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With more Mk4s potentially coming, how should TfW market the on-board restaurant service?

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Veteran Member
20 Oct 2014
"Marston Vale mafia"
Having just had a look through BR Fares there are no Business class upgrade fares available for shorter journeys. They are only available for travel between stations from Holyhead - Shrewsbury to stations from Abergavenny to Cardiff, or vice versa. In many cases (especially along the North Wales coast) you could use first class tickets to get the same benefit but that would not be a cheap option - would you want to pay for that and feel like you need to rush your meal?

I'm not sure that an inclusive meal is the right way to go if this is going to be the main all-day North Wales Coast service (as it seems it is with the potential additional sets). Surely a more reasonable First Class fare, perhaps including tea/coffee/water as it's cheap to do, plus meals sold "a la carte"*, would be better and would cater better for shorter journeys? The service is going to look rather like, say, a Deutsche Bahn IC or IR (as was), being a long-distance slow service with lots of overlapping demand and not one key destination**, and so the Bistro concept would to me probably work better than the inclusive model used on services like Avanti where pretty much everyone is doing a long trip.

* Perhaps on proper crockery etc in 1st, but also for the same price sold boxed-up with wooden cutlery in Standard? More to sell then.

** Whatever the WG think, most people don't want to go to Cardiff. I love it as a city but it doesn't have the centralised draw of London.
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RailUK Forums


15 Aug 2017
I was/am a big fan of the food on the Wrexham & Shropshire, and on the Gerald of Wales service from the north to Cardiff. Not a massively regular traveller (maybe once a year), but almost always go in first class for the lovely food.

Travel Wrexham (so Chester) to Manchester more regularly. Would buy breakfast on that service a couple of times a month if it were available.


Established Member
11 Jun 2014
West Riding
It depends who you're wanting to please;

For passengers there's nothing wrong with the current situation; I've never had a problem getting a business class ticket on a relatively cheap advance.

Equally, the availability of the onboard upgrade also allows you to buy a standard ticket at a (sometimes) reasonable price and then upgrade on a flat fee basis, which helps some groups with expenses claims and can still work out good value on a longer journey.

However, I'm really not sure the current situation is the best in terms of revenue generation and productivity.

As you suggest, perhaps a simpler freshly cooked 'street food' box offering could be made available for standard passengers to make more money out of the kitchen. Something that can be cooked in a batch before the restaurant service starts and then is effectively just re-heated, even if it's just a more trendy, fashionable equivalent of pie and peas, just doing something that simple could easily beat any other standard class catering option on the network.

So I'd leave the current business class as it is, then just do the 'box food' option as well which would please more passengers, increase revenue and grow the service a reputation at the same time.
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