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Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by CompactDstrxion, 27 Oct 2011.
This starts at 4pm today.
So...... what will you ask?
Nothing, basically because like millions of others I'm not on facebook, so maybe you could pass this on...
Why not just use a normal internet webchat setup like some other TOCs do?
The Press Office, media advisers and journalists are all on Facebook...
That's what matters.
As a long distance train service that avoids London (so involves less bussiness passengers) I'd be surprised if Cross Country's demographic wasn't largely young people (those older are more likely to own a car) who almost certainly have facebook. I suppose what they really want to do is make sure that these people are likely to be average passengers, if it's somewhere else there's a much higher chance it'll be mostly enthusiasts.
XC seem to know this - they created a page called 'Student Rail Deals' and it's the biggest PR flop I've seen on facebook for quite some time
Try a Bournemouth/Southampton to Reading service on a weekday though - it's more like a pensioner's outing...
Fewer business passengers?
Perhaps there is little or no commerce in Birmingham. It would definitely explain why no business organisation has encouraged late operation of inter-city services from Birmingham to permit business people to enjoy a post-work drinks and dinner, then travel home the same evening.
Maybe people who work in Birmingham have a life and friends outside of work.
None is different from fewer. There are still far more people going to London on business than Birmingham.
Cross Country's routes cover all the major university cities (bar London). It was just a guess that this probably meant XC have a higher proportion of young passengers. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, but presumably XC think that most of their target market is on Facebook (or was I just giving them too much credit).
I often ask myself just exactly what people do in Birmingham and what goes on here as I'm clueless myself! But then again I see all these brand consultants (who seem to spend all lunchtime in the pub and fancy cafes) and so on in the West End and think the same thing.
There are a few key things for me on the CrossCountry InterCity network but these are more issues for the DfT rather than the franchisee:
- fares: unless you split it is too expensive, but with reasonably loaded trains there is no need for lower fares it could be argued
- speed: the trains are just so slow. I suppose it cannot be helped if you want to go via Leeds but it's a pain when going North of there. Is there perhaps scope for an additional ''stopping'' service Reading/Birmingham to Leeds? Calling Didcot, Oxford, Banbury, Leamington Spa, (Birmingham Int, Coventry,) Birmingham NS, Derby, Chesterfield, Sheffield, Wakefield & Leeds. This could allow a 2tph Birmingham - Newcastle service calling at Derby, Sheffield, (Doncaster 1tph), York only. Tamworth and Burton could be axed from the InterCity network with good connections provided at Derby and Birmingham. Linespeed improvements on the MML and between Birmingham and Exeter could help speed up services.
- busy trains: at times of the day, the services are just too busy. The ''relief'' train Birmingham - Leeds could help here, who knows what will happen to the much derided Voyagers?
Cross Country also has a major commuter markets into Bristol , Bham , Cardiff etc etc.
It probably has more city to city , town to town flows than any other operator. As a good operator friend said about WCML - about 85% of the passengers walk past the buffer stops at Euston , - which you cant say for XC !!!
For those not on Facebook I would be happy to relay questions.
Sounds like a good cheap way of communicating with "customers" directly, good to see a TOC taking this approach.
Really, there's not a lot that XC can do (no spare trains, few empty seats to justify "bargain" fares), but at least they are trying to talk to their passengers.
More like 40%....huge numbers use West Coast services for shorter journeys such as Stoke- Manchester, Wigan - Warrington & Coventry - Birmingham.
The contrast to XC still stands though.
Very True, when I lived in Crawley I used to have to take 2 trains and the tube to get to Three Bridges from Manchester, VXC (as it was) still ran a service to Brighton so I could get to my destination so much quicker (with only one quick change at Gatwick) to get home rather than the long waits at Victoria and hassle of getting the tube when lugging cases.
It only ran on a Saturday by this point so I only ever got it once, oddly enough to Gatwick and then straight onto a flight to Greece & Back...
Why did they axe the Manchester - Brighton route? I figured it was just a much shortened version of the Brighton - Edinburgh route from the Intercity days.
Because it wasn't included in the franchise specification for XC in 2007. (Presumably because it went way out of zone, which for such a rare service is perhaps not worth it.)
Partly because they didn't have enough stock to run a good enough service on their "core" area, partly because they've had to find additional units to cover things like Glasgow Central - Newcastle/York.
Ideally I'd have Brighton and Gatwick on the XC map, but there's probably more chance of a direct service to Birmingham being an extension of the SN "West London" service than there is of XC having the spare stock to use on something so far from their main operating areas.
Really, the XC management are stuck trying to make the best of a bad situation, with everything they do being a "least worst" decision (e.g. not ideal to get rid of the shops on Voyagers, but the space was more of a priority for luggage/ seats, due to the size of the trains).
I'd ask to finally make a deal to create an XC off peak single from Birmingham NS - Bristol TM, hated paying for a Anytime Single at 21:00 on a Saturday! I could have got an Off Peak VT single...via Euston!
It's a while ago now, but I don't recall this being specified in the ITT. What I do recall is that the Brighton trains were problematic. Low use on the Brighton section and the train crew manning was very inefficient. I would suspect that Arriva found better uses for the rolling stock.
Hoofing this thread, because it starts in 40 minutes!
You know the answer would be that you should have bought in advance...
The Off Peak Return is £2 more than an Anytime Single, so even if there were an Off Peak Single it would cost the same as an Anytime Single anyway. Unless you're suggesting making off peak singles half the price of a return, which is obviously a completely ridiculous idea! :roll:
Oh, and linky to the page
You mean like how it took them 6 days to respond correctly to a question they don't operate trains from London to Totnes!
Quite a few questions been asked. No answers yet.
First answer has just gone up.
Basically saying they cater more the needs of the passenger making a 90 minute journey and not the needs of those making a 3 hour or longer journey.
The second answer is now up as well saying they plan to solve overcrowding by attracting passengers to use quieter services opposed to adding extra capacity.
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Looks like they are only answering questions posted after 4pm so if you posted before you might want to try reposting.
I should have got an advance yes, but as I was bailing off a tour that was timed at the last minute (as usual) to arrive into Bristol TM later than my last train home, the option on the day was to speed off on a Voyager, so walk up fare only.
It would be good to have half price and at least in some parts it does exist, like Paddington to Trowbridge £18.50 single or somewhere around £36 for a return. Why that route and not on other legs like BHM to Bristol, I don't know :?