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PeterB
Mount Nod
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1081 of 1150  Fri 8th Nov 2019 8:06pm  
Member: Joined May 2014  Total posts:301

STRIKE WARNINGS West Midland Trains (inc LNW) senior conductors are going on strike on Saturdays from 16th November to 28th December. This is a dispute about driver only operation of trains (no senior conductor). A similar dispute on South Western Railway is now in its third year. This is likely to be very disruptive as WMT are already short staffed. Virgin Trains senior conductors are striking on Tuesday 19th November in a dispute over a disciplinary hearing. Peter.
Railways around Coventry
Midland Red
Cherwell
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1082 of 1150  Fri 15th Nov 2019 11:00am  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:5630

On 7th Sep 2019 10:51pm, PeterB said: Sad to report that the spear top fencing at Coundon Road Crossing has gone and been replaced with a tubular construction. I hope the old fencing found a good home. It seems an odd time to do the work when the crossing is being considered for closure. Peter.
Just come across my photo from 2007 Thumbs up
Railways around Coventry
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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Thread starter
1083 of 1150  Fri 6th Dec 2019 7:31pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:4359

Good evening Wave My Pam's illness, which at present she is responding well to her second bout of chemo in twelve months, has severely restricted my out & about activity, but possibly a blessing on two counts for me, seeing the ramshackle state of our national rail network as well as our local rail network in particular. What a disgrace! I am enjoying my carer duty to Pam, which has in turn kept me away from the rail chaos that is plaguing our region. I am sometimes guilty of posting with tongue in cheek, which I do hope invites constructive response to what might be sensitive suggestions or accusations. I am only too aware of our forum members who are extremely well versed in the science of our railways. Listening to the Midlands News this evening, as well as the live wireless interview earlier today with a high ranking official who is at the head of possibly our biggest train company, I tell you, I smell a rat of incompetence. Forgetting the guards’ dispute issue that might now possibly have just been settled, the main problem was not having sufficient staff or trains to operate the full timetable that started last May. He admitted that today. Am not trying to be, or sound clever, but the crucial instrument for timetable construction is what industry calls CPA or CPT, critical path analysis or technology. I came across it constantly in construction. It has formula that ensures that the foundation materials arrive at the right time. Get it wrong & instead, the roof tiles arrive first. I bet that guy hasn't got a clue! The manner of his reply to two questions posed by disgruntled passengers leave me in little doubt. What do we think???? Being really honest, I hope that I am totally wrong in smelling a rat on this issue.
Railways around Coventry
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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Thread starter
1084 of 1150  Fri 6th Dec 2019 7:52pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:4359

Radio interview. I listened from 10am. Interview with rail boss.
Railways around Coventry
PeterB
Mount Nod
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1085 of 1150  Fri 6th Dec 2019 9:34pm  
Member: Joined May 2014  Total posts:301

Hi Phil, I'm glad Pam is making progress. The main issue with the new timetable is that everything is stretched just a little too thinly so if things go slightly wrong it gets magnified. If a train arrives into New Street ten minutes late, it leaves ten minutes late. But the driver and guard (sorry conductor) also change trains and have a statutory break. Because these are set as close to the minimum as possible, they will be late for their next trains so one late train has delayed two others (and each of these delay another two later on). Similarly the trains have a very short turn around at the termini (down to 7 minutes at Rugeley after a 3 hour journey) so a late arrival means a late return working and there is no opportunity to "recover" the lost time. The railways also rely heavily on "rest day working" (overtime). The drivers like this because they can earn a lot more money. Companies like this because they can employ (and train) less staff. The Unions like it because they stop rest day working and cause disruption without a strike ballot (because it isn't contracted). The big issue on the railways which nobody wants to address is virtually no staff are contracted to work Sundays and it is all done by local agreement. Peter.
Railways around Coventry
PeterB
Mount Nod
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1086 of 1150  Fri 6th Dec 2019 9:43pm  
Member: Joined May 2014  Total posts:301

Goodbye Virgin Trains who will run their last trains tomorrow (Saturday 7th Dec) after having the West Coast franchise for 22 years. The red trains are a pale white awaiting their new livery. Welcome Avanti West Coast, a joint venture between First Bus and Trenitalia (Italian Railways). Their five year mission to run trains that others have run before. New Hitachi trains to replace the Voyagers and refurbishment of the Pendolinos. Otherwise not much change until/if HS2 comes along. Peter.
Railways around Coventry
3Spires
Leicestershire
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1087 of 1150  Sat 7th Dec 2019 10:24pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2018  Total posts:110

Here we go again - The British Privatisation Disease at its most virulent. The paradox of "Privatisation at any price" blindly promoting the running of rail services in this country by yet another foreign State. Do they really understand the meaning of so called "sovereignty"? Isn't it odd that other states can run railways but ours can't? Is there an equivalent of the UK Government running a rail franchise with a partner, in another country? Not with their record I would suggest. Are we seriously meant to believe that the Italian Government is going to deliver a disaster to the Italian taxpayers? They believe they can make it pay - certainly, their economy cannot withstand a loss!
Railways around Coventry
PeterB
Mount Nod
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1088 of 1150  Sun 8th Dec 2019 12:52am  
Member: Joined May 2014  Total posts:301

The paradox of governments & railways. It is illegal for the UK government to bid for a franchise (because the law says so), but they are currently operating the East Coast franchise (as operator of last resort) after Virgin handed back the keys. In practice they are paying consultants to run it for them. Avanti are running the West Coast as a "partnership" which I think follows the concession model (paid to run the service) rather than the franchise model (you keep the profit). The main problem with the current system is it incentivises companies to maximise income rather than bums on seats. On a fast train to Euston after 9am, but before the off peak starts they make more money from running a train half full at the £85 Anytime fare than filling it on the £35 off peak fare. The will make almost as much money on a £20 advance ticket as they don't have to share it with the other operators (WMT/LNW/Chiltern/Cross Country). Peter.
Railways around Coventry
Midland Red
Cherwell
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1089 of 1150  Sun 8th Dec 2019 10:18pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:5630

Virgin Pendolino “Coventry” nameplates - Telegraph report
Railways around Coventry
Slim
Another Coventry kid
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1090 of 1150  Mon 9th Dec 2019 9:38am  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:727

On 8th Dec 2019 12:52am, PeterB said: The main problem with the current system is it incentivises companies to maximise income rather than bums on seats. On a fast train to Euston after 9am, but before the off peak starts they make more money from running a train half full at the £85 Anytime fare than filling it on the £35 off peak fare. The will make almost as much money on a £20 advance ticket as they don't have to share it with the other operators (WMT/LNW/Chiltern/Cross Country). Peter.
There's clearly something fundamentally wrong with the whole UK rail ticketing fares system. Last week, I had to go to Liverpool and back the same day. The return fare cost me just under £20. I was going from THL to LIV, on the one train, i.e. no changes. But I didn't purchase a return for Liverpool. I had a return from THL to BHM, then a single from BHM to LIV, and the same but reversed for the return journey. So although on the same train, I had to show different tickets to the inspector depending on where the train happened to be. What nonsense! I saved a few quid by booking online. Last weekend, I had to go to London at short notice (85 year old lady had a cardiac arrest, was in Barnet Hospital, sadly since passed away), so no time to get advance tickets. I checked the national rail online service first, for the train times and fares. I wrote the details on a sheet of A4. At THL, I asked for a return to EUS and showed the attendant the piece of paper. He immediately said "You won't get those prices today; they are not valid today". I retorted: "They were valid a few minutes ago on the national rail site". He was floored and said nothing, just acting dumb. I ended up paying almost double the fare quoted on the national rail site. Clearly one pays a lot more, on average, by buying at a ticket office. My advice is to always book online, split-ticketing if advantageous. Staff are not there to give one a good deal. It should not be the case that one can save money by booking online and/or split-ticketing. A lack of consistency which is typical of many/most large organisations. It's a shambles. Angry The extra tickets issued are a waste of precious paper of course. (Green Party supporters take note!) I have to go to the funeral soon, so will definitely be booking online.
Railways around Coventry
Midland Red
Cherwell
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1091 of 1150  Mon 9th Dec 2019 10:00am  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:5630

Slim - yes, those advance single tickets are good value. I recently travelled from Oxfordshire to Liverpool, using them with a day return to Birmingham from home - cost about £26 Re your London trip - why didn’t you book online and collect your tickets at the station?
Railways around Coventry
Slim
Another Coventry kid
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1092 of 1150  Mon 9th Dec 2019 11:36am  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:727

MR, yes, will do next time. I was pushed for time, the ticket machine at THL is frequently not working, and often the station is unstaffed. I expected the system to work properly, consistently and fairly.
Railways around Coventry
Slim
Another Coventry kid
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1093 of 1150  Mon 9th Dec 2019 11:37am  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:727

Good news - just found out someone is giving me a lift to London, so no need to book.
Railways around Coventry
PeterB
Mount Nod
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1094 of 1150  Tue 14th Jan 2020 3:03pm  
Member: Joined May 2014  Total posts:301

The Office of Rail and Road has published the 2019-2019 station usage estimates (2017-18 figures in brackets). The entrance & exit figures below are for April 2018 to March 2019. Bedworth 101,386 (91,794) Bermuda Park 36,088 (28,378) Berkswell 355,928 (323,352) Birmingham International 6,975,002 (6,664,422) Birmingham New Street 47,927,772 (43,741,712) Canley 398,880 (380,546) Coventry 8,207,914 (7,558,210) Coventry Arena 111,462 (99,516) Hampton-in-Arden 196,678 (172,690) Kenilworth 170,912 (-) Opened 30th April 2018 Leamington Spa 2,773,782 (2,671,422) London Euston 46,146,456 (44,745,816) Nuneaton 1,313,980 (1,364,294) Rugby 2,695,802 (2,527,944) Tile Hill 724,504 (667,980) Wolverhampton 5,305,828 (4,993,372) All stations show an increase in usage. Coventry saw a 8.6% increase in passengers, continuing the trend for a number of years, and remains the second busiest station in the West Midlands. Birmingham New Street (+9.5%) remains the busiest station outside London and has overtaken London Euston. A very impressive start for Kenilworth, especially considering the station was only open 11 months and no Sunday service. Peter.
Railways around Coventry
MisterD-Di
Sutton Coldfield
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1095 of 1150  Tue 14th Jan 2020 4:31pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2011  Total posts:894

On 9th Dec 2019 9:38am, Slim said: There's clearly something fundamentally wrong with the whole UK rail ticketing fares system. Last week, I had to go to Liverpool and back the same day. The return fare cost me just under £20. I was going from THL to LIV, on the one train, i.e. no changes. But I didn't purchase a return for Liverpool. I had a return from THL to BHM, then a single from BHM to LIV, and the same but reversed for the return journey. So although on the same train, I had to show different tickets to the inspector depending on where the train happened to be. What nonsense! I saved a few quid by booking online.
I agree the whole system is a complete joke as well as being a rip-off. Our rail fares are far higher than most other European countries and it is deliberately complicated to extract the most money possible out of the poor, exasperated passengers. I rarely use trains except to travel around the West Midlands on my free senior pass. However, we are soon going on a cruise where we sail from Southampton and fly back from Malta. No point in leaving the car at Southampton so we decided the best way was to travel down by train. It turns out that it is considerably cheaper to use split ticketing, and there are now websites that calculate the splits for you. We have ended up with four tickets each for the journey: Birmingham International to Banbury; Banbury to Oxford; Oxford to Basingstoke; Basingstoke to Southampton Airport Parkway. It is a journey of just over two hours and all on the same train. Complete and utter madness! Roll eyes
Railways around Coventry

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