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On ‎26‎/‎11‎/‎2019 at 18:25, The Stationmaster said:

Getting back to Class 800s (sorry) a very interesting experience this morning.  I was traveling in the second, and therefore powered, coach and as we left Twyford that was a fair bit of vibration for less than a minute followed by power being applied and then being taken of all of which suggested to me some fairly serious wheel slip.  Then some fairly pedestrian running all the way to Reading.  At Reading I had a brief chat with the Driver as he was in the process of changing ends and asked if it had been wheelsip because it certainly felt like it and he replied that it was - well and truly.

 

Leaving Reading onto the flyover on my next train - in this case a 9 car formation not a 5 car as previously - there was again a slight hint of wheelslip as we got onto the gradient although only once and nothing like as bad as it was on the first train when we left Twyford.

 

The morning was suffering from what I call 'greasy' rain - almost feels like it isn't raining until you realise you're well wet and the mistiness of the rain has given everything a damp film.  Presumably it had done the same to the rail head as on that side of Twyford there were no leaves about on the line - just a wet rail.

 

BTW plonty of GWR IETs the wrong way round today.

It will be interesting to see how the 800s deal with slippery rails if any get diverted between Exeter and Castle Cary via Yeovil in the next few weeks.

 

The western end of ex-SR WoE line ceased to receive any scheduled rail-head treatment after the native 159s received sanders and were judged capable of coping without it. Despite that, the 6x159 formation I rode down on Tuesday went into repeated  slips (very efficiently checked by the driver, who'd clearly had plenty of practice at it and appeared to react quicker than the wsp) after leaving Pinhoe and reached barely half its usual speed passing Exmouth Junction.  Nearly all the units I've been on in recent weeks have flats on at least one car.

 

John

 

 

 

 

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Short report here and video of the damaged 800 being moved from Leeds to Doncaster. A 6 hour journey as it was on wheel skates and moved at walking pace ...

 

https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/people/watch-the-moment-damaged-azuma-involved-in-depot-crash-passes-through-leeds-station-at-walking-pace-1-10120459?fbclid=IwAR3RDFp5oCnEDKY_flGdxZWCtzzZXl32-eZn5VmbZ1cR7Mm_Wfr91MdO5es

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6 hours ago, Dunsignalling said:

I much prefer it to Great Western's almost unrelieved expanses of a somewhat funereal shade of green.

 

John

 

 

Not for nothing are they nicknamed "Marrows".

 

Dull green with bits of yellow, too hard and utterly revolting :jester:

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9 hours ago, Gwiwer said:

Not for nothing are they nicknamed "Marrows".

 

Dull green with bits of yellow, too hard and utterly revolting :jester:

At least you can make soup out of a marrow!

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The GWR ones which have been painted green look much smarter than the ones where it's sticky back plastic.

Both could do with a bit of something to relieve the overwhelming dark green-nees, though. The Hull trains dark blue with the colourful band does the job quite well.

 

Aside from choosing red, LNER have got it about right. (Would be better if they'd gone for a more historically appropriate colour, the same scheme in blue would look very nice).

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I had my first lengthy ride on a 'zoomer' yesterday on a day trip from Leeds to London. In the morning I had an excellent ride on an HST. the return trip was on a 9 car set. The ride was noticeably  worse and the seat was very uncomfortable. Eveything, including the seat reservations seemed to work and thr overall ambience was good. However I dread to think what my other half will say about the seats when she rides on one.

 

Jamie

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I travelled on two IETs yesterday.  Firstly on one running in 387 timings and offering 1st Class seats on a train timetabled as Standard class only - very few passengers understood the implications of that!    Generally a good ride although some flange squeal running up Platform 11 at Paddington and when crossing Relief to Main at Dolphin Jcn.  The afternoon trip was on the 15,50 Padd to Moreton-In-Marsh which was somewhat delayed for whatever reason at Slough but offered me a much better journey, changing to 387 heading east at Reading, than the 15.57 Paddington which was worked by a single 387 set and which I saw at Twyford heavily full & standing.   I saw one loaded 345 in the morning with the fore & aft facing seats seats fairly full and virtually nobody sitting on the bench seats  - oddly that was train which loaded quite heavily when it was 387 worked a couple of months back when I was using quite frequently.

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6 hours ago, The Stationmaster said:

The afternoon trip was on the 15,50 Padd to Moreton-In-Marsh which was somewhat delayed for whatever reason at Slough 

Failed Colas Track machine blocked the Down Main near Shrivenham caused a serious backlog and diversion of trains while it was kicked back into life.

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Another chapter in the occasional saga of marrow travel was written this weekend gone.

 

Saturday's 11.03 off Paddington was formed of a 9-car 802 set and arrived in platform 1 e.c.s. at 10.55.  Cue the usual unholy scrummage for seats though at least there were no ticket gates to negotiate first.  There was a set showing as 10.57. e.c.s. to depot on platform 2 so I wonder if this was a late set-swap.  RTT however showed the 11.03 as "At platform" on 10 which was a 5-car 802 and would in fact form the 11.22 to Great Malvern ......... 

 

In the upshot the 11.03 was far from full.  The reservations were not working.  Several announcements were made to the effect that passengers should sit anywhere and not request others to move from seats they were "already comfortable in".   The trolley host made a couple of announcements stating that "As the train is very full and there is luggage in the aisles the catering will be a static service because I can't get through"  Rubbish.  The train was barely half full and the aisles that we saw were clear.  

 

The train was too warm for our comfort.  The windows were absolutely filthy and obviously had not been cleaned in a while even allowing for the recent weather conditions.  A trolley service of refreshments was provided and did at least manage decaf coffee and a tiny number of sandwiches (egg or egg).  The "Customer host" suggested to most people that they complain about the conditions and standards of service.  We arrived in Taunton 16 late after some poor regulation which, despite our punctual arrival, had us put behind the Newbury stopper out of Reading and the time was not regained.  

 

The return trip was on Sunday's 13.16 up from Taunton which originates from Penzance.  This was a pair of 5-car 802s and this was full.  Those boarding at Taunton were lucky to find seats but again the reservations were offline meaning it was a free-for-all.  Again the windows were filthy (on a different set) and again there was catering for one unit only from a static position.  This time there was luggage everywhere.  The racks were full. The tables were full.  Aisles were littered with suitcases, backpacks and assorted dogs.  

 

We were pleased to be relieved of the drunken belcher / singer who alighted at Reading.   Pity the hapless crowd who required a connection at Westbury though.  We were a few minutes late because the train had lost time slipping on the Cornish rails and up Hemerdon (according to RTT) but pulled into Westbury at 13.59.  I reckoned on 100 people bailing out and aiming for the 14.01 to Portsmouth.  Our conductor was aware he had a large number for that connection and had announced previously that he had been in touch with control and they would ensure the train waited at Westbury.  The platform staff clearly never got that message because the doors to the Portsmouth train were closed as we unlocked ours and it pulled away perhaps slightly more than the permitted "T-30" thirty seconds before advertised time.  To the shaking of fists and clear anger of the many exiting our train.  Those in the rear unit had already been inconvenienced by having to walk up to alight from the front coach as the rear four are beyond platform limits.  Very inconvenient indeed.

 

Judging by the noise, vibration and pedestrian acceleration in the Thames Valley we came all the way up on diesel.  

 

We returned to platform 1 at Paddington within a couple of minutes of right time and bade farewell to the second uncomfortable trip of the weekend.  The seats are not improving with age.  Neither is our affection for them.  SWMBO will only travel if there is no realistic alternative.  I remind myself that passengers one had to endure open-air wooden benches for seats so perhaps some sort of progress has been made after all.  

 

Edited by Gwiwer
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The up service was 5 vice 10 and it was a late swap when the 9 car became available at the ;last minute.

 

Did you check the aisles in all 7 Standard Class coaches?

 

They get washed every night as they arrive on depot unless frost precautions are in force, the windows never seem to be clean, there is some sort of film which builds up on the outside and the washers cannot remove it.

 

Cant be bothered answering the rest but we get it, you dont like them and guess what neither do most of the crews!

Edited by royaloak
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12 hours ago, royaloak said:

the windows never seem to be clean, there is some sort of film which builds up on the outside

So the next question is "What are Hitachi doing about a known problem affecting quality of presentation?"

 

12 hours ago, royaloak said:

Did you check the aisles in all 7 Standard Class coaches?

Four of them.  The four required to access the catering trolley.  At least those four coaches were not quite half full and there was nothing obstructing any gangway other than passengers moving around the train as normal.  

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Just returned from a trip to Guildford, the up train was the 11.00 ex Plymouth,  the up portion from Cornwall was a few minutes down,  but due to the time it took to join the 2 portions we were 4 minutes down leaving,  certainly not the slick operation that I was used to on the Southern, any way we maintained 4 to 5 down until we got checked just before Bruton and followed a Weymouth to Bristol or wherever as far as Blatchbridge Junction and then we caught up with a stone train just before Bedwyn and followed that until it got looped at Hungerford we were 13 down at Reading. The only good news was my back was unaffected,  but my bum was numb by Totnes. An HST would probably have been back on time by Exeter, if not sooner.

 

The return journey was worse with a 22 minutes late departure from Paddington due to a fault and was 25 down at Reading,  we lost more time after Kintbury when we caught up with a Bedwyn terminator. Clawed back a bit until we got to Totnes when we started losing more time and finally arrived back in Plymouth 38 minutes down. The silver lining was they held the Gunni and  got off at Dockyard, which meant it was unavoidable that I had to go

into my local for a quick pint as I had to pass the door.

 

Something seems to have happened to the seats,  as the last couple of trips have only been uncomfortable, but no back pain or sciatica,  long may it last.

 

 

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23 hours ago, Gwiwer said:

Another chapter in the occasional saga of marrow travel was written this weekend gone.

 

Saturday's 11.03 off Paddington was formed of a 9-car 802 set and arrived in platform 1 e.c.s. at 10.55.  Cue the usual unholy scrummage for seats though at least there were no ticket gates to negotiate first.  There was a set showing as 10.57. e.c.s. to depot on platform 2 so I wonder if this was a late set-swap.  RTT however showed the 11.03 as "At platform" on 10 which was a 5-car 802 and would in fact form the 11.22 to Great Malvern ......... 

 

In the upshot the 11.03 was far from full.  The reservations were not working.  Several announcements were made to the effect that passengers should sit anywhere and not request others to move from seats they were "already comfortable in".   The trolley host made a couple of announcements stating that "As the train is very full and there is luggage in the aisles the catering will be a static service because I can't get through"  Rubbish.  The train was barely half full and the aisles that we saw were clear.  

 

The train was too warm for our comfort.  The windows were absolutely filthy and obviously had not been cleaned in a while even allowing for the recent weather conditions.  A trolley service of refreshments was provided and did at least manage decaf coffee and a tiny number of sandwiches (egg or egg).  The "Customer host" suggested to most people that they complain about the conditions and standards of service.  We arrived in Taunton 16 late after some poor regulation which, despite our punctual arrival, had us put behind the Newbury stopper out of Reading and the time was not regained.  

 

The return trip was on Sunday's 13.16 up from Taunton which originates from Penzance.  This was a pair of 5-car 802s and this was full.  Those boarding at Taunton were lucky to find seats but again the reservations were offline meaning it was a free-for-all.  Again the windows were filthy (on a different set) and again there was catering for one unit only from a static position.  This time there was luggage everywhere.  The racks were full. The tables were full.  Aisles were littered with suitcases, backpacks and assorted dogs.  

 

We were pleased to be relieved of the drunken belcher / singer who alighted at Reading.   Pity the hapless crowd who required a connection at Westbury though.  We were a few minutes late because the train had lost time slipping on the Cornish rails and up Hemerdon (according to RTT) but pulled into Westbury at 13.59.  I reckoned on 100 people bailing out and aiming for the 14.01 to Portsmouth.  Our conductor was aware he had a large number for that connection and had announced previously that he had been in touch with control and they would ensure the train waited at Westbury.  The platform staff clearly never got that message because the doors to the Portsmouth train were closed as we unlocked ours and it pulled away perhaps slightly more than the permitted "T-30" thirty seconds before advertised time.  To the shaking of fists and clear anger of the many exiting our train.  Those in the rear unit had already been inconvenienced by having to walk up to alight from the front coach as the rear four are beyond platform limits.  Very inconvenient indeed.

 

Judging by the noise, vibration and pedestrian acceleration in the Thames Valley we came all the way up on diesel.  

 

We returned to platform 1 at Paddington within a couple of minutes of right time and bade farewell to the second uncomfortable trip of the weekend.  The seats are not improving with age.  Neither is our affection for them.  SWMBO will only travel if there is no realistic alternative.  I remind myself that passengers one had to endure open-air wooden benches for seats so perhaps some sort of progress has been made after all.  

 

The early afternoon up Pads from the West Country have been a crammed nightmare on Sundays as long as I can remember. It seems to get even worse in winter, maybe people wanting to get indoors back in London before nightfall?

 

Over the past couple of years, I've had to do a couple of trips (HSTs, pre-800s) from Taunton at short notice (all seats reserved before I got anywhere near the things) and ended up standing/sitting on the floor as far as Reading on one occasion and all the way on the other. If I need to do such a trip again, I'll try to remember my shooting stick.:jester:

 

TBH, rather than take a GW service I know will be rammed, I prefer to ride a slower but far less overcrowded (and with nicer seats) 159 on the Waterloo route and am hoping nothing occurs to force me to go up on a Sunday while the SWR strike is on!

 

John

Edited by Dunsignalling
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13 hours ago, Dunsignalling said:

The early afternoon up Pads from the West Country have been a crammed nightmare on Sundays as long as I can remember. It seems to get even worse in winter, maybe people wanting to get indoors back in London before nightfall?

 

Over the past couple of years, I've had to do a couple of trips (HSTs, pre-800s) from Taunton at short notice (all seats reserved before I got anywhere near the things) and ended up standing/sitting on the floor as far as Reading on one occasion and all the way on the other. If I need to do such a trip again, I'll try to remember my shooting stick.https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_jester.gif

 

TBH, rather than take a GW service I know will be rammed, I prefer to ride a slower but far less overcrowded (and with nicer seats) 159 on the Waterloo route and am hoping nothing occurs to force me to go up on a Sunday while the SWR strike is on!

 

John

Yes john, very much a long standing weekend travel peak situation that goes back to loco hauled days although it definitely got a lot busier and crept further west once the HSTs came in.  I wouldn't be surprised if it is much different on some other long distance routes into London - it was certainly the case with Eurostar from fairly early on where considerable weekend traffic developed.

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3 hours ago, The Stationmaster said:

Yes john, very much a long standing weekend travel peak situation that goes back to loco hauled days although it definitely got a lot busier and crept further west once the HSTs came in.  I wouldn't be surprised if it is much different on some other long distance routes into London - it was certainly the case with Eurostar from fairly early on where considerable weekend traffic developed.

 

Certainly the case on the ECML where, after Friday evening Sunday Afternoon's said to be the second busiest peak time of the week. Largely with week-long commuters returning to London for Monday morning.

From Newcastle for example, the normal weekday afternoon service is half-hourly, 11.59 - 18.00 13 trains.

Same times Sunday afternoon, all of 21 trains, some just 10 minutes apart, and they're still all busy.

 

It's also noticeable that whereas at one time weekend engineering possessions would usually last all weekend, or even into early Monday mornings, these days possessions, and especially diversions, are usually finished by mid-day Sunday at the latest.

Edited by Ken.W
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Discussing with a (non-train) friend who lives in Newcastle about going up to see the LNER HST farewell run and when I showed her a picture of which one the HST was, her response was, "oh, the comfy one." Followed by complaints about the luggage space on the new Azumas (especially if you have a pram).

 

I have a potential trip from King Cross to Montrose in the early summer next year, so I'm 'looking forward' to seeing how the Azumas are over a long trip...

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On 04/12/2019 at 11:33, The Stationmaster said:

Yes john, very much a long standing weekend travel peak situation that goes back to loco hauled days although it definitely got a lot busier and crept further west once the HSTs came in.  I wouldn't be surprised if it is much different on some other long distance routes into London - it was certainly the case with Eurostar from fairly early on where considerable weekend traffic developed.

The Sunday afternoon / evening "peak" towards London, and to a limited extent towards other major cities, has been a thing for many years now.  It may have arisen from the increased mobility of the student population in the 1970s with such things as discounted travel and the "Persil ticket" promotion (effectively a BoGoF offer) which, coupled with the much faster journey times becoming the norm with the HST and electrification of main lines suddenly made long-distance weekends away a realistic option.  

 

The Friday night getaway was - and still is - the opposite and causes significant congestion at London termini and on board many a train.  Ticketing restrictions only go a part of the way towards managing this. 

 

I first encountered the phenomenon when travelling with a friend on a Persil ticket back from Leeds.  We had gone down in the morning by way of a typical Sunday engineering diversion from Kings Cross via Hertford, Spalding and Sleaford avoiding line to Doncaster but everything was open by mid afternoon.  On the HST home every seat, nook and cranny was taken leaving Leeds, those hopefully waiting at Wakefield were largely left hopefully waiting for a later train and the sheer volume of humanity which spewed out onto the platform at "The Cross" truly surprised me.  Most of them definitely in the student age-group as I was myself at the time.  

 

National Express coaches experienced the same phenomenal traffic at the same time and lasting into the 1980s before their bubble burst.  Fares were cheaper than rail and no doubt persuaded some to travel by road despite the longer journey times.  This was around the time that double-deck motorway coaches enjoyed their short-lived popularity.  The last "Up" Sunday afternoon journey from Bournemouth to London on what was then route 720 required a double-decker from NX, a double-decker dupe provided by Green Line (and conveniently off the Green Line route 720 allocation though that was an entirely unrelated route) and sometimes a second dupe as well.  Fast-forward to today and the route is less frequent and a single 50-something seater coach is more than adequate.  

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Just had my first longish trip on an 80x, London to Leeds (via Hertford for extra scenery) and back (no unexpected diversions).

 

Found it perfectly comfortable (and the via Hertford trip took close to 3 hours) - thought the firmness of the seats might bother me, but it didn't at all. The interior is much more cheerful with all the red than the GWR sets which I remember as being very grey inside.

 

A bit of a shame that I didn't get a 91 in either direction, but I suspect they're pretty rare on the Leeds run these days.

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I have to agree that the interior of the LNER sets is much more attractive than the clinical GWR ones.  The latter seem to be all white plastic and grey seats with harsh white lighting which I don't find at all relaxing.  LNER fit-out is at least a warmer more relaxing style.

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White, grey, black, silver...modern.

 

Anything else...not modern.

 

According to my fashion-conscious son and his partner.

 

Our new blue motability car caused turned up noses.

 

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Externally I don't get "modern" especially from the LNER sets. The thought that comes to mind for me is that they remind me of the stainless steel Budd streamliner cars from the last few years of rail being the way to get around North America.

Though I suspect not many of the British travelling public will have that reference. I like it myself.

 

The TPE scheme looks modern (and is very silver), and the GWR colours are just a bit dull.

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1 hour ago, Zomboid said:

Externally I don't get "modern" especially from the LNER sets. The thought that comes to mind for me is that they remind me of the stainless steel Budd streamliner cars from the last few years of rail being the way to get around North America.

Though I suspect not many of the British travelling public will have that reference. I like it myself.

 

The TPE scheme looks modern (and is very silver), and the GWR colours are just a bit dull.

 

Funny I was thinking they look like these Budd cars too . Maybe its the shape of the windows .  Of the Colour Schemes I think TPE is by far the best . Wouldn't be surprised to see Hornby doing that next year.  GWR is just dull

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Whilst GWR may be a bit dull I prefer the colour to the current obsession with painting things white!

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18 hours ago, Afroal05 said:

Whilst GWR may be a bit dull I prefer the colour to the current obsession with painting things white!

And it doesn't look like some sort of fairground ride either - which the TPE one definitely does!

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I like the GWR colour scheme altogether. It looks smart on 150s (150 001 is about in the SW) and 158s. Perhaps my Southern bias is showing. 

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