XC reservation displays

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beermaddavep

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Travelled to Edinburgh with my family yesterday (12/04) ex Durham on the 10.17.
No complaints about my own journey, but I had to ask four people to move out of our reserved seats upon boarding at Durham. (Normally I wouldn't bother and felt awful asking them to move, but the train was pretty full and I had kids in tow).

The folk I moved insisted (and I pretty much believe them) that the seats were not showing reserved at York. Looking at the electronic displays, it seems that the "this seat is not reserved until xxx" scrolling displays have been replaced by a simple fixed "reserved" or "not reserved".

So, do these displays change on route? If so, how on earth do you undertake a long journey without a prior reservation? Or was it something to do with the fact that the service was short formed? 1x221 instead of 2?
 
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Lee_Again

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Difficult subject this one.

Happens all too often and the guard leaves the passengers to 'fight it out'. Most recent experience was on a Virgin service from Birmingham New Street to London. When I boarded there were no reservations shown due to a 'technical' problem. After International the guard informed everyone that the reservation system was now working. I have to say, and this won't make me popular, there would be no way I'd vacate my seat (subject to the elderly, in which case I'd gladly give up my reserved seat). It's the TOC's job to ensure reservations are done BEFORE departure. Once you let passengers on then it's game over.
 

IanXC

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The text reservations are separate to these. They just sit there saying "this seat may be reserved" regardless.
 

beermaddavep

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Seems a bit harsh to uproot folk halfway through their trip :-0

My own tickets were advances bought the day before. Has the "reserved until" message now gone to allow for last minute reservers?
 

brillopad

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Difficult subject this one.

Happens all too often and the guard leaves the passengers to 'fight it out'. Most recent experience was on a Virgin service from Birmingham New Street to London. When I boarded there were no reservations shown due to a 'technical' problem. After International the guard informed everyone that the reservation system was now working. I have to say, and this won't make me popular, there would be no way I'd vacate my seat (subject to the elderly, in which case I'd gladly give up my reserved seat). It's the TOC's job to ensure reservations are done BEFORE departure. Once you let passengers on then it's game over.
I always understood that reservations lapse after 10 minutes anyway.
 

wintonian

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I have notice that often when stopping at a station the displays turn off and only turn on again after departure, by which time most people have sat down.

This is ofcourse assuming that you are on one of the aprox 50% of Voyagers where the things work. :o
 

brillopad

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Travelled to Edinburgh with my family yesterday (12/04) ex Durham on the 10.17.
No complaints about my own journey, but I had to ask four people to move out of our reserved seats upon boarding at Durham. (Normally I wouldn't bother and felt awful asking them to move, but the train was pretty full and I had kids in tow).

The folk I moved insisted (and I pretty much believe them) that the seats were not showing reserved at York. Looking at the electronic displays, it seems that the "this seat is not reserved until xxx" scrolling displays have been replaced by a simple fixed "reserved" or "not reserved".

So, do these displays change on route? If so, how on earth do you undertake a long journey without a prior reservation? Or was it something to do with the fact that the service was short formed? 1x221 instead of 2?
The XC services I've been on lately show....

Reserved from 'xyz'
or
Not reserved
or
Reserved

Reserved from 'xyz' changes to Reserved when the train reaches 'xyz'

cycle repeats....
 

All Line Rover

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Next time, just ask the guard to move them or else (if no other seats are available) give you a free First Class upgrade - at least until the train gets less busy. I'm sure the guard will choose the latter if it helps to avoid an argument.

The folk already sitting in the seats do have legitimate grounds for complaint, after all.
 

yorkie

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They should have stated "Reserved from Durham" (or similar).

Yes, they do change en route as reservations can be made up to very nearly departure time from the intermediate points!
That only applies to a few specific seats in a particular area, I thought?
 

Temple Meads

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The reservation system on the last XC service I boarded (10:37 ex Tiverton Parkway to Newcastle), was doing the stupid "This seat may or may not be reserved" thing, so much fighting over seats ensued.

On the plus side, this situation directly helped me to get talking to two very pretty girls, so I'm not complaining :lol:
 

yorkie

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The reservation system on the last XC service I boarded (10:37 ex Tiverton Parkway to Newcastle), was doing the stupid "This seat may or may not be reserved" thing, so much fighting over seats ensued.
Can you provide more information about what messages were displayed?

Was the reservation system actually not functioning? If so, my understanding is that the train should be treated as non-reserved.

Was the guard made aware of this, and was an announcement made?
 

Temple Meads

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Can you provide more information about what messages were displayed?

Was the reservation system actually not functioning? If so, my understanding is that the train should be treated as non-reserved.

Was the guard made aware of this, and was an announcement made?
I didn't hear an announcement about it while I was on the train, and nor did I see a guard during the journey.

The message displayed on all displays was "This seat may or may not be reserved".
 

gnolife

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Slightly better than boarding the 05:11 XC at Manchester Piccadilly (bound for Bournemouth), and finding that, apparently, all seats are reserved from Manchester, despite being the only person who was on the platform!
 

ajdunlop

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Brillopad is correct about the new XC reservation messages. There should have been a reserved from message shown that changed to reserved at your station. Either the people in your seat where lying or the reservation screens where switched off for part of the journey which sometimes happens if the train is unable to receive them at the start of the journey.
The new messages are much better as the only message that scrolls is the reserved from one. People used to have to stand blocking the way untill they got to the useful part. But now it is really easy to spot unreserved seats. My only problem with the new messages is that a seat will change to saying reserved at the passengers 1 st station and stay like that till their last station. Really it should say something else after the first station so if the person doesn't show up people know its available again. Maybe 'reserved if occupied' but that is a bit tough if they have just gone to the loo and woul probably be long enough to scroll again.
 

Greenback

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The electronic seat reservation system is not fit for purpose if it doesn't show the stations between which the seat in question is reserved. How is anyone supposed to know whether the seat is taken or not?

Half the time the system isn't working at all, as far as I can tell from my own journeys. This leads to a lot of arguments, as passengers with a reservation ticket assume, understandably that this gives them the right to turf people out of their seats. I also refuse to move if the reservation displays are blank.

What is worse, of course, is when the reservations mysteriously begin working again after you have taken a seat, which renders your explanation that you had no idea the seat was reserved, a bit feeble to say the least.

Quite what people who don't use rail regularly make of this shambles I don't know, but I can't imagine that anyone involved in any argument (either as a reservation hodler or as someone asked to move from their seat) would be very impressed with what is being provided.
 

317666

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The "Reserved, Not Reserved, Reserved from xyz" system is similar to what Virgin use on the Pendolinos, which say "Reserved, Available, Available until xyz". They never scroll on the Pendolinos either, so you can instantly see whether the seat is available or not.
 

MKB

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The "Reserved, Not Reserved, Reserved from xyz" system is similar to what Virgin use on the Pendolinos, which say "Reserved, Available, Available until xyz". They never scroll on the Pendolinos either, so you can instantly see whether the seat is available or not.
I don't like the VT system at all. My Nuneaton to Euston reserved seat often displays simply "Reserved" because someone else had the seat reserved from Liverpool to Nuneaton.

People who get on at Stafford assume (rightly) that the LIV-NUN passenger sat elsewhere or didn't travel on this train, and assume (wrongly, but understandably) that the seat is therefore free until EUS.
 

Stewart

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As an irregular user I generally just ignore the reservation notices and wait for someone to request that I move. Usually no-one does. The thing I really dislike is when there's loads of spare seats available and people want that particular one seat that's printed on their ticket.
 

Welshman

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The thing I really dislike is when there's loads of spare seats available and people want that particular one seat that's printed on their ticket.
Probably because either they are new to the system and assume they are compelled to sit in their reserved seat, or very familiar with the vagaries of the system and feel that's the only way they won't be asked to move further down the line. :)
 

jbb

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The VT from euston system seems to be broken on friday evenings very much more often than other days, and that is the day it's needed most.

If I was suspicious I'd think that it was being turned off on purpose because the staff don't want to sort out all the arguments over people sitting in reserved seats and it's easier just to say it's broken.

Of course I'm sure they wouldn't do that :) But I do wonder why it always seems to be friday evenings that it's broken.
 

cuccir

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As an irregular user I generally just ignore the reservation notices and wait for someone to request that I move. Usually no-one does. The thing I really dislike is when there's loads of spare seats available and people want that particular one seat that's printed on their ticket.
It depends on the trip though. Just because a train is empty now doesn't mean it will be for its whole journey. If I'm doing (say) Durham to Bristol then the train might well be empty at Durham, but it's not unreasonable to want to claim my booked seat for the whole journey to avoid any problems later on, particularly if I'm on a Cross Country service where the reservations systems can be a little tetchy!
 

bignosemac

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Was the reservation system actually not functioning? If so, my understanding is that the train should be treated as non-reserved.
You'd think so, but CrossCountry have just said otherwise to me in response to a thread on their Facebook page regarding their 'choose your seat' function.

I said:

"Tried it (the 'choose your seat' function), but not much use when your reservations system is so often non-functional. Have you tried explaining to someone that the seat they are sitting in is reserved for you when they quite rightly say there is nothing showing on the screen?"

CrossCountry responded:

"Hi ****** ******, your seat reservation is still valid when the displays aren't working. If you have any problems the on board staff members are there to help you."
 

Deerfold

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Probably because either they are new to the system and assume they are compelled to sit in their reserved seat, or very familiar with the vagaries of the system and feel that's the only way they won't be asked to move further down the line. :)
Or that is their favourite seat which is why they reserved it. I have a favourite seat type on East Coast which is why I bothered to choose that type when reserving.
 

GadgetMan

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From XC's passenger charter. (The bold and underline is my addition)

Seat reservations
Many of our tickets already include seat reservations on specified trains. Even if you buy your ticket through another operator, you can ask them to reserve you a seat free of charge when travelling with us. If for some reason we cannot honour your reservation please ask a member of the on-board team for help. Our staff will try their best to find you a seat. If you are still without a seat after 15 minutes a member of the on-board team will be happy to endorse your ticket if you ask. You may send your endorsed ticket in to our Customer Relations Team who will give you National Rail Vouchers to the value of at least 5% of the price for that journey in recognition of our inability to honour your seat reservation.
If you are travelling with a bike and we cannot honour your reservation we ask that you speak to a member of the on-board team or station staff so your ticket can be endorsed.
If your journey was delayed as a result and you send your ticket to our Customer Relations Team we will offer recompense against the price of your rail ticket under our Delay Repay scheme.
 

34D

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I have to say, and this won't make me popular, there would be no way I'd vacate my seat (subject to the elderly, in which case I'd gladly give up my reserved seat). It's the TOC's job to ensure reservations are done BEFORE departure. Once you let passengers on then it's game over.
I'd say the same, though of course I would obey any instruction from the guard - though I would be telling him that if there were no other std seats that I would expect to sit in First.
 

HowMuch?

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CrossCountry responded:

"Hi ****** ******, your seat reservation is still valid when the displays aren't working. If you have any problems the on board staff members are there to help you."


A seat "invisibly" reserved !?! Only some kind of machine can think this makes sense.
 

Welshman

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In which case I'd hesistate to us the word "compelled". "Supposed", perhaps.
Infrequent travellers don't know that the rule that they should sit in their reserved seats with advance tickets is seldom enforced, so they assume it is compulsory. That's why I originally used the word "compelled" :)
 
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