GWR Pullman dining reinstated

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Private Baxter

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if the modern railways article is correct, and breakfast won’t be returning - doesn’t that mean all the WOE lunch and dinner turns have to balance for the crews ? So they work up and down / down and up ?

so if you have the two down dinner trains at 1804 and 1904 you have to have two up lunch trains ( they did before )

but if there is no breakfast, the down lunch train 1304 has to be balanced by the 1815 up dinner and any 1204 lunch would have to be balanced by an extra up dinner

but will they really do 2 lunch and 2 dinner in both directions?
Indeed, there would need to be a second, earlier up dinner in order for the 12.04 to be retained, but can't see that happening. A pity as Pullman had, from my experience, been very well used on the 12.04.
Perhaps they are waiting to see how customers return once restrictions ease, as well as the take-off of the flexi tickets before making a decision on reinstating breakfast services.
 

morrisobrien

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My word that's a blast from the past.....

Prawn Cocktail, Steak and Black Forest Gateau anyone.. height of sophistication in the seventies.

Served with a Bottle of Blue Nun or Mateus Rose no doubt.
BERNI INNS.....if anyone old enough can remember?
 

Private Baxter

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but will they really do 2 lunch and 2 dinner in both directions?
Forgot to mention doing it that way would involve having another London crew, which would mean hiring and training, so I do wonder about the other two Plymouth crews and what they will do.
 

HamworthyGoods

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If you want an actual chef, I recommend the MK4 carriages on the WAG, when that is back to full silver service.

On the MK3 carriages, you were often able to see the chef cooking the food.

the Great Western Pullmans have actual chefs too!
 

ainsworth74

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So did lots of LNER and Avanti services. More than GWR in fact I'd wager....
 

Goldfish62

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Hmm. If the question is
“Cod loin or duck?”, the answer for many will be a Marks and Sparks sarnie.

Having enjoyed more than excellent GWR Pullman steaks in the past, they need to sort that out ASAP.
The reason for not having the steak is that the food is currently chilled pre-cooked off-train, reheated in the microwave on the train. You can't serve steak like that.
 

williamn

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Lets hope that will only be 'currently'.

Does anyone know when the extra services will be added?
 

43066

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The reason for not having the steak is that the food is currently chilled pre-cooked off-train, reheated in the microwave on the train. You can't serve steak like that.

So in other words it isn’t really Pullman style dining at all.

Pre cooked and reheated in a microwave just goes against the spirit of everything Pullman dining is (or was) supposed to be. Goodness knows what possible Covid related reason has been dreamed up to justify that.

Something else, along with international travel, to write off until next year, I fear.
 

Goldfish62

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So in other words it isn’t really Pullman style dining at all.

Pre cooked and reheated in a microwave just goes against the spirit of everything Pullman dining is (or was) supposed to be. Goodness knows what possible Covid related reason has been dreamed up to justify that.

Something else, along with international travel, to write off until next year, I fear.
I certainly wouldn't pay £20 for two microwave courses. I also understand that a lot of it has to be thrown away because once it's on the train it can't be then be put back in store if unused.
 
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Taunton

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a Berni inn Black Forest gateau.
(Still, I’m probably being a snob, I’m sure it’s lovely)
Much as it became a stereotype, the Berni Inn (they were based in Bristol) on The Parade in the centre of Taunton was in the 1970s the only place where you could get a somewhat decent evening meal. The couple of main hotels had unwelcoming stuffy and longwinded dining rooms. Most pubs did nothing but drink. Cafes closed at 5.30 and did little beyond tea and cakes anyway. It was normally packed.

Having arrived on the through train from Liverpool in the afternoon to a family reunion, it was the default to walk down there to save doing anything in the house. Even the visiting Canadian contingent would say "let's go for a steak dinner at that place downtown", which would make us laugh at walking a few streets away.
 

Private Baxter

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Lets hope that will only be 'currently'.

Does anyone know when the extra services will be added?
26th July supposedly. The MD also states that dinner on the 18:03 is also set to return, meaning the up lunch at 12:15 should too. It has been suggested, though not confirmed, that the down lunch at 13:04 should return sooner, so we will see.
 

M!T

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This is something I've always fancied doing and will, at some point, when the steak returns. However, I do have a concern based on a review I read on Trip Advisor. Essentially, someone booked Pullman Dining and boarded the train in their seat reserved for travel. When the call came for dinner they attempted to reach the dining car, but couldn't, because the train consisted of two five-car IETs coupled together. Their reservation was in one IET, the Pullman Dining car was in the other! How can you be sure you won't get caught out by this?
 

SteveM70

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Much as it became a stereotype, the Berni Inn (they were based in Bristol) on The Parade in the centre of Taunton was in the 1970s the only place where you could get a somewhat decent evening meal

The Berni Inn on Earlsdon Street in Coventry was the only place we could go and have some food and plenty of drink to celebrate our 16th 17th 18th birthdays
 

AlterEgo

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This is something I've always fancied doing and will, at some point, when the steak returns. However, I do have a concern based on a review I read on Trip Advisor. Essentially, someone booked Pullman Dining and boarded the train in their seat reserved for travel. When the call came for dinner they attempted to reach the dining car, but couldn't, because the train consisted of two five-car IETs coupled together. Their reservation was in one IET, the Pullman Dining car was in the other! How can you be sure you won't get caught out by this?
Head to the set which has the end car set up with tablecloths is all I can suggest!
 

Watershed

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It was the London end when I did it. Obviously orientations may vary so best to check before boarding!

Excellent service and the food was very good. Can highly recommend the duck leg.

At £25/30 for two/three courses it's probably a little dear if you're just after a meal, but it's far cheaper than a First Class upgrade on a weekday, so it's stupendous value if you look at it that way!
 

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Private Baxter

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This is something I've always fancied doing and will, at some point, when the steak returns. However, I do have a concern based on a review I read on Trip Advisor. Essentially, someone booked Pullman Dining and boarded the train in their seat reserved for travel. When the call came for dinner they attempted to reach the dining car, but couldn't, because the train consisted of two five-car IETs coupled together. Their reservation was in one IET, the Pullman Dining car was in the other! How can you be sure you won't get caught out by this?
It has caught people out a few time, particularly customers boarding at Reading. I can only imagine the disappointment and frustration. It is always in the rear set on a 10 car (down direction), meaning anyone travelling beyond Plymouth must get out and change sets, which isn't ideal. And of course the same applies on up trains.
Do they do 2 Sittings for Dinner ?
No, it is designed for one sitting, where ideally the main course would enjoyed along the non-stop B&H section.
It was the London end when I did it. Obviously orientations may vary so best to check before boarding!

Excellent service and the food was very good. Can highly recommend the duck leg.

At £25/30 for two/three courses it's probably a little dear if you're just after a meal, but it's far cheaper than a First Class upgrade on a weekday, so it's stupendous value if you look at it that way!
Looks great! It's a pity they no longer have the plates with the emblem on, but a fairly minor complaint I suppose.
 

Butts

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It's strange this one survives but nothing on London -Edinburgh/Glasgow, you would think that would be a more lucrative market.
 

irish_rail

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This is something I've always fancied doing and will, at some point, when the steak returns. However, I do have a concern based on a review I read on Trip Advisor. Essentially, someone booked Pullman Dining and boarded the train in their seat reserved for travel. When the call came for dinner they attempted to reach the dining car, but couldn't, because the train consisted of two five-car IETs coupled together. Their reservation was in one IET, the Pullman Dining car was in the other! How can you be sure you won't get caught out by this?
One of the many draw backs of pairs of 5 car sets unfortunately. In an ideal world , and with the benefit of hindsight, im fairly sure GWR would have opted for far more 9 car sets , but we are where we are now unfortunately.
 

Vespa

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I've been on the Pullman dining service before, I've written a trip report about it, very impressed.

I'm glad it's making a comeback and hope it will be back to normal very soon.
 

route101

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It's strange this one survives but nothing on London -Edinburgh/Glasgow, you would think that would be a more lucrative market.
I think GNER were the last to have it. It would do well on the Highland Chieftain.
 

Requeststop

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As Private Baxter just pointed out above, the set up of the Pullman on the IET's are one reason, I'd not use the service. On my return to the UK from overseas, one of the great parts of the journey would be a Pullman dining experience: A great treat for myself. Now, though, I'd have to experience the meal and on arrival in Plymouth, haul myself and my luggage, down to the front part of the train to continue my journey home into Cornwall. An even bigger bore if the service just happens to be late and the staff inPlymouth are eager to speed up the train out of Plymouth. Yet another reason to detest these trains. Long Live the HST's!
 

HamworthyGoods

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As Private Baxter just pointed out above, the set up of the Pullman on the IET's are one reason, I'd not use the service. On my return to the UK from overseas, one of the great parts of the journey would be a Pullman dining experience: A great treat for myself. Now, though, I'd have to experience the meal and on arrival in Plymouth, haul myself and my luggage, down to the front part of the train to continue my journey home into Cornwall. An even bigger bore if the service just happens to be late and the staff inPlymouth are eager to speed up the train out of Plymouth. Yet another reason to detest these trains. Long Live the HST's!

Seeing as the vast majority of London to Cornwall services are now 9 car IETs this is no longer a problem.
 

tbwbear

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This is something I've always fancied doing and will, at some point, when the steak returns. However, I do have a concern based on a review I read on Trip Advisor. Essentially, someone booked Pullman Dining and boarded the train in their seat reserved for travel. When the call came for dinner they attempted to reach the dining car, but couldn't, because the train consisted of two five-car IETs coupled together. Their reservation was in one IET, the Pullman Dining car was in the other! How can you be sure you won't get caught out by this?
Presumably, if you make any seat reservation for beyond Plymouth (let's just assume you are travelling to Cornwall), you will be automatically be put in the front (wrong) set?

So, to dine you must get in the wrong part of the train, presumably with all your luggage.

Would we then assume that, in the case where you have a standard class ticket, when boarding at Paddington the dining car crew can give you a quick answer as to whether there will be space available or not (priority to First Class etc..), as you don't have the luxury to go and wait in your own correct seat, whilst they check ?

Would we assume that the train manager will understand if you go to sit in a spare first class or standard class seat in the rear set, whilst you wait for a place or once you have finished the meal? This of course assumes that there are spare seats in the rear set !

Presumably, your original reservation in the front set would be still valid after Plymouth, although there is a chance somebody could have assumed you were not turning up and occupied it.

I have many lovely memories of dining on the HSTs travelling to Devon and Cornwall over the years, I may change my mind, but at the moment I am not inclined to spoil them by using the new service.

What is the train configuration on the Welsh dining services ?

Seeing as the vast majority of London to Cornwall services are now 9 car IETs this is no longer a problem.
Does this include the dining trains then ? If so, scrub everything I just said above !
 

RPI

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The current fleet availability issues with the IET'S means that there are a lot more 9 car sets on the West of England trains, part of the reason for the restaurant in the rear set is that it allows more time to unload all of the catering equipment at Plymouth without delaying the Penzance portion as it can still be unloaded once the Penzance portion has left.
 

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