Worst Decision by a TOC?

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SprinterMan

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Simple question, in your opinion, since privatisation, what is the single worst decision made by a TOC?

NX cancelling the 321 refurb?
NX killing off the 'one' brand?
NX taking on East Coast?
GA sending the 317/7s off lease?
VT's poorly executed "operation princess"?
SWT storing the 442s?
Connex trying to remove all toilets from trains?
etc.

:P



**NOTE** Mods - Move to General section if you want, I created this in the wrong place, sorry :)
 
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DownSouth

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Every company but the GWR choosing ridiculously narrow loading gauges a couple of hundred years ago?

GWR then meekly following along?
 

Schnellzug

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Whenever the question of Operation Princess comes up, there are those who insist very strongly that specifiying four coach trains and then royally screwing up running the service on top of that was all Virgin's fault, and those who insist equally strongly than Virgin had no say in it whatsoever and it was all the Government's fault or the SRA or whoever was responsible then. If if was Virgin's fault, then it's a complete mystery to me how they didn't have the franchise immediately revoked, I really do.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Whenever the question of Operation Princess comes up, there are those who insist very strongly that specifiying four coach trains and then royally screwing up running the service on top of that was all Virgin's fault, and those who insist equally strongly than Virgin had no say in it whatsoever and it was all the Government's fault or the SRA or whoever was responsible then. If if was Virgin's fault, then it's a complete mystery to me how they didn't have the franchise immediately revoked, I really do.
We will probably never know the answer, any more than why the WCRM project was screwed up.
Hatfield and the demise of Railtrack diverted attention from TOC issues at the time.
Virgin's business cases for both franchises were screwed, but they were bomb-proof on West Coast so the franchise continued.

Cross-Country was cut short, but probably only because the SRA wanted to cut the subsidy profile, not because of perceived poor performance by Virgin.
Virgin probably argued that more stock should be provided to cater for the massive growth created by "Princess", but the SRA refused to "throw money at" XC.
Not much has changed since, really.
For what it's worth, I think XC would have done better staying with Virgin.
At least it would have made for a better network.
 

KingBBoogaloo

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The failure of Operation Princess is mostly Virgins fault. When the franchise was let in late 1996 the Government/SRA had very little say in specifying rolling stock.

It doesn't take a genius to spot where it went wrong with Operation Princess, take the Birmingham-North East services as an example, before Operation Princess is was an hourly service provided by HSTs which needed one Diver, one Guard and someone in the Buffet. After Operation Princess it was half hourly with Voyagers, double the number of trains which need double the number of staff, however, two 5-car Voyagers have less seats than the HSTs they replaced. So you have more trains and more staff to pay for with less capacity.
 

Michael.Y

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Regarding the axing of the One brand, surely that was a good decision given the potential confusion it caused. I don't know if stories of "Platform 1 for the 01.01 One service...." are apocryphal or not, but it makes First look tame in comparison
 

jopsuk

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After Operation Princess it was half hourly with Voyagers, double the number of trains which need double the number of staff, however, two 5-car Voyagers have less seats than the HSTs they replaced. So you have more trains and more staff to pay for with less capacity.
What was the seat capacity of a five car Voyager at delivery versus the seat capacity of a 2+7-car BR/Virgin Cross Country spec HST? Pretty sure the XC fleet was 7-car, wasn't it?
 
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NX creating the 'one' brand? :lol:
Precisely! NX getting the franchise in the first place. Anglia railways were an award winning TOC as was first great eastern. NX took over and everything turned to mush. NX even being allowed into the rail industry at all is regrettable.

Other ones I can think of:

Virgin trains putting Voyagers on routes that are completely under the wires (I went on one starting Birmingham New St - Euston)

Whoevers fault it was replacing HST's with those tiny Voyager units.

Silverlink Metro keeping 150's for the GOBLIN line all the way in erm Bletchley. MILES away from Gospel Oak let alone Barking.

GA repainting their units in white which is going to look awful in a few years of weathering.
 

dosxuk

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Central deciding it was too much hassle to update thier Citylink passenger numbers resulting in all the 158 middle cars getting transferred away at the end of thier franchise and massive overcrowding.
 

12CSVT

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Silverlink Metro keeping 150's for the GOBLIN line all the way in erm Bletchley. MILES away from Gospel Oak let alone Barking.
QUOTE]

They also needed 150s for the Bedford - Bletchley route.

It is no different now with London Midland 150s and 153s on the Bedford - Bletchley line being based at Tyseley.
 

tbtc

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What was the seat capacity of a five car Voyager at delivery versus the seat capacity of a 2+7-car BR/Virgin Cross Country spec HST? Pretty sure the XC fleet was 7-car, wasn't it?
As far as I can remember it was a seven coach HST (or sometimes a six coach loco hauled service).

There is a tendancy for people to remember things as all being bigger and better in the past, but I'm pretty sure they were only seven coaches (with a buffet taking up half a coach? can't remember)
 

ainsworth74

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but I'm pretty sure they were only seven coaches (with a buffet taking up half a coach? can't remember)
The formation was (I think) TF-TRFB-TS-TS-TS-TS-TGS with the TRFB being in the same style as those found on EC, EMT and some FGW HSTs. These days the TRFB has both standard and first class seating with just a small storage area and microwave for the catering.
 

Schnellzug

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What was the seat capacity of a five car Voyager at delivery versus the seat capacity of a 2+7-car BR/Virgin Cross Country spec HST? Pretty sure the XC fleet was 7-car, wasn't it?
Well, a Mk 3 was anywhere between 68 and 74 standard (depending on whether there was luggage/wheelchair space, etc), so say 70 on average. A Voyager is 62 at most (in the non-buffet MS), just 42 in the DMS. So, as the Americans say, if anyone wishes to do the math.
 

87015

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The formation was (I think) TF-TRFB-TS-TS-TS-TS-TGS with the TRFB being in the same style as those found on EC, EMT and some FGW HSTs. These days the TRFB has both standard and first class seating with just a small storage area and microwave for the catering.
The ICXC/VXC tram buffets were standard class seating and not first IIRC? The hauled sets were certainly load 7 - BSO, 5xTSO, RFB.
 

CC 72100

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As far as I can remember it was a seven coach HST (or sometimes a six coach loco hauled service).

There is a tendancy for people to remember things as all being bigger and better in the past, but I'm pretty sure they were only seven coaches (with a buffet taking up half a coach? can't remember)
If I remember rightly, Saturday day trips to Paignton behind 47s at the turn of the millenium were 7 coaches, the first being a Brake coach (so half a coach of seats) and the last a buffet/ first class one.

Although, on occasions I remember going down the sea wall in a mark3 set, load 9 (?), that had found it's way onto VXC somehow!

EDIT: 87015 has beaten me to it!
 

aformeruser

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Virgin trains putting Voyagers on routes that are completely under the wires (I went on one starting Birmingham New St - Euston)
The Scottish services used to continue to the South West before DfT mucked around with the Cross Country franchise.

Previously there were some Voyagers used on Manchester-Birmingham services (that didn't continue beyond Birmingham) completely under the wires, but it wasn't a full hourly service that could switch to EMUs. However, Virgin were apparently offered a small fleet of 350s, which they rejected for being unsuitable.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Central deciding it was too much hassle to update thier Citylink passenger numbers resulting in all the 158 middle cars getting transferred away at the end of thier franchise and massive overcrowding.
The routes LM got such as Liverpool-Birmingham didn't lose capacity but the Liverpool-Norwich route that EMT got lost out. Even with out-of-date passenger figures 2 car 158s should not have been considered for Liverpool-Norwich as even if you use 10 year old figures you'll get loadings of higher than 135 for at least part of most services.
 

SprinterMan

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I know it was before privatisation, so I break my own rules, but not building huge numbers of 210s was a big mistake in my opinion.

Adam :D
 

SprinterMan

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And some started/finished north of Edinburgh (Dundee and maybe Aberdeen).
It is a shame that so many through services have been lost, but on the bright side, at least things are alot simpler now. Gone are the days of Glasgow-Brighton via Manchester and Birmingham (VXC c.2000) and Aberystwyth-Grimsby (CT c.2000). Things are simpler and easier now, and in my opinion better, but sadly not quite as interesting.

Adam :D
 

yorksrob

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Scrapping the class 310's before they were life expired. (TBH the same could be said for VEP's and CIG's, although at least the 310's were Mk 2 and so didn't fall foul of the Mk 1 regulations).

Also, from a personal point of view, Connex converting VEP's and CIG's into VOP's and COP's (and painting everything in that disgusting yellow and grey).

Also, they should have kept a few of the BR design EPB's back for rush hours (at least until there was money for additional units) - so that peak hour services in South East London could be made up to 12 carriages as planned.
 

SprinterMan

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Scrapping the class 310's before they were life expired. (TBH the same could be said for VEP's and CIG's, although at least the 310's were Mk 2 and so didn't fall foul of the Mk 1 regulations).

Also, from a personal point of view, Connex converting VEP's and CIG's into VOP's and COP's (and painting everything in that disgusting yellow and grey).

Also, they should have kept a few of the BR design EPB's back for rush hours (at least until there was money for additional units) - so that peak hour services in South East London could be made up to 12 carriages as planned.
IMO, the scrapping of the 312s was ever sadder, although they did last a bit longer. I remember them doing the local "Holiday trains" to Walton on the Naze in FGE days.

Adam :D
 

yorksrob

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IMO, the scrapping of the 312s was ever sadder, although they did last a bit longer. I remember them doing the local "Holiday trains" to Walton on the Naze in FGE days.

Adam :D
Yes, those too. Would have been handy to keep a few back to deal with increasing passenger volumes.
 

SprinterMan

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Also, from a personal point of view, Connex converting VEP's and CIG's into VOP's and COP's (and painting everything in that disgusting yellow and grey).
They did that because there was a murder on a compartment 4EPB in NSE days, and to increase capacity. And did you not like Connex's livery? I thought that was the one good thing they had. A memory from my childhood is seeing a Connex livered 205 at Rye.

Adam :)
 

John55

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Scrapping the class 310's before they were life expired. (TBH the same could be said for VEP's and CIG's, although at least the 310's were Mk 2 and so didn't fall foul of the Mk 1 regulations).

Also, from a personal point of view, Connex converting VEP's and CIG's into VOP's and COP's (and painting everything in that disgusting yellow and grey).

Also, they should have kept a few of the BR design EPB's back for rush hours (at least until there was money for additional units) - so that peak hour services in South East London could be made up to 12 carriages as planned.
Are there any lines in the SET suburban area which have been cleared for 12 car operation even now? BR never completed the work to run 12 coach trains which is why platform lengthening is currently ongoing to sort that out now.
 

yorksrob

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They did that because there was a murder on a compartment 4EPB in NSE days, and to increase capacity. And did you not like Connex's livery? I thought that was the one good thing they had. A memory from my childhood is seeing a Connex livered 205 at Rye.

Adam :)
Those were the non-corridoor compartments which one couldn't leave until the train had stopped. The VEP's and CIG's had corridoor compartments which survived on some units until the end. The new seating bays had the same footprint as the compartments had had, so they could still have reconfigured the seating to get four on each side.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Are there any lines in the SET suburban area which have been cleared for 12 car operation even now? BR never completed the work to run 12 coach trains which is why platform lengthening is currently ongoing to sort that out now.
Probably true - although I very much doubt it would have taken BR over fifteen years to complete.
 

sprinterguy

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Well, a Mk 3 was anywhere between 68 and 74 standard (depending on whether there was luggage/wheelchair space, etc), so say 70 on average. A Voyager is 62 at most (in the non-buffet MS), just 42 in the DMS. So, as the Americans say, if anyone wishes to do the math.
Virgin XC 2+7 HST: 47 first class, 390 standard class
Virgin 221 Super Voyager, as delivered: 26 first class, 220 standard class
Crosscountry 221 Super Voyager, current: 26 first class, 236 standard class

And also, just for comparison:
Virgin XC 7 carriage class 47 hauled mark 2 rake: 26 first class, 348 standard class
Crosscountry 220 Voyager: 26 first class, 174 standard class
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
The ICXC/VXC tram buffets were standard class seating and not first IIRC? The hauled sets were certainly load 7 - BSO, 5xTSO, RFB.
Yes that's very much the case, the Crosscountry HSTs had TRSB vehicles, rather than the first class restaurant cars found marshalled in the sets on routes radiating from London. And yeah, load 7 for the loco hauled sets in the formation you have stated...generally..
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
If I remember rightly, Saturday day trips to Paignton behind 47s at the turn of the millenium were 7 coaches, the first being a Brake coach (so half a coach of seats) and the last a buffet/ first class one.

Although, on occasions I remember going down the sea wall in a mark3 set, load 9 (?), that had found it's way onto VXC somehow!
Yeah every so often Crosscountry passengers would be treated to a West Coast mark 3 rake on XC services, often with the DVT still attached and tucked behind the loco! I remember travelling down from Newcastle on one such formation. Allocations seemed fairly fluid back then.
 
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yorksrob

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And did you not like Connex's livery? I thought that was the one good thing they had. A memory from my childhood is seeing a Connex livered 205 at Rye.

Adam :)
Well, I realise it's all subjective. I just wish they'd made it into Southern's two tone green livery, which I've always found much more pleasing :)
 
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