Getting people back on trains as lockdown eases.

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Ianno87

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Well I went on LO on Saturday and the messaging was annoying, happy to be correct if GA don’t do it.

LO is definitely one of the "stronger" ones - pretty non-stop. I wouldn't say GA were anywhere close to them in the level of messaging on board trains - pretty light touch in comparison.


One mans bombardment is another mans light shower.

I do my upmost to avoid Covid messaging when I leave the house so that means I’ve been restricted to walking the park for months.
 
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dk1

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I’ve kept my train journeys to a minimum as I don’t like the bombardment of safety messages and so if a TOC is actively spending money on TV ads about it I assume the attitude of the staff and messaging in station and on board to match (rightly or wrongly)

Hope to be back soon though! I fancy a go on the new units they look good.
Fair enough. Some guards do it more than others & that annoys me just as much as I have to listen to the monotonous dribble up front to. Thankfully most keep it to a nice sensible level & auto announcements only do it maybe 3-4 times between Norwich & Cambridge but they do appear regularly on the display screens. Hopefully they will start to cut back on this as Summer continues.

The new units are a huge improvement especially on regional routes. Will be nice to have you back onboard when you feel ready.
 

VauxhallandI

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Fair enough. Some guards do it more than others & that annoys me just as much as I have to listen to the monotonous dribble up front to. Thankfully most keep it to a nice sensible level & auto announcements only do it maybe 3-4 times between Norwich & Cambridge but they do appear regularly on the display screens. Hopefully they will start to cut back on this as Summer continues.

The new units are a huge improvement especially on regional routes. Will be nice to have you back onboard when you feel ready.
I like to avoid the annoyance as I know I can’t zone out from it and it just makes me think bloody covid which I think we’ve all had enough of!

Quick question on the new units, I see them fly through Cheshunt when I got to the park. How come only some of the carriages share bogies?
 

dk1

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I like to avoid the annoyance as I know I can’t zone out from it and it just makes me think bloody covid which I think we’ve all had enough of!

Quick question on the new units, I see them fly through Cheshunt when I got to the park. How come only some of the carriages share bogies?
The 745s are articulated. It’s just something Stadler do. They are basically two 6-car trains permanently joined together without driving cabs one end.
 

VauxhallandI

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The 745s are articulated. It’s just something Stadler do. They are basically two 6-car trains permanently joined together without driving cabs one end.
Ah I see that makes sense, I couldn’t make the jump to the cab missing but I guess. They are always going so fast when they pass!
 

bramling

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So you're avoiding train because of a problem you've invented in your own head? Yes, there are more safety messages than normal (which actually if anything mean less "See It Say It Sorted" etc than usual). A "Bombardment" is certainly not what I'd describe it as.

I think it depends where and when, to be honest. GTR, thankfully, is fairly minimalist - just a couple of fairly non-domineering signs on their trains, and a brief announcement which plays every half hour. No staff presence on the majority of trains.

However this certainly isn’t the case everywhere. A work colleague who travels to London using EMR reports there are some guards making virtually constant announcements, as well as parading up and down the train after every stop challenging people over masks. I’ve heard same regarding LNER.

The atmosphere on trains can be strange at times too, sometimes bordering on passive-aggressive at times, normally revolving around either sitting too close to someone else, or of course masks.

I can see it could be off-putting. I’ve certainly found myself using the car much more over the last year. Whereas train used to be the default choice, especially Mondays to Fridays, now I’ve found I’m tending to use the train by exception.

The single biggest thing which would go towards restoring my previous train use would be getting rid of masks. Apart from a couple of very short local trips I haven’t used a train for non-work purposes since 2019, and my work-related use is probably about 60-70% down on usual.
 

VauxhallandI

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I think it depends where and when, to be honest. GTR, thankfully, is fairly minimalist - just a couple of fairly non-domineering signs on their trains, and a brief announcement which plays every half hour. No staff presence on the majority of trains.

However this certainly isn’t the case everywhere. A work colleague who travels to London using EMR reports there are some guards making virtually constant announcements, as well as parading up and down the train after every stop challenging people over masks. I’ve heard same regarding LNER.

The atmosphere on trains can be strange at times too, sometimes bordering on passive-aggressive at times, normally revolving around either sitting too close to someone else, or of course masks.

I can see it could be off-putting. I’ve certainly found myself using the car much more over the last year. Whereas train used to be the default choice, especially Mondays to Fridays, now I’ve found I’m tending to use the train by exception.

The single biggest thing which would go towards restoring my previous train use would be getting rid of masks. Apart from a couple of very short local trips I haven’t used a train for non-work purposes since 2019, and my work-related use is probably about 60-70% down on usual.
I could well just drive to the north west on the last weekend of the month as the combination of what we have spoken about and the lack of advance fares still will do it.

Can’t even get early morning options to appear and off peak return fares to Stockport are now £94
 

The Prisoner

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Just looked at heading down to London from Chester late June or July. No point as Avanti seem to have restored a half decent/normal service on all routes from 15th May bar the Chester/N Wales line.

Three direct trains from Chester a day rather than one per hour, and not a sensible fare in sight.

Given there are four of us I'll drive.
 

MikeWM

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Well I went on LO on Saturday and the messaging was annoying, happy to be correct if GA don’t do it.

I found the messaging on the video screens on the LO Watford line to be especially obnoxious. One had an animated cartoon wolf based on the three little pigs story that said something like 'you can huff and you can puff but you can't take your mask down' - maybe I was feeling particularly prickly that day, but to me that felt like ridiculing people for whom masks cause trouble breathing, and so seemed utterly inappropriate.

One mans bombardment is another mans light shower.

I do my upmost to avoid Covid messaging when I leave the house so that means I’ve been restricted to walking the park for months.

I felt much the same last summer/autumn and limited my travel and leisure activities considerably compared to 'normal', particularly after compulsory masks in shops etc. were introduced.

But I will say that - with the occasional exception such as the above - you do eventually get used to it all, as with everything, and can mostly tune it out.
 

al78

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Didn't seem to be a problem with getting people on trains in parts of the SE on Sunday. The train I got to Lewes and Southease was standing room only. The bank holiday weekend and the forecast of poor weather on Monday probably contributed, and there may have been events going on. Seemed to be a fair few on the train coming back from Eastbourne and Brighton in the evening.
 

MikeWM

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Going back to my issue with LNER, compulsory reservations and Rovers - I thought I saw somewhere that there is a restriction of 2 reservations per person per day (but I can't find where I saw that again, so maybe I imagined it). Is that correct?

If so, what happens if you eg. want to do Doncaster -> Retford then Retford -> Newark then Newark -> Grantham? Is it 'hard luck, you can't travel on our services anymore today' from Newark?! If that's the official position, that's simply unacceptable.
 

Ianno87

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Going back to my issue with LNER, compulsory reservations and Rovers - I thought I saw somewhere that there is a restriction of 2 reservations per person per day (but I can't find where I saw that again, so maybe I imagined it). Is that correct?

If so, what happens if you eg. want to do Doncaster -> Retford then Retford -> Newark then Newark -> Grantham? Is it 'hard luck, you can't travel on our services anymore today' from Newark?! If that's the official position, that's simply unacceptable.

That could probably be solved by going to the ticket office to explain your intended journey (as it is hardly unreasonable, but not something that "normal" passengers would typically be doing - the two reservations thing is more to stop people booking multiple repeats of the same journey on different trains).

Or booking 2 legs online, and then a third at the ticket office (or under a second e-mail address if you have one)

Or do the Donny-Retford leg on Hull Trains (if the timing is convenient).
 

MikeWM

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That could probably be solved by going to the ticket office to explain your intended journey (as it is hardly unreasonable, but not something that "normal" passengers would typically be doing - the two reservations thing is more to stop people booking multiple repeats of the same journey on different trains).

Or booking 2 legs online, and then a third at the ticket office (or under a second e-mail address if you have one)

Yes, I'm sure there are workarounds to the 'official' policy. They shouldn't be needed however for journeys that are entirely legitimate (if unusual).

Or do the Donny-Retford leg on Hull Trains (if the timing is convenient).

Is that allowed on an East Mids Rover? railrover.org says so, but that a North East Rover *isn't* ok on Hull Trains (?). Is that right? Seems odd that they allow one rover and not another similar one.

(I'm not just dreaming up annoying scenarios; I've decided to go ahead and do the rover - hotels already booked :)
 

GodAtum

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Perhaps when the worst of the pandemic is over we can have “masks” and “no masks” sections just like we used to have “smoking” and “no smoking” sections.
 

Jamesrob637

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Perhaps when the worst of the pandemic is over we can have “masks” and “no masks” sections just like we used to have “smoking” and “no smoking” sections.

I'd probably use the "masks" section for short journeys!
 

LowLevel

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I'd hoped I had seen the end of pink hi vis people loitering around on stations doing nothing but I see they've returned. At Liverpool Lime St they stand by a set of doors, one marked entry, one exit, that leads to the inside of the station where you can freely mingle. They literally stand there and chat to the person manning the adjacent door all day long. What exactly is the point and what are they contributing?
 

dk1

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I'd hoped I had seen the end of pink hi vis people loitering around on stations doing nothing but I see they've returned. At Liverpool Lime St they stand by a set of doors, one marked entry, one exit, that leads to the inside of the station where you can freely mingle. They literally stand there and chat to the person manning the adjacent door all day long. What exactly is the point and what are they contributing?
Window dressing?
 

Hadders

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Thankfully things are generally far more civilised and normal down south.
 

dk1

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Not even a bank holiday weekend & I would hazard a guess that the Cambridge (ex-Stansted) to Norwich service I worked today was busier than before all this kicked off last year. Intermediate stations where also all doing a very healthy trade indeed.
 

VauxhallandI

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I could well just drive to the north west on the last weekend of the month as the combination of what we have spoken about and the lack of advance fares still will do it.

Can’t even get early morning options to appear and off peak return fares to Stockport are now £94
I’m also going up on the 22nd which does have the advance tickets.

They want £85odd return in Std Class, that isn’t getting me back on the rails.

I normally go First but that’s coming in at £136

Will probably drive now.
 

Jamesrob637

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I have managed to see Stockport to Carlisle for £11 in 10 days' time, and Edinburgh to Manchester the following day for £15 (splitting in Preston but it has reserved me the same seat throughout!)

In case anybody is wondering, the Carlisle to Edinburgh bit will be on buses via Hawick, Galashiels and Peebles!
 

trebor79

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The single biggest thing which would go towards restoring my previous train use would be getting rid of masks. Apart from a couple of very short local trips I haven’t used a train for non-work purposes since 2019, and my work-related use is probably about 60-70% down on usual.
I'm exactly the same. I've done a couple of short trips into Norwich from my local station and that's it. I'll freely admit I tuck the bit of cloth under my chin between station stops (as did about 50% of the few passengers on the train). I went to Needham Market via Norwich and there were 6 of us on the 12 coach 745, including the crew so despite the guards rather patronising announcement about keeping yourself safe in this tube full of strangers, it just seems stupid, so I took it off after departure. He did do a walk through prior to departure though, presumably checking for mask miscreants.

I need to go to Ayr in a couple of weeks. I don't really want to drive all the way there and back. I'm not flying commercially because of all the mask nonsense. So it's going to have to be train. I do genuinely find that I get very irritated and upset by fave coverings, so I may brave it, go nude and say I'm exempt. If I were to fly easyJet say they will only accept a signed doctor's note, so they don't get my business.
How much hassle (both from staff/BTP and vigilantes) do exempt people get on the rail network at the moment? I'm a bit out of touch.
 

MikeWM

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I'll freely admit I tuck the bit of cloth under my chin between station stops (as did about 50% of the few passengers on the train).

I'm seeing this pretty much everywhere now. People seem far more scrupulous about wearing the silly things 'properly' when they are likely to be seen by someone in authority (ie. moving about a station, or waiting on a staffed station platform) than when they think they're not being watched (ie. actually on the train). So they have it around their neck during the journey, and then put it on 'properly' just before leaving the train! Which, if they were of any use at all, would be entirely the wrong way around... Though of course it doesn't actually matter.

How much hassle (both from staff/BTP and vigilantes) do exempt people get on the rail network at the moment? I'm a bit out of touch.

I've been travelling fairly extensively in the south-east 'corner' of the country for the last couple of months, and have had no issues at all. Though I do wear a (home-made) lanyard, at least most of the time. No issues with staff. Not encountered any BTP actually on trains, but gone past a number on stations without any problems. Nothing from other passengers so far this year.

I've not been west of Reading or north of Peterborough yet though, so I can't say first-hand if other parts of the country are more problematic.
 

Jamiescott1

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My chiltern train this morning no longer has those blue "do not use this seat" sign on half the seats.
Hopefully been removed from all trains
 

dk1

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My chiltern train this morning no longer has those blue "do not use this seat" sign on half the seats.
Hopefully been removed from all trains
Common sense prevails. Why some TOCs & bus operators continued with them i don’t know.
 

TPO

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I'm seeing this pretty much everywhere now. People seem far more scrupulous about wearing the silly things 'properly' when they are likely to be seen by someone in authority (ie. moving about a station, or waiting on a staffed station platform) than when they think they're not being watched (ie. actually on the train). So they have it around their neck during the journey, and then put it on 'properly' just before leaving the train! Which, if they were of any use at all, would be entirely the wrong way around... Though of course it doesn't actually matter.



I've been travelling fairly extensively in the south-east 'corner' of the country for the last couple of months, and have had no issues at all. Though I do wear a (home-made) lanyard, at least most of the time. No issues with staff. Not encountered any BTP actually on trains, but gone past a number on stations without any problems. Nothing from other passengers so far this year.

I've not been west of Reading or north of Peterborough yet though, so I can't say first-hand if other parts of the country are more problematic.

Interesting.

I won't be using the train (or High St shops) until the reign of the maskivists ends. I'll be driving my car until then (maybe even after that).

TPO
 
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