XC down from 9 coach to 4, packed and 1st Class not declassified

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AlterEgo

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Controversially, maybe not bother. Standard passengers do not get refunded if they have to stand; why should First class passengers have to be refunded if standard holders are allowed into their space?
Because they are contractually entitled to the difference under the Conditions of Travel.
Standard passengers are told that overcrowding is just part of life; so First class ticket holders just need to accept that it may occasionally, in times of disruption, be necessary to allow standard class ticket holders into their space.
Indeed they do accept this under the Conditions of Travel and end up being refunded down to the appropriate standard fare!
 
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Twingo37175

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Having watched this thread grow through the day, with amusement at times at some of the comments and expectations, is now a good time to say it appears Cross Country have either found a second unit or are using the New Street hot spare to double the return working to 8 carriages from New Street to Manchester and then back to Reading?
 

greyman42

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If First Class is declassified any passenger on that train with a First Class ticket can claim a refund of the difference from customer services. But perhaps a "good service" version would be to hand out a voucher for a free upgrade of any length.
Yes, perhaps they could be given the option of a voucher as some passengers find having to go through customer services for refunds inconvenient and slow.
 

MP393

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If it failed on the depot, then they should send out a different unit. And if they haven't got enough units then they shouldn't be running a train service. They are the ones who decided to bid for the franchise
It didn’t fail on the depot. I was on shift at Piccadilly at the time, and the lead unit which was the 5 car was failed there. The traincrew tried everything to resolve the issue before it was split and sent back to Longsight as 5O04. It’s not just as simple as getting another unit of Longsight, as that would have then shortformed 1O08 and then you’re just moving the problem from one train to the other. These things aren’t deliberately done. Unfortunately unit faults occur.
 

Sm5

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I once did a class 180 from Manchester Airport to Preston in first class.
Nice comfy ride, I was the only one in it, completely idyllic.

At Preston, I got up, opened the first class door and 6 people nearly fell through it, the rest of the carriage was rammed to bursting, a complete chavalanche unfurling outside in chaos..

Thats what I paid by £9 odd for (c2002).
 

misterredmist

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whoever planned, authorised and ordered such short sets for these very long distance services should have been sacked, and the whole XC plan re-written..... Totally unacceptable stock for such a long service, added to the fact that they are smelly and noisy ( like me ? ).

Glad I have only had the misfortune to board one in the last ten years, from Leeds to Newcastle, and that was in first. Hats off to the staff who work these services, I imagine there are not too many easy shifts !

I habitually avoid any XC services when planning my rail travel, even if it costs me a bit more time and dosh.
 

The exile

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DB (German Railways), that run XC, would never treat, or get away with, doing this in Germany, where long distance trains linking key regional centres are run with full length 'proper' Intercity trains.
P
Lost count of the number of times I remember ICEs short formed with one Class 402 instead of 2 over the years. Going back several years, the number of full-rake Interregios replaced ( if at all) by much shorter regional services is also quite high. You do have a point, but DB is far from being the model of excellence many would have them to be.
 

paddy1

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If it failed on the depot, then they should send out a different unit. And if they haven't got enough units then they shouldn't be running a train service. They are the ones who decided to bid for the franchise
Spot on.
 

seagull

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Lost count of the number of times I remember ICEs short formed with one Class 402 instead of 2 over the years. Going back several years, the number of full-rake Interregios replaced ( if at all) by much shorter regional services is also quite high. You do have a point, but DB is far from being the model of excellence many would have them to be.

Tut tut, going off script, we can't have any of these facts spoiling the illusion that our railways are rubbish and every other country in the world's railways are brilliant.
 

Watershed

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How on earth would firing Arriva make the units any more reliable? They would be maintained by Bombardier regardless of who runs the franchise.

There are no spare Voyagers kept at Longsight, nor are there at most of the other stabling locations. That is a perfectly common practice across the industry.

For XC to have hot spares at each stabling location, they'd need to cut down formations and services quite a bit. In fact, it's possible that this train would have to be booked a single Voyager. Meaning that this kind of overcrowding would occur every single day, rather than every few weeks or months.

Trains fail. That's life, and XC can't really be blamed for that. What they can and should be blamed for, is refusing to declassify First when that was an action well within their control.
 

30907

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DB (German Railways), that run XC, would never treat, or get away with, doing this in Germany, where long distance trains linking key regional centres are run with full length 'proper' Intercity trains.
...not infrequently with coaches, or even a unit, missing because of defects or stock shortages.
Apologies, I see a similar point has been made upthread.
 

geoffk

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I once did a class 180 from Manchester Airport to Preston in first class.
Nice comfy ride, I was the only one in it, completely idyllic.

At Preston, I got up, opened the first class door and 6 people nearly fell through it, the rest of the carriage was rammed to bursting, a complete chavalanche unfurling outside in chaos..

Thats what I paid by £9 odd for (c2002).
The only 180s I can think of at Mcr Airport were during the period when Northern had some on hire in 2008-12 - but Northern has never had First Class so this would have been declassified!
 

Aaron1

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Back in September I was travelling on a XC service from Birmingham to Cambridge, it was a Saturday late evening and the train was unusually 6 carriages, despite this every carriage was absolutely rammed, anyway at Leicester they turfed everybody off the final 3 carriages at Leicester and they had to cram into the front 3 carriages, so we had 6 full carriages worth of passengers crammed into just 3 carriages.

I appreciate the service in my experience isn't usually 6 carriages but it certainly made for a very uncomfortable remainder of the trip.
 

dk1

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Back in September I was travelling on a XC service from Birmingham to Cambridge, it was a Saturday late evening and the train was unusually 6 carriages, despite this every carriage was absolutely rammed, anyway at Leicester they turfed everybody off the final 3 carriages at Leicester and they had to cram into the front 3 carriages, so we had 6 full carriages worth of passengers crammed into just 3 carriages.

I appreciate the service in my experience isn't usually 6 carriages but it certainly made for a very uncomfortable remainder of the trip.
I would imagine that’s down to platform lengths beyond Leicester with a 6-car. I’m not totally sure how the de-select works with XC units especially when that long.
 

irish_rail

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How on earth would firing Arriva make the units any more reliable? They would be maintained by Bombardier regardless of who runs the franchise.

There are no spare Voyagers kept at Longsight, nor are there at most of the other stabling locations. That is a perfectly common practice across the industry.

For XC to have hot spares at each stabling location, they'd need to cut down formations and services quite a bit. In fact, it's possible that this train would have to be booked a single Voyager. Meaning that this kind of overcrowding would occur every single day, rather than every few weeks or months.

Trains fail. That's life, and XC can't really be blamed for that. What they can and should be blamed for, is refusing to declassify First when that was an action well within their control.
For me this is why some kind of common user fleet in the new GBR world would make sense. To take my local example, if a voyager failed on Laira, then an IET could substitute (assuming that crews where suitably trained up etc). In the long run the voyagers would be replaced by IET anyway.
 

JonathanH

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To take my local example, if a voyager failed on Laira, then an IET could substitute (assuming that crews where suitably trained up etc). In the long run the voyagers would be replaced by IET anyway.
Are there spare IETs at Laira each day or would there be a short formation into Paddington instead of Birmingham? In most cases, across the country, a unit failure normally leads to another service being split to provide the spare unit.
 

LowLevel

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I would imagine that’s down to platform lengths beyond Leicester with a 6-car. I’m not totally sure how the de-select works with XC units especially when that long.

The guard has to be in the correct coach to operate the deselect button and Melton Mowbray only fits 3 carriages, so a 6 car formation can only have 3 in traffic beyond Leicester. The only other way to manage beyond 2+2 is a 2 + 3 set to make 5 but that won't fit at Stansted.
 

JonathanH

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When the franchise went to Arriva, it was on the basis that their bid was not to increase capacity - Virgin also bid with plans for additional carriages, but the bid was rejected.
Arriva increased capacity to a very small extent by leasing the five HSTs which, when there were four diagrams, were specifically timetabled around providing additional capacity into Leeds and Birmingham, and changing the interior layout of the Voyagers. Not much additional capacity admittedly but still something.
 

Taunton

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Controversially, maybe not bother. Standard passengers do not get refunded if they have to stand; why should First class passengers have to be refunded if standard holders are allowed into their space?

Standard passengers are told that overcrowding is just part of life; so First class ticket holders just need to accept that it may occasionally, in times of disruption, be necessary to allow standard class ticket holders into their space.
How does this concern the first class passengers? They have their first class seat, and got first dibs on the best ones. There's nothing about who is sat next to them, what they have paid (said bitterly as I often note my office has paid more for my Standard Anytime than someone on a First Advance), whether they are staff on a free pass, or whatever.

Airlines certainly don't refund first class passengers when they regularly upgrade those with economy tickets, for a variety of operational reasons. You still get everything you have paid for.
 

dk1

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The guard has to be in the correct coach to operate the deselect button and Melton Mowbray only fits 3 carriages, so a 6 car formation can only have 3 in traffic beyond Leicester. The only other way to manage beyond 2+2 is a 2 + 3 set to make 5 but that won't fit at Stansted.
That makes sense. I knew about the platform 2 airport issue but wasn’t sure about the others. Cheers.
 

AlterEgo

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How does this concern the first class passengers? They have their first class seat, and got first dibs on the best ones. There's nothing about who is sat next to them, what they have paid (said bitterly as I often note my office has paid more for my Standard Anytime than someone on a First Advance), whether they are staff on a free pass, or whatever.

Airlines certainly don't refund first class passengers when they regularly upgrade those with economy tickets, for a variety of operational reasons. You still get everything you have paid for.
It isn't quite the same.

A guard can upgrade whoever they want into first class, but declassifying it is different; it means anyone and everyone can sit in there and all service is suspended and there is no first class whatsoever any more.

An airline would certainly have to refund you; if you booked business class on BA, but they unblocked the middle seat and allowed anyone who could reach the seat first to take it, along with suspending all the complimentary service you'd paid for and promptly declaring that business class doesn't actually exist any more on the aircraft. Indeed this did happen at the outset of Covid when there was hordes of people needing to return home from short haul destinations.
 

Wolfie

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Have you ever been on a Voyager? The seat pitch is already so tight that I would be surprised if you could get an extra row in even with ironing boards/Fainsa Sophias. Unless you are talking something new and much thinner, but that's a lot of money to spend developing something for poorly-designed middle-aged units which really need a one-way path to a scrapper.
I have been on Voyagers, but mostly of the Virgin/Avanti variety.
 

Bletchleyite

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I have been on Voyagers, but mostly of the Virgin/Avanti variety.

They're tight, but the XC ones already have a denser seat layout done by removing tables. There really isn't much spare space on what is already a very poor level of comfort compared to 80x, which seem to have set a benchmark for fairly generous spacing.
 

Djgr

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Have you ever been on a Voyager? The seat pitch is already so tight that I would be surprised if you could get an extra row in even with ironing boards/Fainsa Sophias. Unless you are talking something new and much thinner, but that's a lot of money to spend developing something for poorly-designed middle-aged units which really need a one-way path to a scrapper.
The multiple flaws in the Voyager were made perfectly clear to the TOC during the development phase, but they were ignored because the railway industry (whatever that means) always knows best.
 

nw1

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Utter rubbish. Also a good way of completely destroying first class ticket sales and almost certainly guaranteeing litigation.

That's a bit strong. It's not rubbish, it's just a particular point of view.

I was trying to look at it from a moral perspective, but I take your point about litigation. In that case, one could argue that the railway laws need to be changed to make them more equitable.

My argument (made without an awareness of the legal issues, I will admit) was: is it fair that standard class passengers have to stand when there are seats available in first class, just so the first class passengers don't have to share their space with standard class? I don't think so personally, but obviously opinions on this differ. Should the railway spend money, in rather short supply, refunding first class passengers if this happens? Perhaps, perhaps not. Should first class provision be reduced on busy services? I think so personally, but obviously opinions differ.
 
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james60059

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Don't forget that a lot of people are too precious about having someone sat near them too and will occupy seats with bags etc. There's been instances of individuals having a bay of 4 to themselves and telling people to stay away.
 

nw1

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How does this concern the first class passengers? They have their first class seat, and got first dibs on the best ones. There's nothing about who is sat next to them, what they have paid (said bitterly as I often note my office has paid more for my Standard Anytime than someone on a First Advance), whether they are staff on a free pass, or whatever.
I was just questioning whether the railway should spend money, perhaps in short supply, on refunding first class passengers if first class gets declassified, when standard class passengers get no such refund if they have to stand. I realise now this is what the law says, but not convinced it's fair.

I was really just posting an off-the-cuff opinion, it's not something that I have very strong views about.
 

Bletchleyite

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I was just questioning whether the railway should spend money, perhaps in short supply, on refunding first class passengers if first class gets declassified, when standard class passengers get no such refund if they have to stand. I realise now this is what the law says, but not convinced it's fair.

I was really just posting an off-the-cuff opinion, it's not something that I have very strong views about.

Some TOCs actually do offer a partial refund if you have reserved a seat and still have to stand.
 
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