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Old October 3rd, 2012, 08:09 AM   #1341
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clipped link...

"Calamity"? more like a debacle ... BBC nonetheless reported that public servants'll be sacked
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 12:18 PM   #1342
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^

Thank god
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Old October 4th, 2012, 12:49 AM   #1343
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woonsocket54 View Post
UK government cancels decision to award rail franchise to run West Coast Main Line to FirstGroup.

http://twitter.com/BBCBreaking/statu...72806756864001
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Old October 4th, 2012, 03:17 AM   #1344
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^Whats wrong with FirstGroup? I prefer them over Virgin.
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Old October 4th, 2012, 03:55 AM   #1345
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sopomon
^

Thank god
They refrained from reporting that bit as the morning wore on
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Old October 4th, 2012, 06:52 PM   #1346
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krnboy1009 View Post
^Whats wrong with FirstGroup? I prefer them over Virgin.
I think the main issue is that their package was flawed, not that First Group per se are incapable. As such I don't think it is important who submitted the flawed winning bid that should never have been chosen.
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Old October 4th, 2012, 07:53 PM   #1347
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krnboy1009 View Post
^Whats wrong with FirstGroup? I prefer them over Virgin.
If you've ever had to spend any time using First Capital C**t, then you'd realise why a significant part of the UK commuter population despises FirstGroup. Their management is piss-poor, have invested next to nothing on the route(remember, the Govt invested in the lovely Thameslink upgrades, not FCC), cancellations and delays all over the line, all while charging the most expensive fares per mile in the entire country. (Take a look at St.Albans-London)
I've had many moments where they've been absolutely appalling, showing the wrong platform on the noticeboards, sudden changes of service pattern and cancellations runing my day. One particular story:

Going up to Harpenden for an appointment with a friend, I took the train from Westhampstead. This train is supposed to be a fast service calling only at St. Albans before Harpenden.
At first, it was only a little delayed, not a problem, though it would have saved me running from the Overground station. As it turns out, it's far later than the 4 minutes that the noticeboard was telling me, and at the final, amended, arrival time, I see no train rolling in. What I do see is what I assume to be a faster train passing through on the fast lines. As soon as that train stops at the platform, the noticeboards change to tell me that it's my train. Perhaps about 80 people then try to sprint over the West Hampstead bredge to get to the train, luckily, I was one of the front-runners.
Just as the doors were closing, I slip in, with a further 60 or so people looking on dejectedly towards the train which is rolling away.
I thought I was late as it was, until the announcement came that this train was all stops to Bedford. I was livid.

I've had dozens of experiences like this with FCC, and their customer service is absolutely terrible. I really feel for the aforementioned friend who has to commute daily on that line.

MTR can't win that Thameslink contract soon enough.
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Old October 4th, 2012, 09:05 PM   #1348
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The question now is whether the West Coast Main Line will revert to government ownership or whether Branson will get an extension until the mess is sorted out.
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Old October 4th, 2012, 09:59 PM   #1349
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I think they could make the route completely open access: let whatever TOC bid for whatever slots they want, and let them set fares with more freedom as they wish (just a band of average fare per mile and a limit on maximum fares). Then, auction slots such that trains from competing TOCs are serving the same lines, then you have true competition, if you don't like Virgin, wait 20-30 minutes and take a FirstGroup train, for instance.
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Old October 4th, 2012, 11:46 PM   #1350
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I imagine they will extend Virgin's franchise until it's resolved. I'd rather see the whole thing just pass to Directly Operated Railways a la East Coast, but I don't see that happening. I've used Virgin from London to Liverpool a few times. They aren't great, but aren't the worst either. (though it's more due to not being a fan of Pendolinos than anything particularly about Virgin)
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Old October 5th, 2012, 07:58 PM   #1351
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sopomon View Post
If you've ever had to spend any time using First Capital C**t, then you'd realise why a significant part of the UK commuter population despises FirstGroup. Their management is piss-poor, have invested next to nothing on the route(remember, the Govt invested in the lovely Thameslink upgrades, not FCC), cancellations and delays all over the line, all while charging the most expensive fares per mile in the entire country. (Take a look at St.Albans-London)
I've had many moments where they've been absolutely appalling, showing the wrong platform on the noticeboards, sudden changes of service pattern and cancellations runing my day. One particular story:

Going up to Harpenden for an appointment with a friend, I took the train from Westhampstead. This train is supposed to be a fast service calling only at St. Albans before Harpenden.
At first, it was only a little delayed, not a problem, though it would have saved me running from the Overground station. As it turns out, it's far later than the 4 minutes that the noticeboard was telling me, and at the final, amended, arrival time, I see no train rolling in. What I do see is what I assume to be a faster train passing through on the fast lines. As soon as that train stops at the platform, the noticeboards change to tell me that it's my train. Perhaps about 80 people then try to sprint over the West Hampstead bredge to get to the train, luckily, I was one of the front-runners.
Just as the doors were closing, I slip in, with a further 60 or so people looking on dejectedly towards the train which is rolling away.
I thought I was late as it was, until the announcement came that this train was all stops to Bedford. I was livid.

I've had dozens of experiences like this with FCC, and their customer service is absolutely terrible. I really feel for the aforementioned friend who has to commute daily on that line.

MTR can't win that Thameslink contract soon enough.
But is it not the government's responsibility (in this case, the DfT or TfL) to invest in the infrastructure itself? First is just the operating company. In Scotland, First ScotRail run the trains, and it's a decent service. Transport Scotland were responsible for buying new rolling stock, building new lines and upgrading current lines, not First ScotRail.

The tickies can be cheeky miserable bastards at times though. But other than that, they run high capacity, frequent services within Greater Glasgow, and they use what Transport Scotland provide for them. And Transport Scotland happen to be investing quite a bit of money into new rolling stock and electrification schemes at the moment. So it's all good up here.

But I've never used FCC.
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Old October 5th, 2012, 08:30 PM   #1352
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Radio 4 reported Virgin's WCML franchise extended by one year.
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Old October 5th, 2012, 11:47 PM   #1353
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Anyone who's seen the way Great Western went after the last First franchise will be glad of this. Not that Virgin are great. GNER were the passengers' railway, but they were put out of business by the same DafT process.
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Old October 6th, 2012, 12:59 AM   #1354
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kolothos View Post
But is it not the government's responsibility (in this case, the DfT or TfL) to invest in the infrastructure itself? First is just the operating company. In Scotland, First ScotRail run the trains, and it's a decent service. Transport Scotland were responsible for buying new rolling stock, building new lines and upgrading current lines, not First ScotRail.

The tickies can be cheeky miserable bastards at times though. But other than that, they run high capacity, frequent services within Greater Glasgow, and they use what Transport Scotland provide for them. And Transport Scotland happen to be investing quite a bit of money into new rolling stock and electrification schemes at the moment. So it's all good up here.

But I've never used FCC.

But that's not my point, FCC's management is culpable for nearly everything I have written, aside from the terrible rolling stock. And even without new trains, they could have done far, far better in keeping them in good shape.

Take a look at the interior of your average SWT class 455, and then at the interior of the class 319s that is the mainstay of their fleet, the difference is immediately obvious.

I'm actually in Edinburgh at the moment, I haven't used Scotrail at all, just East Coast and Virgin
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Old October 8th, 2012, 04:29 AM   #1355
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Look at the picture down here, and look very cloose at it.

Look at the left buffer. At the left side of the left buffer there is a small cable. And thats not an electric cable for heating. Is that a cable for loudspeakers and the doors?

I think it looks like an UIC-cable. Is that correct?



Is it the same standard like this one?

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Old October 8th, 2012, 05:00 PM   #1356
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No its too small, I believe its a BR standard one that dates back even to the Mk1 coaching stock.
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Old October 8th, 2012, 07:47 PM   #1357
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Old October 9th, 2012, 09:51 PM   #1358
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krnboy1009 View Post
^Whats wrong with FirstGroup? I prefer them over Virgin.
Virgin have done a good job with the WCML, why fix something if its not broken?
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Old October 10th, 2012, 07:55 AM   #1359
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Virgin have done a good job with the WCML, why fix something if its not broken?
Franchise agreements are time-defined, so they are going to expire.
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Old October 11th, 2012, 02:16 AM   #1360
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Franchise agreements are time-defined, so they are going to expire.
True, but if what ever service is in question is needed to continue, and the current operator wants to continue, and they are doing a decent job, and they know what they are doing...why even bother looking for anyone else.
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