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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:08 pm 
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So there was I going from Chippenham to Bath this afternoon in one of the 800s. Although only a 12-minute journey, I was musing over the suggestion made by someone on another forum who had started taking his own cushion with him to counteract the hard seats, when we heard an automated announcement:

“Welcome to this Great Western Railway service to Bristol, calling at Reading, Didcot Parkway, Swindon, Chippenham, Bath and Bristol Temple Meads. The next stop will be Reading”

We were just coming out of Box Mill Lane tunnel at the time, heading west…

Not everybody on that train is going to be as familiar with the inter-station surroundings as me, and I am fairly confident that that automated announcement put the fear of the Almighty into a few passengers on that train as they now thought they had got on the wrong one and were going the wrong way.

On the way back I was on the platform before the train before mine had cleared the station, the 1448 ex-BTM to Weymouth. The overhead train announcement board told passengers that the first door at the front of the train was unserviceable. Then a loudspeaker announcement told passengers that the train would not be calling at the request stops at Avoncliff, Thornford Bridge and Chetnole today because of “a train fault.” Presumably this was the first door (I don’t know about Thornford Bridge and Chetnole but I have used Avoncliff station and that it the door that is normally used).

Whilst the numbers of people that use request stops are not huge, if anyone did want to go to any of those stations they faced a 2-hour wait they weren’t expecting, and I do wonder what anyone wishing to join the train would have to say as they saw it ignore their signal and carry straight on by…

Are railways so proscribed these days that it is now impossible to stop a train at a request stop and let passengers use the “wrong” door, or have I just got completely the wrong end of the stick here?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:11 am 
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My missus was approaching Bristol Parkway yesterday evening from Paddington on an '800' and the automatic announcer also said Reading will be the next stop! Hope this wasn't happening all day on all '800' services ?! Don't understand why a door fault on a service would prevent stopping at one of the smaller stations, just use another door ?! Perhaps all were opening rather than independently...health and safety and all that!

These things wouldn't happen in the days of loco haulage, manual doors and guards communicating with passengers! We stopped once at Keynsham behind a 33 for all of 4 seconds, train crew obviously in a hurry! Takes more than that just for the automatic doors to open these days!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:11 pm 
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The automated announcement I think is done by gps and the computer program that makes the broadcast obviously it got a bit lost ( can we blame the Russians).
As for the Weymouth service my theory is that in days gone by yes you would have used the rear local door for those stops but no doubt health n safety rules or the controllers say to miss out the stops rather then the driver pull forward and stop. Dare I say they dont know the stopping point for the back end of the unit to be on the platform if so whats wrong with working as a team and the guard giving the driver a 1 on the buzzer to stop.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:49 pm 
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On a related matter (but not wanting to start a new thread for it) haven't seen an HST running through Chippenham in weeks.

Are any still running and/ or is there a "last day" programmed for some time in the future?


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:23 am 
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Im sure I saw one last week, its about 50 50 on the Swansea's although getting worse!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:48 am 
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HSTs are still operating a good number of workings to Bristol TM. Saw a couple yesterday with one London - BTM having a single 800 unit.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:30 pm 
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As it happens I went to Bristol yesterday (Thursday) and had an HST both ways!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:29 pm 
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The problem with automated train announcements on the 800s keep going I see.

On a trip to Bath this afternoon, whilst in Box tunnel, we were informed that we were now approaching Bath Spa.

Between Mill Lane tunnel and Box station site we were told that the next stop would be Bristol Temple Meads.

As they used to write in my school reports: "Could do better"

Not an announcement problem, but there was a signal failure between Swindon and Didcot this afternoon and the 1530 ex-BTM pulled into Bath a minute or so late and then sat there until 1604. http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/C ... 3/advanced

I was concerned that it was being held at Bath, despite occupying the up platform, because they then had the option of diverting via the Berks & Hants, until I remembered that that's closed this week for the Newbury electrification work. After leaving Bath we were put in Bathampton loop for a couple of minutes for no apparent reason.

There was a guy on board who appeared to be acting as a guide for a small group of Australian tourists that got on at Bath. When the guard announced that we might be in Bath for some time because of the problem east of Swindon, he turned to his group and said: "Welcome to Worst Great Western"

I see the re-branding hasn't got through to everyone yet, and he was also unaware that Network Rail, not GWR, are responsible for signalling. I didn't feel like putting him right... :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 9:04 pm 
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I'm surprised nobody has mentioned that the GWR website has been down all day, and the only newspaper that seems to have picked up on on it is the Sun: https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/6182606/ ... k-tickets/

It is increasingly looking like GWR's IT systems are being looked after by plumbers...

I have had a gripe about the new ticket machines at Chippenham not working properly and I wrote to them about it nearly a fortnight ago. I have yet to receive a reply, but it appears from other sources that the problems are with an inadequate Wi-Fi installation in the station that makes contactless payments impossible with these machines, and making ticket purchases to stations not shown on the frequent destination lists difficult - when I wanted to go to Didcot a couple of weeks ago he machine "thought about it" for a minute or so and then defaulted back to its home page.

On the other hand, when I went down to Yeovil last week I noticed the Train Manager/ Conductor guard being able to take contactless payments for tickets quite easily. Yet on the very same day, the guy in charge of the refreshments trolley on a Paddington-bound cl. 800 was only taking cash because his card machine wasn't working. Given the number of people who don't carry much cash in their pockets these days, the lack of a card payment facility was clearly resulting in lost sales, as I noticed myself on the 12 minutes I was on he train.


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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 8:11 pm 
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The matter of what gets broadcast over the PA system on the class 800s when in the general area of Box is beginning to become amusing.

There we were today, in the middle of Box tunnel on the 1000 ex-Paddington, when the automated system suddenly kicked in with what I presume was really the end of a pre-recorded announcement. It simple said "change here" We were going at a fair rate of knots at the time, and were still doing so when the "please ensure you take all your belongings with you" message was run.

We had just passed the site of Box station when the VDU in the coach started to display "calling at Bristol Temple Meads only" and this was backed up by a recorded message saying the same thing.

Now I accept that these matters are completely trivial, but they are not doing the PR image of GWR a lot of good, because this is front-line stuff and what the public sees. The majority of them have no interest in the superhuman effort the depot put into this set last night to turn it out into service this morning, and they care little if at all about the controllers and signallers hovering above their chairs as they fathom out how best to deal with any given operating debacle that is developing before them. But there would have been people on that train who, unaware of local geography - railway geography or general, would have started to panic about the train not having stopped at Bath, or perhaps it did and they didn't notice, and now they're on their way to Bristol where they don't want to go.

This is a problem that needs to be sorted quickly and before the nickname Worst Great Western gets replaced with Getting Worse Railway


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 7:10 pm 
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At last, today, I had my first longish journey on an 800, from Paddington - Exeter. Not the new kit's finest day, I would say.

Pros: quiet & smooth.
Cons: uncomfortable seat; no refreshments trolley until Taunton; problems caused by GPS failure (according to early announcement) or computer failure (according to later announcement);

Symtoms:
-no reservations,
-rogue announcement after we left Reading that this was a Paddington train and our next stop would be Reading,
-aircon not working,
-delays at station stops caused by failure of automatic door closing / checking,
-some slow running
-31 late at EXD (although 10 minutes of that was down to an unscheduled stop at WsM to pick up passengers from the Airshow, which had just been cancelled mid-show because of weather)
.

Also, I was surprised that the diesel engines started up in the platform at Paddington and seemed to be in use for the whole jouney- is that usual?

Was I unlucky today?


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