 

Jim

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perhaps if...
The seats lined up with the windows
There wasn't an annoying auto anouncer that says Polegate, Hampden PK, Eastbourne, Hapden PK, Pevensy & Westham etc then they would be OK. Southern 377s are most annying when they do that
The seats were more chunkey
The AC never failed
The doors didn't take 6 years to open
The doors wouldn't open & shut after 20 seconds

THEN I MIGHT LIKE THEM :P
 
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Tom

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Unfortunately, in this age of technology and travel, what you are saying Jim is currently very difficult to pass through the HSE.

It's also the DDA that makes the auto-announcements happen.
 

bunnahabhain

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Jim said:
perhaps if...
The seats lined up with the windows
There wasn't an annoying auto anouncer that says Polegate, Hampden PK, Eastbourne, Hapden PK, Pevensy & Westham etc then they would be OK. Southern 377s are most annying when they do that
The seats were more chunkey
The AC never failed
The doors didn't take 6 years to open
The doors wouldn't open & shut after 20 seconds

THEN I MIGHT LIKE THEM :P
It's a common misconception that vehicles like a MK1 coach had an excellent Window/Seat match up, infact, in an SK, CK or FK, you had no Window/Seat Lineup, you had a bit of Wooden Panelling beside you, and the window infront of you.

Window Seat Lineup on MK3's is not excellent, Window Seat Lineup on MK4's is not excellent, on MK2's it's even worse.

Just because you dont have the best view possible doesnt mean it's a bad train.....would you rather stand?
 

Lewisham2221

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Jim said:
perhaps if...
The seats lined up with the windows
Most new trains have at least one third of the window to see out of. The only problem I have noticed is 1 or 2 seats on Voyager/Meridians/Pendolino's.

Jim said:
There wasn't an annoying auto anouncer that says Polegate, Hampden PK, Eastbourne, Hapden PK, Pevensy & Westham etc then they would be OK.
As Jamie said, one of the reasons is to comply with the DDA. Also, it makes train travel much easier for people who don't regularly use the train. And auto-announcers are much clearer and louder than the almost silent, muffled PA systems on some other trains.

Jim said:
The seats were more chunkey
I don't really have a problem with the seats, they seem fairly comfortable to me. If you mean seats with springs, well, they can be fairly uncomfortable when they need replacing. And if vandals get at them, well, do you want springs sticking up your rear end?

Jim said:
The AC never failed
I don't think ANYTHING is fail proof.

Jim said:
The doors didn't take 6 years to open
I've made several trips on 'plastic' this year, so it can't take that long. ;)
Seriously though, they don't take that long to open. Surely you can spare those extra few seconds for safety?

Jim said:
The doors wouldn't open & shut after 20 seconds
Not actually sure what you are on about here...
 

Met Driver

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Marv said:
Jim said:
The doors didn't take 6 years to open
I've made several trips on 'plastic' this year, so it can't take that long. ;)
Seriously though, they don't take that long to open. Surely you can spare those extra few seconds for safety?
They can take a long time, and this is normally at Victoria. This is (I believe) due to the GPS system which allows the doors to be operated. For reasons that I won't go into now, it has to be overidden at Victoria (if the train is more than 8 cars IIRC) and this can take anything from 30 seconds to a couple of minutes.

Marv said:
Jim said:
The doors wouldn't open & shut after 20 seconds
Not actually sure what you are on about here...
The doors automatically close after a certain period of time if no-one enters/leaves the train. Not necessary IMO, even if it does keep the warmth in in the winter.
 

Simming

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Its probley there to save on the air con, as when the doors are open, the trains air con is trying to change the temp outside the train as well
 

Met Driver

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Simming said:
Its probley there to save on the air con, as when the doors are open, the trains air con is trying to change the temp outside the train as well
I'll bet that is the reason, but it can become extremely annoying when waiting for the right-away from Victoria (especially when you've been on the train for 10 minutes!)
 

TheSlash

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When i was a fitter for SWT they were very keen on PA systems, both they're volume level and clarity, fitters would test them daily and train crew were encouraged to report any defective speakers or equipment. As soon as a report was made, the nearest depot to the units next terminating point was alertted to see if they could attend the train on its arrival.
Fratton being very close to Portsmouth Harbour meant we were over there at least once a day doing PA tests, sometimes on whole 12 cars. If we found a fault that couldnt be fixed at an out station {somewhere not on depot} then we phoned control to tell them this and they then made sure the nightshift were aware and tried to alter its diagram so the affected unit would end up back at a maintenance depot

The same goes for seats.

Air Condition units on trains has traditionially been poor. I first learnt about air con systems on a 12 day 458 course. We Spent a good few hours playing with an air con unit, then in the instructors closing words, he said "But don't worry about any of the maintenane stuff, HVACs only last about 2 weeks before they need changing"
 

Mojo

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I think that the Auto PAs help lots of people. When I did my All Line rover, there was a blind man who sat opposite me and I really got to see how well these trains are designed for Blind people (I have done volunteer work for many years with Blind people and know how hard it is for them to get around, so was mightily impresed), from the "We are now approaching..." anouncements so the man knew when to stand up, from the different floor texture by the doors, and to the Braille and the bits that stick out on the open buttons, to the pings when the door is released.
 

yorkie

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We've had this discussion so many times. All I can bring myself to say now is that if people read Roger Ford's 'Informed Sources' they may understand the economics a bit better...
 

yorkie

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Try reading this.

Although the topic does get tiresome, it is only so when people do not familiarise themselves with some facts and figures and go off on rants, I trust that won't happen here.
 

Lewisham2221

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IMO, a lot of the reason for people being anti-plastic is purely because it's a case of modern trains replacing older, rarer stock. Up until very recently, some enthusiasts were still moaning about VEP's, saying that they were too common and had too many doors. Lot's of the 'reasons' for 'plastic' being 'rubbish' are IMO just excuses because the new stock is replacing older stock. Some people complained when HST's were first introduced, because 'they are too much like DMU's'. Everything becomes life expired at some point. Things get to the point where constant maintenance and refurbishment becomes just as (un)economical as buying whole new fleets of trains. And at the end of the day, new trains are needed, for various reasons.

Look, for example, at Cross-Country. The introduction of Voyagers allowed vast timetable improvements with improved frequencies. I very much doubt this would have been possible with available rolling stock at the time. In fact, as Yorkie even said to me himself, one of the reasons why Voyagers are so prone to overcrowding is that they made rail travel more popular and convenient. The mix of 4 and 5 car trains, coupled with frequency increases provides as many or more seats than the old timetable and trains did. However, the new trains and timetable also made train travel more appealing, which you can't exactly blame anybody for not forseeing (what if the same number of trains were ordered, but were in 6, 7, 8+ car formations, but passenger levels HADN'T improved? People would be slating them again for wasting money). I'm sure similar things can be said for other areas/routes/franchises and the relevant new rolling stock. In fact, I very much doubt that there are many (if any) cases where new rolling stock has led to LESS passengers.

If people need to use the train, they will use it whether it's tired, worn out loco-hauled trains, or new, modern multiple units. If people have more choice over using rail or other transport, they are more likely to use rail services if they are provided by modern trains, with air conditioning, clear PA announcements, PID's, easy to use doors etc etc.

Remember, the railways are run for people who want to pay money to get from A to B, not for a (comparitive) handful of enthusiasts who want to stick their head out of a window ;)
 

yorkie

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Marv said:
Look, for example, at Cross-Country. The introduction of Voyagers allowed vast timetable improvements with improved frequencies. I very much doubt this would have been possible with available rolling stock at the time. In fact, as Yorkie even said to me himself, one of the reasons why Voyagers are so prone to overcrowding is that they made rail travel more popular and convenient. The mix of 4 and 5 car trains, coupled with frequency increases provides as many or more seats than the old timetable and trains did. However, the new trains and timetable also made train travel more appealing...
It's more the service frequency than anything. I am not aware of people who travel by train because they are Voyagers. I do know people who avoid Voyagers, some of them are tall and dislike the lack of leg room, while others just find the seats too hard. I have travelled with non-enthusiasts for hundreds of miles and they generally preferred the HSTs. Some are also put off by the huge fare increases on the route. Yes we now have a 'turn up and go' service, but at greater cost. This means if you get (say) a footy match York vs Tamworth you'll get loads of people going (most on YP Railcards, FAM railcards, Combo CDRs as the regulars are wise to such things), but if you get say York to Exeter people USED to go but now won't. A turn up and go service may sort-of exist to Exeter (although there'd still be few trains in reality due to time constraints) but people want cheaper fares which we no longer have.

I am arguing about NON-enthusiasts here.

marv said:
...whether it's tired, worn out loco-hauled trains, or new, modern multiple units...
An unfair thing to say, so I'll counter it. What about refurbished loco-hauled trains on GNER versus non-refurbished 'worn out' but 'new' and 'modern' multiple units like the ex-CT 158s on TPE? Oh, suddenly the tide has turned...

Marv said:
If people need to use the train, they will use it whether it's tired, worn out loco-hauled trains, or new, modern multiple units. If people have more choice over using rail or other transport, they are more likely to use rail services if they are provided by modern trains, with air conditioning, clear PA announcements, PID's, easy to use doors etc etc.
Ask any passenger and they'll tell you they'd rather be on a train that RUNS and is ON TIME and with a reasonably priced fare, compared to a shiney new train that isn't, so I'd say the passenger priorities are different to quoted here.

Marv said:
Remember, the railways are run for people who want to pay money to get from A to B, not for a (comparitive) handful of enthusiasts who want to stick their head out of a window ;)
Can you argue on points such as reliability and efficiency, rather than... whatever this point is about (anti-enthusiast?)?
 

yorkie

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I'll try again, being specific now, have a read of this.

Roger Ford said:
What is going to be really hard is resolving ‘in due course' whether the cost of the upgrade which emerges is value for money and who pays? Well we all know who's going to pay in the end, don't we?
Unfortunately subsidy for the railways has skyrocketed. Do we honestly believe the government will be happy to continue to pay such amounts? Err, dream on.

But they can't cut services in the South East, where vast sums were/are being spent, so drastic cuts are proposed for the North. Lovely. :roll:
 

Lewisham2221

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yorkie said:
It's more the service frequency than anything. I am not aware of people who travel by train because they are Voyagers. I do know people who avoid Voyagers, some of them are tall and dislike the lack of leg room, while others just find the seats too hard. I have travelled with non-enthusiasts for hundreds of miles and they generally preferred the HSTs. Some are also put off by the huge fare increases on the route. Yes we now have a 'turn up and go' service, but at greater cost. This means if you get (say) a footy match York vs Tamworth you'll get loads of people going (most on YP Railcards, FAM railcards, Combo CDRs as the regulars are wise to such things), but if you get say York to Exeter people USED to go but now won't. A turn up and go service may sort-of exist to Exeter (although there'd still be few trains in reality due to time constraints) but people want cheaper fares which we no longer have.

I am arguing about NON-enthusiasts here.
My point was also about non-enthusiasts. I personally have yet to find a non-enthusiast who doesn't prefer Pendo's, Voyager's etc to HST's, 87's etc. Admitidly some passengers may be lost due to increased fares over longer distances, but many passengers have also been found due to better services over shorter distances.

yorkie said:
Ask any passenger and they'll tell you they'd rather be on a train that RUNS and is ON TIME and with a reasonably priced fare, compared to a shiney new train that isn't, so I'd say the passenger priorities are different to quoted here.
Yes, passengers do want trains that run and run on time. Many delays are down to things other than the train itself though. I'd say there are more delays due to infrastructure problems (signalling faults, points failures, poor rail conditions (including TSR's), congestion at bottlenecks etc) than delays caused by the train. As for trains actually running, the reliability of modern trains is getting better (although admittidly in some cases through expensive modifications and upgrades that could have been corrected from the start). Given the choice between an old train running on time and a new train running on time, a fairly high percentage of people would probably go for the new train.

yorkie said:
Can you argue on points such as reliability and efficiency, rather than... whatever this point is about (anti-enthusiast?)?
Well, from reading the article you linked to above, a lot of the efficiency problems come from making rail travel more popular for passengers. Increased weight from things like air con, and making trains safer and more crashworthy (and hence more power usage due to weight) along with increased power useage by things such as air con.

Essentially, this is a never ending argument:

Keep an outdated rail system that becomes increasingly less popular;
Update the system but spend more money;
Compromise by doing another Beeching.
 

yorkie

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Marv said:
My point was also about non-enthusiasts. I personally have yet to find a non-enthusiast who doesn't prefer Pendo's, Voyager's etc to HST's, 87's etc. Admitidly some passengers may be lost due to increased fares over longer distances, but many passengers have also been found due to better services over shorter distances.
How often do you travel with such people? Are any of them over about 170cm tall? And do we really want a load of trains running stopping services between Newcastle and Bournemouth (including the likes of Dronfield and Chester le street), all on CDRs for very short distances with half the train getting off/on at every other stop, because no-one on them is doing a long distance? And can anyone honestly tell me that CrossCountry is worth the subsidy now paid which is far higher than InterCity in its entirety pre-privatisation?

Marv said:
Yes, passengers do want trains that run and run on time. Many delays are down to things other than the train itself though. I'd say there are more delays due to infrastructure problems (signalling faults, points failures, poor rail conditions (including TSR's), congestion at bottlenecks etc) than delays caused by the train.
So why have we spent so much money on new trains when it should have been spent on the infrastructure?
Marv said:
As for trains actually running, the reliability of modern trains is getting better (although admittidly in some cases through expensive modifications and upgrades that could have been corrected from the start). Given the choice between an old train running on time and a new train running on time, a fairly high percentage of people would probably go for the new train.
But not at the expense of higher fares, higher subsidies paid through taxes, and we're talking massive amounts in some cases not a few pennies.

Marv said:
Well, from reading the article you linked to above, a lot of the efficiency problems come from making rail travel more popular for passengers. Increased weight from things like air con, and making trains safer and more crashworthy (and hence more power usage due to weight) along with increased power useage by things such as air con.
There are many holes I could pick there. Here's one: in many cases the guard's area is now a crumple zone. So in the event of an accident the guard is more likely to be sacrificed, so who will protect the line? Just look at what some guards have done in some incidents to prevent them getting worse...

Then there's the vestibule areas, think of peak times... I can't/won't go on on that subject!

Marv said:
Essentially, this is a never ending argument:

Keep an outdated rail system that becomes increasingly less popular;
Update the system but spend more money;
Compromise by doing another Beeching.
It is indeed but I do not accept the latter argument, and if another 'Beeching' occurs it will be because of the hugely expensive trains, not in spite of.
 

Jim

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So, I will argue a point earlier raised about the Doors & Air con. When the air con fails & you are on a 170/3 (not 392) then :
You won't have any air in unless someone stands by the doors.
Who will do that? :roll:
 

Julian G

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i have to admit i like both plastic and non plastic trains
the plastic bit applies to 377/2
the non plastic bit applies to 87,90,92, DVT
 

Nick

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Jim said:
So, I will argue a point earlier raised about the Doors & Air con. When the air con fails & you are on a 170/3 (not 392) then :
You won't have any air in unless someone stands by the doors.
Who will do that? :roll:
Still on Mark 1 designed coaching stock it gets sticky and humid, even with all the windows open, they're like greenhouses! Infact opening the windows on them makes them even hotter in most cases.

The reason why AC is more standard on new trains is because it is what the public expects. They dont want th poor ventiliation of hoppers, they want cool relaxing air conditioning, and very nice it is too!

If window hoppers and AC were fitted the AC I suspect would be fighting a loosing battle to maintain a cool temperture, probably making it fail more.

Glad to see so many arn't brainwashed to think welded aluminium new trains post 1996 arn't evil!

PS. Johnathan....Voyagers/Pendolino's are welded aluminium :)
 
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