Why is standing worse on 'real' trains?

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Scott M, 27 May 2015.

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  1. Scott M

    Scott M Member

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    People who commute via the tube and Tyne and Wear metro are frequently crammed into carriages like sardines with no hope of getting a seat for their 30-45 min journey.

    Why it when people who use 'real' trains such as Virgin don't get a seat for a similar amount of time, there is outrage at the intolerable conditions? - What makes it worse not getting a seat on such a train compared to not getting one on the tube?
     
  2. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    My commute on the proper railway is around 35 mins and I'd be very annoyed not to get a seat. I guess that's one of those things you give up when you move to the bright lights of London.
     
  3. GrimsbyPacer

    GrimsbyPacer Established Member

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    Because the train's Virgin run are limited stop and run at a fast pace rather than stopping every halfmile. A bit more comfy??
     
  4. Simon11

    Simon11 Member Jobs & Careers Assistant

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    Having spent a day sitting down in the office, sometimes I actually prefer to stand than sit. My journey by tube is around 45 minutes.

    If 90% of the time your standing up, then you become used to standing, whereas if its only 10%, you will be more frustrated at not getting a seat.
     
  5. VisualAcid

    VisualAcid Member

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    Are there handrails and the such on the Metro? Haven't been on Pendo's much but Voyagers have very small gangways and not much to hold on to.
     
  6. stockport1

    stockport1 Member

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    because a virgin ticket (mcr-london) can cost over 200quid?
    local commuting ticket approx. 10quid?????

    200quid can buy you a cheap car!!
     
  7. Searle

    Searle Established Member

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    This. Also, in the T&W Metro, and other commuter services, the trains are built for standing; large gangways etc, so it's less pleasant to stand in. I'd also expect the average travel time on Virgin to be higher than the time on commuter services.
     
  8. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    For short journeys, standing isn't an issue- if there's something to hold on to, and there's enough room to stand. Sadly on most commuter trains there isn't anything to hold on to and there isn't enough room to stand, the big exception being the 378s.

    The 3+2 seats on the 313s and the 350/2s are the worst. If you get people standing in the aisle they basically end up with their groin right in your face, if you're in the aisle seat. You don't get that close to standees on the tube.
     
  9. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    National Rail operators are supposed to have no standing off-peak and passengers standing for no more than 20 minutes at peak times.

    Do LU or Tyne & Wear Metro make any claims about maximum standing time? If not, that's why passengers will complain - Virgin are failing to deliver the advertised product by making you stand for 45 minutes while Tyne & Wear Metro are not.
     
  10. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    The DfT's published rules about capacity and standing allowances etc etc only apply to services that they franchise, thereby excluding everything TfL are responsible for, and I assume every other local Metro service.
     
  11. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    <laughs>

    LM has worse overcrowding "off peak" because they are too cheap to pay to get extra stock out of the sidings (they are paid for on a mileage basis).

    All day Saturday and after about 1100 Sunday they need 8 car on all diagrams, all class 350 run routes. The Saturday evening vomit comets are 12-car, but there are too many 4s during the day.
     
  12. Holly

    Holly Member

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    In the old days, if long distance trains were overcrowded it would be ordinary to see people sitting on their suitcases. Or even small folding chairs (shooting sticks) they had brought as luggage. I don't think that happens much anymore.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 27 May 2015
  13. Baggypants

    Baggypants Member

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    But would it get you to London? <D
     
  14. Amy Worrall

    Amy Worrall Member

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    Because I pay through the nose for the privilege. Simple as that really. I used to commute via a local bus, sometimes I had to stand, and I grumbled a bit but got on with it. Then I moved to paying 40 times as much per year to commute by train to London. If I don't get a seat, I'll be mightily miffed.
     
  15. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I don't think a comparison of what alternative items can be bought with the money is helpful. Anyway....
    Can you give some examples please? Given the frequent stops, with people getting off and on regularly, there can't be that many journeys where there is no hope of getting a seat for 45 minutes.
    If you are on a Virgin Trains service for 45 minutes you are likely to be paying a significantly higher price than a short distance tube journey of a similar time duration.
     
  16. Flamingo

    Flamingo Established Member

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    The perception of "no seats" is something that I find some passengers like to use as a stick to beat the railway with. The most common thing said to me by passengers I ask to move because they are standing in First Class carriages is "There are no seats" - despite them making no effort to look for seats, until the point they were asked to move they had displayed no interest in having a seat, and indeed, I may have made several announcements detailing where the empty seats were that they have ignored.

    Plenty of other passengers are quite vocal in demanding seats until the empty seats beside other passengers are pointed oiyt to tyem, when they decide they would rather stand after all.

    There are trains where passengers who would like to sit down can't get a seat. There are also lots of passengers who can sit down, but would prefer to stand as it gives them something to complain about.
     
  17. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Paying through the nose only gives you the privilege to travel, not a seat unless you reserve one.
    Paying 40 times as much per year takes you much further than by bus. You wouldn't complain that the petrol to do a 200 mile journey costs more than a 10 mile one, would you?
     
  18. TheKnightWho

    TheKnightWho Established Member

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    You still see that quite a lot in Asia, but less so here.
     
  19. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    I think that's a bit cynical, IME it's more that they want to be the first off the train at the terminus.

    On the Euston line in a morning the front 4-car set is absolutely wedged, with loads of standees. Get on the rear 4-car set and I'll often get a bay of six seats to myself.

    I don't understand why you'd stand up for 45 minutes to save yourself 90 seconds at Euston, but there you go.

    I hate it when guards announce the empty seats because then people come and sit near me ;)
     
  20. Flamingo

    Flamingo Established Member

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    There used to be a chap who would (daily) have a go at me for announcing there are seats in Coach A because "it's the quiet carriage and we don't want people coming and sitting in here"!

    I know that sounded cynical to say that some people would rather moan than sit down, but at this stage it really is the only explanation I can come up with for their behaviour. I have had people shouting at me over the lack of seats, I have pointed out an empty seat four rows away, and had a response of "Well, that's still not good enough"!
     
  21. Envy123

    Envy123 Member

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    I don't mind standing if either my journey is short or it's a stopping service and people are going to get off or both. :)

    On the GN locals, I don't get a seat when I board at New Southgate, people do get off at Finsbury Park and Highbury & Islington, so there are opportunities to get a seat halfway through the journey.

    However, if I take the Picc Line at Arnos Grove, I do mind standing as most people get off at King's Cross and I effectively stand for 20 minutes.

    This is all in peak times.

    One reason why I very much prefer NR to tube.
     
  22. matt_world2004

    matt_world2004 Established Member

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    It is a psychological thing.Metro services are generally higher frequency so you are waiting less anyway. Also because of the low travel time between each stop. On average you are standing for less.If you stood between kingston and Waterloo on NR services you would be standing for 31 minutes.To stand for s similar length of time on LU services . you would travel between shepherds bush and Stratford. Which I guarantee would feel longer than standing between Kingston and Waterloo. Especially as you would be passing through more stops.
     
  23. merry

    merry Member

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    And it still happens today. fairly often.
    I have (a few years ago now, it was during the last Ash Cloud incident)) travelled from Chester to Holyhead sitting on my flightcase in the lobby of the totally overloaded Arriva 3-car unit. ON that occasion, I had a reserved seat *somewhere* in the vehicle, but given it was standing all down the aisle there was zero chance of finding it. I actually shared said lobby with a 3-man Outside broadcast crew (with their equipment cases) and 2 other people, plus a number of passengers' luggage. We had to unload at each station to allow passengers on & off.
    On a 90-minute plus journey that is not amusing. Thankfully, it was a Summer weekday, and the weather was gorgeous - as is the scenery if you can see it - so moods were good and conversations interesting.

    Of course, the return journey was equally dire: the incoming service at Holyhead so late (over 50 minutes) as to vanish from the displays before even arriving (thumbs up to NRE online!) and connections back to Chesterfield missed - again, interesting people met & I did get home via Uttoxeter/Derby!
    Sadly, Arriva's on-train & CS staff were singularly un-bothered, but did at least border on polite.
    And I don't believe the situation on the N Wales has improved even now, at busy times of year. Best operator award? Not sure how Arriva achieved that a few years ago!

    But back on topic, the "suitcase seat brigade" are alive & well.
    I use my flightcase as a seat regularly, on stations, airports and trains, and on the East Coast peak trains there are often folks in the lobbies on their cases for an hour plus.

    Looking overseas, I've had missed connections in S. Korea where transfer to a new train was allowed, but I had to stand halfway across the country as it was Friday rush-hour. Sat on the case again! You see it on the TGV & even Eurostar too at peak times, although strictly speaking it is not really supposed to happen...traincrew let folks on when there are delays & missed connections, in an effort to keep customers moving. Well done to the staff, and I don't complain for being enabled to get there at all when things go wrong.

    As an aside, 2x TGV-duplex running in multiple is an impressive sight, and really very, very long. Seeing the whole thing at Marne-la-Vallee, Montparnasse or Lille is difficult: the station is too dingy to even see the end of the train. But at La Rochelle even 2x traditional single deck TGV is a great sight...over 500m of passenger train.

    I'd agree that the difference between metros and longer distance trains is the typical journey time, as well as the price paid. I would object to standing for a long distance at the prices I pay over here. In Korea? Not really a problem. Peak Time 1st class from Seoul to Busan is only about £30 economy standby, less offpeak. An equivalent journey in the Uk might be London-Manchester, where we pay over £80 single at that sort of time. And you wonder why folks expect a seat!
    (Note: I can't offer sympathy to those who want a row to themself at busy times. Man up guys! It is indeed nice if you can get it, but don't complain if you just get the one seat. Taht's all we pay for.)
     
  24. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    I think that one of the steps backwards for the Mallard refurb was replacing the flip down seats with uncomfortable looking bus stop perches in the vestibule. Even if I was only travelling from London to Peterborough, I think I'd still need something more substantial.
     
  25. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    This thread seems to have gone off-topic. The OP asked why people who will accept travelling standing on metro services for 30-45min baulk at standing for a similar time on a Virgin service.
    There seems to be a lot of complaining about standing for hours which most people would agree is difficult even for healthy people.
    There are also comments that the non-stop service is (usually) more expensive so that is justification for why they shouldn't stand. To bring this back on topic, just consider why the fares are different:
    a typical metro service will cover 10-15 miles in 30mins whereas a 30min non-stop journey on an inter-city service might typically cover 40-50 miles. Standing up in these examples is the same whether the train is going slow with regular stops or fast at a constant speed *, it is still 30mins. The cost difference is because the journey covers more distance, - that's generally how peak rail fares are priced, often with a slightly better deal for longer commutes. It's just the same as driving, the further you drive the more it costs, the reduced time taken per mile is a bonus.

    * Arguably, the inter-city train will give a better, quieter ride most of the time as its speed will be more constant than a metro stopper. The temperature in winter will be more constant without the doors opening every few minutes, and there won't be the shuffling around and treading on feet at every stop.
     
  26. hassaanhc

    hassaanhc Established Member

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    I reckon the intention of the thread was not to compare TfL modes vs Euston to Glasgow expresses, but with services like the Southeastern Dartford Lines, FGW Thames Valley stoppers, SWT suburbans etc.
    Being cynical, I think complaints about not getting seats will suddenly reduce where there is a TfL takeover, simply because it is TfL and not a private operator... <D
     
  27. HugePilchard

    HugePilchard Member

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    Coming into this as a daily T&W Metro standee and former rail commuter, I can only echo the points made earlier in the thread - the Metro borders on being a pleasant place to stand. There's 1001 places to hang on to something, or prop yourself up - also seats do become available fairly frequently due to the stop-start nature of the service, so if you're desperate to sit down you've often only got to wait a few stops.

    I used to take a mainline service every day between Durham and Darlington, and they just don't seem as geared up to standing - this was on services with Mk3s and Voyagers. There's no nice poles to hold onto, no hand holds from the ceiling, and less corners to prop yourself up in. I didn't mind it so much for the most part, it's only a 15 minute journey really - although the time I had to stand for five hours between Durham and Kings Cross did rattle me a bit. If you're forced to stand in the gangway of an HST, there's just no way that people can comfortably pass you without significant discomfort to all involved.
     
  28. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    HSTs will all be scrapped in the relatively near future. Trains used on longer journeys are getting better standing spaces, e.g. 185s, 350s & 387s, for those times when demand exceeds seating capacity. They also have better provision for holding on thereby making it safer for standees.
    Getting the balance between seated capacity and total capacity is becoming increasingly critical, on the railway, particularly where infrastructure capacity is finite with little prospect of increasing it.
     
  29. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Flip down seats are the best way to achieve this balance, yet there don't appear to be many designs coming out with them.
     
  30. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    The flipdown seats were deliberately taken out of the MkIV vestibules because people sitting on them were getting in the way of people getting on and off the train. I don't think flipdown seats are the solution, as people were using them even when the train was half-empty, which was the main problem.

    On commuter trains the solution is more standing space, like it appears the 700s will have, and on intercity trains the solution is to try and manage capacity so that long-distance standing is not a regular occurrence.
     
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