Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => The Knowledge => Topic started by: rogerzilla on October 18, 2018, 03:52:57 pm

Title: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: rogerzilla on October 18, 2018, 03:52:57 pm
From my research, there are 8 spaces spread in pairs throughout the train but only one bike generally fits in a pair of spaces because crap design.  Also, nothing bigger than a racing tyre fits the hooks.

Anyone actually used them?
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 18, 2018, 03:56:15 pm
Not used them. Yet, anyway. But there aren't necessarily 8 spaces. AIUI there are 4 spaces per 5-carriage unit. Some trains are only 5 carriages, most are 2x5 carriages but often one set of carriages is locked. And there's no access from one set to the other. I think, but am quite likely wrong, that within each set the bike spaces are in 2 pairs of 2 each.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: grams on October 18, 2018, 04:04:21 pm
They're not *quite* that bad. The lack of space and poorly designed hooks makes it awkward to get each individual bike in, but I don't think the second bike is any harder than the first.

The doors for accessing bike spaces are *not* marked on the outside of the trains, and you should expect the bike spaces to be filled with luggage if joining at an intermediate station (or not first to board).
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Kim on October 18, 2018, 04:09:11 pm
Only used the prototype, but it was marginally better than the Crosscountry Class 220s (which is surely the benchmark for crap cycle provision) on account of being able to get at the space from the side, rather than just the end.  Usual problems of hanging long bikes, heavy bikes, bikes with fat tyres and wide handlebars apply.  If they've come up with a way to stop, say, a 40mm Marathon from fitting, they deserve an extra slow clap.

The two-hanging-bikes-space unit is modular (it could be replaced by an inaccessible toilet or catering trolley dock module), so the exact number and position of spaces will be TOC specific.  I believe this is also the reason why they haven't been marked on the outside of the train.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Paul H on October 18, 2018, 04:59:49 pm
The doors for accessing bike spaces are *not* marked on the outside of the trains
Does the bike reservation ticket have the carriage on it?  This was the response I read from GWR to that complaint.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: PeterM on October 18, 2018, 05:07:42 pm
As noted above, four spaces if it's a 10-carriage train but only two if it's a 5-carriage train, and the spaces are awkward and unmarked on the train exterior.  For extra excitement, you never know which length of train it will be (I've had seat and bike reservations that turned out to be in carriages that weren't on the train that actually arrived in the station, because GWR had decided to run a short train on the day).

In my experience, to stand any chance of fitting two bikes into the space you need to hang one by the front wheel and one by the back wheel.  If you've got limited strength or mobility or a nonstandard bike, tough.

On the other hand, the GWR staff I've encountered have been exasperated by the idiocies of the bike carriage system on the new trains and have bent over backwards to be accommodating.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: andyoxon on October 18, 2018, 05:53:42 pm
https://cyclebath.org.uk/2016/06/01/the-new-gwr-bike-policy-is-a-disaster/
http://www.urban75.org/blog/in-photos-a-trip-on-the-new-gwr-intercity-express-trains-and-my-verdict/
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: toontra on October 18, 2018, 06:01:41 pm
Once you find out where on the train the bike carriage is likely to be, I personally find it awkward to get my bike onto the hangers at the best of times, but often compounded by the space already being full of suitcases.  What is the legal position if I move other people's stuff out into the corridor so I can get my (pre-booked and ticketed) bike safely stowed?

I have yet to try and get my bike out if on the inner hanger and there's another outside, particularly if it's at a quick-stop inter-urban station.

I have also yet to take my bike with deep-rim carbon wheels (Dura-Ace C50).  No way am I hanging the bike by those!

I've also been confronted by the trolley staff using the space outside the compartment to get set up.  As I understand it they no longer have the designated space that used to exist in the old trains.

The whole process is now quite stressful - locating where to stand when the train approaches, jostling with other passengers getting on, fiddling with the bloody ridiculous dividing bar and getting the wheel on the hook (it's not just hanging vertically - it's also pressed away from the back wall, which takes a different technique from normal).

Non cycle-specific:
The seats are bloody uncomfortable! 
The lighting is way too brash. 
The interior decor looks like a tram from the mid-80's

And yes, only 4 spaces per 10-carriage train - 2 per 5-coach configuration.  That is the maximum - GWR reserves the right to re-allocate the spaces for other uses (notably surfboards!!)
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: quixoticgeek on October 18, 2018, 06:05:10 pm

Recently on a German IC train, there were 3 bikes, and space for about 21. As there were only 3, I left my bike at ground level, and locked the bike to the rack. The guard however insisted it had to be put into the rack, which has left my wheels no longer straight. I am really rather pissed off at this.

It seems that bikes on trains policy everywhere is written by people who have never spoken to someone who rides a bike, let alone actually tested by someone who rides a bike. Grrrr.

The provision on those class 800's looks bloody horrible.

J
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 18, 2018, 06:05:18 pm
I know someone who couldn't get his tyres over the hook. He had 700x58 IIRC, reckoned 700x40 would be fine. Looks like mountain bikers are out of luck.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Kim on October 18, 2018, 06:09:26 pm
It seems that bikes on trains policy everywhere is written by people who have never spoken to someone who rides a bike, let alone actually tested by someone who rides a bike. Grrrr.

You might think that, but as someone who was in the group of CTC cyclists who tested the prototype for the Class 800 bike space I can reassure you that they followed the usual consult-to-ignore process.

On a related note, I got round to cleaning my tourer after some comedy off-roading recently and discovered cosmetic rim damage from repeated hanging in dangly bike spaces.  I'm not too fussed about that - touring bikes get scuffed, and the rim in question is in the process of corroding from the inside anyway - but I might well be if it were some other bike.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: jiberjaber on October 18, 2018, 06:10:44 pm
Is it these ones?  If so - it was a struggle to get my bike in the left hook with 37c tyres on.  I helped the chap on the right put his bike on the hook which had more conventional 25c tyres iirc.  Very rubbish! you can see how bad the fit was by the fact his bike is on such an angle.  The hooks do not move, so the bike needs to move to get the angle to fit the rim under the hook... quite a job! This was the train from Cardiff to Paddington iirc.

 (https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20181018/c01491e2caf5322a26b8c7c12b4f8d42.jpg)
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: quixoticgeek on October 18, 2018, 06:11:29 pm
It seems that bikes on trains policy everywhere is written by people who have never spoken to someone who rides a bike, let alone actually tested by someone who rides a bike. Grrrr.

You might think that, but as someone who was in the group of CTC cyclists who tested the prototype for the Class 800 bike space I can reassure you that they followed the usual consult-to-ignore process.

"But we consulted with actual cyclists!"
"Did you listen to what they said?"
"No... doesn't say anywhere we're supposed to..."

J
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Kim on October 18, 2018, 06:17:21 pm
It seems that bikes on trains policy everywhere is written by people who have never spoken to someone who rides a bike, let alone actually tested by someone who rides a bike. Grrrr.

You might think that, but as someone who was in the group of CTC cyclists who tested the prototype for the Class 800 bike space I can reassure you that they followed the usual consult-to-ignore process.

"But we consulted with actual cyclists!"
"Did you listen to what they said?"
"No... doesn't say anywhere we're supposed to..."

"We listened, but it was far too late to change the design by that point, as we'd designed structural bits of train around our clever hanging bike modules.  We passed on some minor recommendations about ticketing procedures.  We're very pleased with our luggage rack that's designed to fit an integer number of Bromptons; maybe you should get one of those?"
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 18, 2018, 06:30:20 pm
@Roger – are you thinking of the Trucker? Just remembered a friend (different friend from the earlier one) found his LHT wouldn't fit the danglespace due to excessive wheelbase. I think his is a 56cm frame.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: rogerzilla on October 18, 2018, 06:39:00 pm
@Roger – are you thinking of the Trucker? Just remembered a friend (different friend from the earlier one) found his LHT wouldn't fit the danglespace due to excessive wheelbase. I think his is a 56cm frame.
Probably the Moulton.  Should be ok, only 28mm tyres and a fairly standard wheelbase.  Brompton is an option but it's tedious to ride on rough country lanes.

Are you booking a train back, or spending the rest of your days in Swindon?*

*you won't have a choice if the chuds get you
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Paul H on October 18, 2018, 07:45:22 pm
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20181018/c01491e2caf5322a26b8c7c12b4f8d42.jpg)
Is the SOS phone just for cycle storage issues?
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Kim on October 18, 2018, 07:46:35 pm
No, it's for surfboard emergencies (including sharknados) too.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on October 18, 2018, 07:49:55 pm
Because of the little wheels, Moultons have a shorter overall length even when the wheelbase is longer than a big-wheeled bike.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Joe.B on October 18, 2018, 08:16:30 pm
I'm a regular user of the East Coast Main Line and dreading the introduction of the 800's. The current fleet of HST's and Electra's are terrific trains, especially the Electra's, so much bike space, never any problem, even with tandems. The 800's seen like a gaint leap backwards.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Joe.B on October 18, 2018, 08:17:55 pm
Probably should add that I'm on one right now. :)
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Jaded on October 19, 2018, 12:37:33 am
I saw one of these compartments today and seriously wondered why they had installed showers on the trains.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: toontra on October 19, 2018, 09:51:58 am
I saw one of these compartments today and seriously wondered why they had installed showers on the trains.

In use that's exactly what it feels like - trying to take your bike into the shower with you, and there may be another bike and some suitcases in there already!

This thread has prompted me to write a strongly-worded email to GWR and asking them to respond to some of the issues raised above (as platform staff and guards have advised me to do several times!).  Will post back any meaningful reply though not expecting much.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: rogerzilla on October 19, 2018, 11:43:35 am
I saw one of these compartments today and seriously wondered why they had installed showers on the trains.
They're delousing facilities for those joining at Swindon.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: zigzag on October 19, 2018, 11:44:51 am
Is it these ones?  If so - it was a struggle to get my bike in the left hook with 37c tyres on.  I helped the chap on the right put his bike on the hook which had more conventional 25c tyres iirc.  Very rubbish! you can see how bad the fit was by the fact his bike is on such an angle.  The hooks do not move, so the bike needs to move to get the angle to fit the rim under the hook... quite a job! This was the train from Cardiff to Paddington iirc.

 (https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20181018/c01491e2caf5322a26b8c7c12b4f8d42.jpg)
it's a rubbish design, however the white bike should have been hung pointing down for better use of available space (this is how it's encouraged in bike cafes and shops equipped with similar hooks).
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 19, 2018, 11:58:23 am
It's quite difficult to hang a bike by it's rear wheel. You have to balance the whole bike on the squirmy steering end. By the front wheel is much easier, as the CoG is below the squirmy bit (maybe from a physics PoV that's not the actual reason, but whatever the reason is, it's much harder from the rear wheel).
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Greenbank on October 19, 2018, 11:59:59 am
Hang it upside down (i.e. front down) and all of the speed will drain out of the bike and down that plughole.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 19, 2018, 12:00:07 pm
@Roger – are you thinking of the Trucker? Just remembered a friend (different friend from the earlier one) found his LHT wouldn't fit the danglespace due to excessive wheelbase. I think his is a 56cm frame.
Probably the Moulton.  Should be ok, only 28mm tyres and a fairly standard wheelbase.  Brompton is an option but it's tedious to ride on rough country lanes.

Are you booking a train back, or spending the rest of your days in Swindon?*

*you won't have a choice if the chuds get you
I'm intending to meander back to Chippencong and get a local, no need to book, train from there. I think there should be one. It's possible I'll end up like a two-wheeled Flying Dutchman, eternally circumnavigating the Magic Roundabout.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Kim on October 19, 2018, 12:08:26 pm
It's quite difficult to hang a bike by it's rear wheel. You have to balance the whole bike on the squirmy steering end. By the front wheel is much easier, as the CoG is below the squirmy bit (maybe from a physics PoV that's not the actual reason, but whatever the reason is, it's much harder from the rear wheel).

Not if you lift the bike entirely off the ground (as you would have to to prevent damage to longer rear mudguards).  That's what you have to do anyway if the front end of your bike has a slicey bit rather than a squirmy bit.  Which is why this design is marginally superior to CrossCountry's - it's difficult enough to support a bike vertically off the ground without having to cantilever it outwards on extended arms to reach into the cupboard from the front.

If you were doing it in a workplace, this sort of thing would likely fall foul of the Manual Handling Operations Regulations.  But it's absolutely fine to expect random members of the public - without training, and irrespective of their height, strength and disability - to have to do it on a moving vehicle...
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 19, 2018, 01:04:16 pm
Not sure I get what you mean about cantilevering. The XC cupboards you can only get at from the front, they have solid sides as far as I remember. The 800s, judging from the photo, have a solid "front" and open sides – the opening is at right angles to the hooks. It doesn't look as if there's room to hold a bike horizontally in that space, but maybe there is. But if you've got a back mudguard you're going to have to twist the bike to a vertical position to get the hook over rim, even if you lift the bike horizontally. Of course this all assumes the bike is light enough to lift entirely off the ground...
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Kim on October 19, 2018, 01:25:10 pm
Exactly.  On CrossCountry, you have to stand in front of the cupboard with the bike held out in front of you and offer it up to the hook, because the side of the cupboard prevents you from standing close to the bike.  With these ones (or, say, the hooks on Virgin Voyagers, which have no cupboarding at all) you can hold the bike by its side closer to your body and reach the hook without having to extend your arms.  This makes a big difference for shorter users or with particularly heavy bikes.

If I have to put the Streetmachine in the right-hand two[1] bike space on a CrossCountry Voyager, the only way I can do it is by accompanying the vertical bike all the way into the cupboard in order to reach the hook, at which point I'm trapped by the handlebars at hip height and have to climb to get out.  Bruising is expected.


[1] As long as the second one has the wheel-to-wheel length of a child's mountain bike.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 19, 2018, 01:33:04 pm
Can you get close to the hook on these? It doesn't look like it from the photo, but I haven't used one (and won't be rushing to do so).

Anyway, you missed out the first step, which is of course to move the suitcases/catering trolley/bag of used coffee cups and crisp packets from the cycle space.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Kim on October 19, 2018, 01:54:39 pm
Nahh, the first step is to negotiate with the other cyclist(s) on the platform to work out which order to put the bikes in.  *Then* you have to move the luggages and bin bags...
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: toontra on October 19, 2018, 02:36:52 pm
Nahh, the first step is to negotiate with the other cyclist(s) on the platform to work out which order to put the bikes in.  *Then* you have to move the luggages and bin bags...

All issues covered in my email to GWR  ;)
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 21, 2018, 08:25:37 pm
At the end of the Bristol-Swindon ride, as we finished by the station anyway, I decided to take a train back as far as Chippenham (only £7.30!) then meander back from there. "It's one of the new IETs. You know there's a new way of putting your bike on? You have to hang it up," said the helpful woman in the ticket office. "Yes, but how will I know which carriage the bike compartment is in?" It turns out they don't print it on the ticket, but it was on the receipt, which seems back to front. It was Coach F, which sounded like it would be the middle of the train, so I correspondingly waited in the middle of the platform. And when the train came in... it was a good old HST! :thumbsup: Curiously, it was in reverse formation; normally they have First at the up (London) end and the bike spaces at the down end, so the posh and important people don't have to walk so far at Paddington, but this one had the bike spaces at the up end, which meant the back of the train as I was heading west.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: SA_SA_SA_SA on October 21, 2018, 09:00:51 pm
Meanwhile, according to AtoB magazine, ScotRail are repurposing 153 single carriage DMUs into self-powered cycle-vans* to be attached when necessary....
*it is unclear whether they also carry the cyclists or if cyclists use the standard train carriages.

https://www.scotsman.com/news/transport/cycle-coaches-to-be-hitched-to-trains-to-ease-bike-crush-1-4755533 (https://www.scotsman.com/news/transport/cycle-coaches-to-be-hitched-to-trains-to-ease-bike-crush-1-4755533)

Perhaps hitachi could make some 800 carriages with cabs at each end for similar use.....
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: rogerzilla on October 21, 2018, 09:05:58 pm
I can't see the situation changing while bikes are carried free. A bike takes up at least one seat's worth of room and they don't really want us at all. Maybe car hire is the way to go for one-way rides between town centres? One-way hire is easy and you can throw a few bikes in the back of an MPV.  Not safe for the morning after a night ride, though.   Zzzzzz.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: SA_SA_SA_SA on October 21, 2018, 09:14:37 pm
Surely paying for a bike on a Train is a better idea (what about half fare but with a minimum and maximum).

Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: quixoticgeek on October 21, 2018, 09:17:57 pm
Surely paying for a bike on a Train is a better idea (what about half fare but with a minimum and maximum).

This is what NSB does in Norway.

Germany it's €12 to put a bike on a train (at least on the long distance ones I've used).

To put a bike on the train between Brussels and Amsterdam (and intermediate stops), is €12,

The Dutch charge €6 per day. For this you get unlimited travel outside of rush hour (or all day in July + August), and a free argument with who ever is sat in the bike space on the train you got on, and doesn't want to move, followed by having to call for the conductor to come and tell them to shift their arse...

J
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: mcshroom on October 21, 2018, 09:19:18 pm
That design looks crap. Pendolinos on the WCML may smell of shit far too often, but at least you can roll a fully loaded touring bike on and just park it. If they did something to cover the sharp aluminium ribs from the train shell they would be even better ::-)
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: quixoticgeek on October 21, 2018, 09:19:49 pm

Oh, and the Swedes just don't allow bikes on trains, not sure why...

The Danes it was a few krona, but I couldn't work out if there was a min/max.

Charging for bikes on trains seems entirely fair, but if done, they need to make it so you don't have to book, or faff, or pretty much anything most UK operators do...

J
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Phil W on October 21, 2018, 09:30:07 pm
If you are going to pay I would want a guaranteed space to put the bike, so I can sit down and relax. Buggered if I am paying to stand up holding bike to prevent it falling over and constantly move my bike around as carriage doors open at stations.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 21, 2018, 09:30:29 pm
I was fairly impressed that arriving at the station, I could book a space on a train that had departed about an hour ago and was due to arrive at that station in about 15 mins. The reservation does seem to get communicated to the train crew as they are speeding along the rails. And they no longer require a seat reservation when booking a bike space, so you can take a bike on an open ticket. Bike space reservations, however, are fairly pointless unless there's a way of actually keeping the space clear (of unreserved bikes, luggage, surfboards, catering trolleys, other passengers, etc).
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 21, 2018, 09:31:48 pm

Oh, and the Swedes just don't allow bikes on trains, not sure why...
Because they take up paying passenger space?
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: perpetual dan on October 21, 2018, 09:45:39 pm
I think I used one of those spaces on the way to Exeter. It was a bit faffy, but luckily I was well before departure at Paddington so there was no other stuff already there. My bike had 25c tyres on normal profile rims, which went on the hooks OK. I had a bike reservation, which told me where to get on. The cupboard did give me a place to put my luggage so I wasn't massively in the way while I did the lifting and hooking. There was several hours train ride between getting on and off again, but I wouldn't want to muck about like that for a 20 minute trip. Having to lug my bags at least a carriage down to my seat also wasn't ideal, but I was probably doing something outrageous like wanting a quiet coach.

The trip back, using Taunton / Bristol (though the ticket said Bath) / Faversham, was worse in that the ticket said the wrong place so the change was confusing and the Faversham train was standing room only the whole way, bike space just in the corridor and little chance to getting near my reservation. I'd have begrudged paying extra for that.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: yorkie on October 21, 2018, 10:51:43 pm
Meanwhile, according to AtoB magazine, ScotRail are repurposing 153 single carriage DMUs into self-powered cycle-vans* to be attached when necessary....
*it is unclear whether they also carry the cyclists or if cyclists use the standard train carriages.

https://www.scotsman.com/news/transport/cycle-coaches-to-be-hitched-to-trains-to-ease-bike-crush-1-4755533 (https://www.scotsman.com/news/transport/cycle-coaches-to-be-hitched-to-trains-to-ease-bike-crush-1-4755533)

Perhaps hitachi could make some 800 carriages with cabs at each end for similar use.....
The class 153s are intended to be used on the West Highland line (Glasgow to Oban, Fort William and Mallaig). The initial plan is to get 2 vehicles when they come off lease from Anglia and insert them in the middle** of 2 class 156 2-car units. From what I have seen so far, I believe that around half of the seats will be removed to make space for bike and large luggage storage, although Scotrail have yet to release the design tender document. They will then run them for a while to see if the concept works, or needs modification, and then tender for the conversion of another 3 153s (and bringing the original 2 up to spec if necessary).

** They have to go in the middle, as the class 153 doesn't have space in the cab for the radio signalling system gubbins to operate on the West Highland. Class 153 can't operate on their own after the end of 2019 as they cannot be made PRM-TSI compliant - if the toilet is made compliant, it will take up 2 thirds of the vehicle! - but they can run coupled to (or in) another unit, as they have corridor connections.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: mcshroom on October 21, 2018, 11:39:14 pm
Are you sure they are going in the middle? One end of the 153s has the same cab as a 155 so shouldn't have any problems with fitting kit that end I wouldn't have thought. the 156s currently on the line have similar cabs. The tiny cab is only at the converted end.

When I was in Lairg last week the hotel owner (who was also on the local tourist group) thought they were getting some class 153s to add to their trains on the Far North line. I would be surprised if they put a 153 in the middle of a 158, it would screw the air-con in the other two carriages up more than normal, if nothing else.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: quixoticgeek on October 22, 2018, 10:27:59 am

Oh, and the Swedes just don't allow bikes on trains, not sure why...
Because they take up paying passenger space?

Cos heaven forfend passengers would travel with luggage...

J
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Jaded on October 22, 2018, 10:29:25 am
A bicycle is hardly luggage. Unwieldy, big, difficult to stack/store.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 22, 2018, 10:41:57 am
There isn't enough space for conventional luggage, as in suitcases and similar, which is why it ends up in the bike cupboard.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: rogerzilla on October 22, 2018, 12:51:35 pm
Some people travel with an astonishing amount of stuff.  I can do a working week with one small, and I mean small, holdall.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Jaded on October 22, 2018, 01:02:06 pm
I used to go to Uni on the train. Bike, luggage, rucksack, etc.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: mattc on October 22, 2018, 01:13:42 pm
There isn't enough space for conventional luggage, as in suitcases and similar, which is why it ends up in the bike cupboard.

I took 3 trains this weekend on non-GWR trains with bike cupboards; on two of them people had to stand in the cupboards. That was the biggest problem, not the 1-2 cyclists trying to use the service.

Both trains could have had more coaches, but clearly the planners thought it unnecessary. And this was at the weekend, when the timetable has plenty of space in it. (One of them was just a single coach - they were supposed to bolt on a second* but failed (by about 18"). It would have been pretty jammed with the 2nd coach attached  ::-) )


*Nottingham -> Matlock for locals
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Oxford_Guy on October 22, 2018, 01:48:35 pm
I wouldn't object to paying something for taking a non-folding bike on a train, provided the actual bike carrying service and capacity offered was half decent and easily book-able (i.e.  not like now...), and the charge fair (e.g.  more for intercity routes, less for local routes). Think in France it's 10 Euros to take a bike on the TGV and other mainline trains, which seems reasonable, though we did once find the bike space completely full of luggage :-(
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: rogerzilla on October 22, 2018, 01:59:30 pm
The problem is that too many people are using too few trains on a network full to capacity.  The train companies prioritise seats on new trains and don't really want non-paying luggage or bike space.  One consequence is that unbooked seats get used for luggage and, unless you like a big dose of f*** off, you ask to sit down at your peril.  It's not as if you'll find the train manager.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: yorkie on October 22, 2018, 02:02:03 pm
Are you sure they are going in the middle? One end of the 153s has the same cab as a 155 so shouldn't have any problems with fitting kit that end I wouldn't have thought. the 156s currently on the line have similar cabs. The tiny cab is only at the converted end.

When I was in Lairg last week the hotel owner (who was also on the local tourist group) thought they were getting some class 153s to add to their trains on the Far North line. I would be surprised if they put a 153 in the middle of a 158, it would screw the air-con in the other two carriages up more than normal, if nothing else.
Aye, it's going in the middle. Mainly so Scotrail don't need to obtain any more RETB (signalling system) sets, which are in extremely short supply! The 153s will be shunted in and out as required for summer and winter usage at the depot, so drivers won't need traction knowledge (other than fault finding/evacuation methods) on the 153s (other than a couple of drivers at the main depot in Glasgow).

(There is sufficient difference between the BR/Leyland class 155/153 big cab and the Metro-Cammell class 156 cab for the conversion course to last several days, if not longer. Driver training doesn't just cover "This makes it go and this makes it stop", there's also fault finding and location of circuit breakers and fire extinguishers, etc. Plus, if a driver doesn't drive that type of stock for more than 6 months, they have to start again from scratch! The same applies for route knowledge, incidentally!)

There is a plan for them on the Far North Line eventually (if they work out on the WHL and some more are available in "not too knackered" condition). The air-con shouldn't be a problem, as only the saloon is a/c on a 158, not the vestibule - from past experience riding in the vestibule of EMT and Northern class 158s in summer.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: mattc on October 22, 2018, 02:08:17 pm
The problem is that too many people are using too few trains on a network full to capacity.
But they're the network isn't full to capacity at the weekends. There just isn't enough space supplied by the operators (as my post above demonstrates).

The Friday morning X-COuntry train I took was fine. Bike reservation, everything worked fine. A few spare seats, not loads.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: mattc on October 22, 2018, 02:09:41 pm
I wouldn't object to paying something for taking a non-folding bike on a train, provided the actual bike carrying service and capacity offered was half decent and easily book-able (i.e.  not like now...), and the charge fair (e.g.  more for intercity routes, less for local routes). Think in France it's 10 Euros to take a bike on the TGV and other mainline trains, which seems reasonable, though we did once find the bike space completely full of luggage :-(
Yup, totally agree.

The current system is just stoopid. Created by commitee, no doubt!
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Wowbagger on October 22, 2018, 02:17:41 pm
You cannot take bikes on some of the TGVs and those that you can are very short of space. Quite often, in France and Germany you have to catch a slower train which then does allow bike spaces.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 22, 2018, 02:31:48 pm
The problem is that too many people are using too few trains on a network full to capacity.
But they're not full to capacity at the weekends. There just isn't enough space supplied by the operators (as my post above demonstrates).

The Friday morning X-COuntry train I took was fine. Bike reservation, everything worked fine.
I don't know about XC or whoever runs the Nottingham-Matlock service, but one of the problems faced by GWR is lack of drivers, particularly at weekends.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: SA_SA_SA_SA on October 22, 2018, 06:09:00 pm
Interesting that they (the 153 cycle carriages) must go in the middle rather than being tacked on the end as necessary due to RETB conversion issues... but
if you extend the idea to new builds (eg for IEP), a tackable-onable cycle/luggage van is surely useful? If it could be styled/painted to match any modern DMU/EMU/bi/tri-mode then surely useful.

On a different note, surely it would make sense to standardise cab designs more?
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: rogerzilla on October 22, 2018, 06:13:07 pm
I'm going to grink them tonight, with photos of the nonfunctioning reservation display and surfboard interlopers, and tell them that they run a Bad Railway.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Kim on October 22, 2018, 06:15:07 pm
Nothing against the use of the space for surfboards - it seemed to be something that GWR were keen on when they specified the trains - but surely they should be booked in as bicycles.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: toontra on October 22, 2018, 06:48:03 pm
Nothing against the use of the space for surfboards - it seemed to be something that GWR were keen on when they specified the trains - but surely they should be booked in as bicycles.

Indeed, certainly most airlines put similar restrictions on bikes and other bulky sports equipment.

Can't help but think that surfboards make better propaganda for GWR ("get away to the Cornish riviera") than pesky old cyclists.

Still no response from GWR CR - no surprise there.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: yorkie on October 23, 2018, 03:12:44 pm
Interesting that they (the 153 cycle carriages) must go in the middle rather than being tacked on the end as necessary due to RETB conversion issues... but
if you extend the idea to new builds (eg for IEP), a tackable-onable cycle/luggage van is surely useful? If it could be styled/painted to match any modern DMU/EMU/bi/tri-mode then surely useful.

On a different note, surely it would make sense to standardise cab designs more?

I wouldn't mind a universal "tackable-onable cycle/luggage van" at all, to be honest, but I think the chances of getting one this side of the next millennium are pretty slim!!

As far as standardising cab design is concerned, the big problem is which one do you go with? CAF, Stadler, Bombadier, Alstom, Siemens...

...and that's before you take into account that EMUs and DMUs are generally different and whether you have a corridor connection on the front or not...


The only really close to "standardised" cab design in recent years is the one CAF are using on the class 195 DMU and class 331 EMU for Northern. The only difference between the cabs is 2 buttons - on the DMU they start and stop the engines, on the EMU they raise and lower the pantograph. Simples!!
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: jiberjaber on October 23, 2018, 03:18:00 pm
Meanwhile on Virgin West Coast.... Conveniently in the same car as the bike storage!(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20181023/6d37d178d0a468d4782bf246f218a9e5.jpg)
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: rafletcher on October 23, 2018, 03:18:38 pm
I wouldn't mind a universal "tackable-onable cycle/luggage van" at all, to be honest, but I think the chances of getting one this side of the next millennium are pretty slim!!


You mean like the "Guards van" we had on Southern about, oooh, 30 years ago?
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: yorkie on October 23, 2018, 03:24:52 pm
That's the one!!

We used to have them on trains up here as well, but they don't fit into the "pack in as many seats as possible to make a bigger profit" philosophy as employed by the privatised train operators!
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: yorkie on October 23, 2018, 03:29:38 pm
Meanwhile on Virgin West Coast.... Conveniently in the same car as the bike storage!(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20181023/6d37d178d0a468d4782bf246f218a9e5.jpg)
Whereas on the East Coast, if it's an HST where the bike space is in coach A, you'll get a seat reservation in coach F and if it's an electric Mk IV set where the bike space is in coach P, you'll get a seat reservation in coach C!
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: jiberjaber on October 23, 2018, 03:55:11 pm
Yep, my experience back from Edinburgh was I had to wait in first class to be close to the bike to get it off in Darlington... Seat was loads of carriages away from that, but can't remember which one it was.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Canardly on October 23, 2018, 04:01:33 pm
Ah passengers instead of customers now that's novel.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Kim on October 23, 2018, 05:05:22 pm
Meanwhile on Virgin West Coast.... Conveniently in the same car as the bike storage!(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20181023/6d37d178d0a468d4782bf246f218a9e5.jpg)

It doesn't have the intelligence to give you that seat on your seat reservation, thobut.  (Top tip:  Book the quiet coach, then your reserved seat is also in Coach A)
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Phil W on October 23, 2018, 05:41:48 pm
We found that out last week when a guard told us about the seats reserved for cyclists. Used them on our return trip and it made collecting the bikes at the end much less stressful.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: jiberjaber on October 23, 2018, 06:55:24 pm
Meanwhile on Virgin West Coast.... Conveniently in the same car as the bike storage!(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20181023/6d37d178d0a468d4782bf246f218a9e5.jpg)

It doesn't have the intelligence to give you that seat on your seat reservation, thobut.  (Top tip:  Book the quiet coach, then your reserved seat is also in Coach A)

It's Half-term, the quiet coach was not living up to expectations in either direction to Mordor!
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 23, 2018, 10:49:50 pm
Meanwhile on Virgin West Coast.... Conveniently in the same car as the bike storage!(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20181023/6d37d178d0a468d4782bf246f218a9e5.jpg)
Whereas on the East Coast, if it's an HST where the bike space is in coach A, you'll get a seat reservation in coach F and if it's an electric Mk IV set where the bike space is in coach P, you'll get a seat reservation in coach C!
Some booking engines will let you choose your seat.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: yorkie on October 23, 2018, 11:23:29 pm
Meanwhile on Virgin West Coast.... Conveniently in the same car as the bike storage!(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20181023/6d37d178d0a468d4782bf246f218a9e5.jpg)
Whereas on the East Coast, if it's an HST where the bike space is in coach A, you'll get a seat reservation in coach F and if it's an electric Mk IV set where the bike space is in coach P, you'll get a seat reservation in coach C!
Some booking engines will let you choose your seat.
East Coast will let you choose your seat on one of their services, but *still* haven't re-enabled the bike reservation facility on their website, whereas you can book a bike on Scotrail's website (my current personal preference), but you can't choose your seat on an East Coast train!

Oh for a joined up railway industry, like what we used to have!
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: SA_SA_SA_SA on October 26, 2018, 03:54:42 pm
 (https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20181018/c01491e2caf5322a26b8c7c12b4f8d42.jpg)
Given the awkwardness of the above style, the possible lack of a guard/conductor(ess) * to enforce bookings, rendering an actual booking of less value, I wonder if fold away seats are better: at least one can wheel ones bike on.



*I refuse to use the modern obtuse terms :)
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 26, 2018, 03:59:57 pm
I prefer the fold away seats. But I've most often used them getting on at the train's departure, so the seats aren't yet occupied as seats. Even then they can get quite busy with bikes, but they do cope better with overloading than hooks. Similarly the wheel-benders-in-the-corridor style of cycle space copes fairly well with holding more than its supposed number of bikes. None of them are much good for trikes or longer than average cycles (tandems, recumbents, trailers,... )
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: toontra on October 26, 2018, 04:29:36 pm
There's a telly documentary series about the runnings of Paddington station at the moment and the last episode had 2 cyclists turn up on the platform, with pre-booked reservations, only to find all 4 of the spaces on the Class 800 were full.  After a bit of "negotiation" with a member of staff they just wheeled their bikes on a regular carriage anyway!
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: mattc on October 26, 2018, 08:17:01 pm
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20181018/c01491e2caf5322a26b8c7c12b4f8d42.jpg)
SHut that door - those poor bikes will catch a chill!
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: LateStarter on October 27, 2018, 12:49:20 am
And I always thought the UK was such a civilised place, seems to have gone downhill in the last 63 years

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QPkT0paGEnQ (British Transport Cyclists Special 1955), those were the days?
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 12, 2018, 12:31:02 pm
GWR staff memo:
Quote
New labels for quiet carriages and bike storage have been agreed and will be fitted retrosepctively to our IET fleet, making it clearer where they should travel and helping colleagues give accurate information.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: rogerzilla on November 12, 2018, 12:41:32 pm
I got a pointless response from GWR customer services.

Quote
Thank you for getting in touch with us. I was sorry to hear that whilst you were experiencing difficulties with your bike reservation no staff were available to help.

 

We know how important excellent customer service is. And we work very hard to make sure all of our staff are professional, helpful and friendly – and that they make every journey a great one. So it’s always disappointing to hear when a customer is unhappy with one of our team.

 

We take complaints like yours very seriously and investigate each one thoroughly.

 

Bike space

Unfortunately, bike reservations although recommended for travel are not always guaranteed. We’re sorry that this has caused you inconvenience and negatively impacted your journey with us. We do not offer compensation in this circumstance however I can offer you reassurance that your complaint with regards to boarding time, bike storage facilities on the new IET service and your preference of the old bike storage facilities have all been logged.

 

What we’ll do next

We will pass the details of your complaints on to the manager of that service; they will investigate this further and speak to the members of staff concerned and consider your feedback when making improvements in the future.

Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: toontra on November 12, 2018, 01:05:29 pm
At least you got a reply! I'm still waiting after several weeks. Perhaps my questions were too difficult!


Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 12, 2018, 03:30:16 pm
Quote
Unfortunately, bike reservations although recommended for travel are not always guaranteed.
They're not just recommended, they're compulsory on an IET. If a reservation can't reserve a space, it's pointless for train crew as well as passengers.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: rogerzilla on November 12, 2018, 03:32:49 pm
I don't think she (Tabitha at GWR) read the email.  She saw something about bike space, then cut and pasted a stock response.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Kim on November 12, 2018, 03:47:03 pm
It's customer services.  Their job is to deal with the small subset of problems (chiefly information and ticketing) that they can actually help you with, and fob you off with nicey-nicey for anything else.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: orienteer on November 12, 2018, 04:52:33 pm
Most Customer Service departments are just a brick wall to bash your head against, protecting the guilty.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: CommuteTooFar on November 12, 2018, 10:27:31 pm
Last winter before retirement I had a cold I could not shift (one of my reasons for retiring).  Given that I am likely to get bronchial infections I decided to commute by train and bike for a few weeks that winter.

Problems
1. We, the regular commuters from Cardiff westward,  were warned a year earlier by a friendly guard that from next week bicycle reservations are required.  So the next day we all had reservations and another guard told us Well done.  Then the bike reservations were never checked again so we stopped annoying the ticketing staff. Until one day shortly before the first class 800 turned up only two of us were waiting a hst turned up.  Surprisingly no bicycles were taken off the train, it would normally be a full load. A jobsworth guard demands we have reservation and refuses to let our bikes on to the empty bike storage area.

2. The ticketing changes we start getting reservations with carriage assignments b00, b99, h00, or h99. HSTs were still turning up.  The first class 800 turns up we find our place and encounter the bike hangers in the cupboard.  I find it easy to put my bike in.  A small lady cyclist was not strong enough to put her bike onto the top hook so I helped.  A friend with a mountain bike initially had problems but he developed some advanced twisting technique and had not more problems.  It was always awkward for me because I have slightly wide flat handlebars on my commuting bike.

3. Over the next few weeks we were occasionally treated to a light display by the seat reservations flashing different colours.  Then one morning I get on and to my amazement the on train reservation systems was fully working. The bike box said "Reserved to Bridgend". As I got off the bike box said not reserved, I was impressed.  The next day I go to to get my new ticket.  There is no carriage number on the bike reservation. I am not impressed. At Cardiff the regular westward bound commuters spread our selves out and it mostly works.  Irregular cycle travellers have not got a clue where to go. They usually ended up following one of us. So too many want to get on at the same place.

4. There are two few reservations available.  GWR decided only to offer 4 places on an a double five set. In coach b at the c end and coach h at the j end. We all know that there are 4 cabinets for bikes. Either side but not the central coach. So one Saturday I go to get reservations from Jane at Radyr station, and I am told that there are no reservations left for that train.  So that morning instead of catching my usual train in I ride into town and get on the slightly earlier ATW service (no reservation needed).  There were a couple of cyclist already on the train.  The guard comes to inspect the tickets and they show him their reservation for the train I would normally used. He said the reservation were not needed on ATW services. I thought about killing them. The next day I tell a fellow regular commuter.  She says she was the only one yesterday there was room everywhere.

5. As mentioned above the enclosing cabinets make it very hard for slightly unusual bikes.  One morning I got on and there was an e-bike with panniers still attached. No way I could put my bike in next to it.  When the guard came I showed that I had a reservation. He comments that he has not found the owner of that thing who does not have a reservation because only one person had a reservation this morning (me).

6.  There are no indications outside the carriage to indicate that there is a possibility of bike storage. One evening when travelling without my bike, imagine that. I had to redirect a cyclist who thought there would be bike storage near every door.

7. The cabinets must go,  The bike hooks would be much easier with out the inside wall.  The class 158 trains used to have a thin lockable compartment for parcels that was reused as a bike slot. Allegedly for two bikes but one was awkward.  The wall was removed and it became easy to fit two bicycles. In fact it was quite normal from bridgend to cardiff at 5:32 ?? for there to be four bikes there without obstructing the gang way.  I have seen twice as many but that upsets the guard because the gangways must be kept clear.







       
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: toontra on December 18, 2018, 11:35:29 am
Got on a Hitachi yesterday mid-way between Weston-Super-Mare and London only to find the "bike" locker completely crammed with suitcases and another cyclist already standing with his bike in the vestibule aisle.  We both had to stand there for the remainder of the trip to London. 

There was no-where else to put the suitcases (I looked).  It was almost impossible for people to get past us up and down the aisle.

What a farce.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: toontra on February 07, 2019, 03:53:37 pm
This is really pissing me off now.  My mother is in hospital and I'm making weekly trips to from Paddington to Bath, which entails a return trip on Sunday evening.

Bath Spa station is generally packed at that time.  As the train pulls in I have absolutely no idea where the bike cubicles are (no markings on the outer carriage); as they run in flexible configurations of 8, 9 and 10 carriages with digital display ID's, the physical position or identifying letter gives no clue

Asking station staff is no help, so I have to wait in the middle of the platform & then move along each carriage, actually getting into each doorway as I go (the cubicle isn't visible from the platform if it's on the near side), all the time waiting until others have got on, trying to push through the crowds until I eventually find the right place (usually to find it filled with baggage but that's another story).

The whole process is incredibly stressful and actually quite dangerous when the platform is crowded

You really would think that the cretins who designed this poxy system would at least have the courtesy to put some sort of sign by the doors nearest the cubicles.   
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: grams on February 07, 2019, 04:18:03 pm
Trains ordered by the government on a very strict contract for which stickers would require renegotiation, as I understand it. Yes really.

According to the seat plan, the bike space is:
- On all trains in coach B at the end nearest coach C.
- On 10 car trains (2x5), the second space is in coach H at the end nearest coach J.
- On 9 car trains (one unit), the second space is in coach J at the end nearest coach H.

(Coach A is the standard class end, and usually at the Bristol end of the train)

https://www.gwr.com/~/media/gwr/pdfs/seating-plans/intercity-express-train-5-carriage-seating-plan.pdf?la=en

https://www.gwr.com/~/media/gwr/pdfs/seating-plans/intercity-express-train-9-carriage-seating-plan.pdf?la=en
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 07, 2019, 04:35:06 pm
Trains ordered by the government on a very strict contract for which stickers would require renegotiation, as I understand it. Yes really.
I've heard similar. It's in the contract with Hitach, but I can't remember or even imagine why.

Quote
(Coach A is the standard class end, and usually at the Bristol end of the train)
I thought both ends were standard class now? At least I hear moans from first-class travellers that they never know which carriage is going to be first class, but it's somewhere in the middle.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Jaded on February 07, 2019, 04:47:37 pm
On our trains 1st class is at one end or the other. It used to be almost always the Paddington end, now it is pretty variable.

Something I saw today at Didcot might be the way out of this.

Electronic hi-res matrix display signs on platforms giving the usual information about where the train is going to, if it is on time etc. but also a digital map of the train showing bicycles and 1st Class. I’ll try and get a photo tomorrow when I pass back through Didcot...
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 07, 2019, 04:53:08 pm
I thought it was still HSTs to Cheltenham Spa?
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Jaded on February 07, 2019, 04:54:24 pm
No, it is shiney ones with hard seats.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 07, 2019, 04:55:10 pm
I like the hard seats! Except they're always dirty.  :(
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: grams on February 07, 2019, 04:57:38 pm
I thought both ends were standard class now? At least I hear moans from first-class travellers that they never know which carriage is going to be first class, but it's somewhere in the middle.

If it's a 10 coach train then it's 2x5s, so you get Standard-First then Standard-First again.

HSTs will all be gone from Paddington trains by May. I think they've nearly all gone already from the via Didcot routes.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Jaded on February 07, 2019, 05:00:48 pm
I like the hard seats! Except they're always dirty.  :(

And not leather  >:(
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: toontra on February 07, 2019, 05:17:39 pm
Thanks all.  That clears things up a bit.

Grams, will a coach marked B always be a coach B?  I ask because I (probably wrongly) assumed that they could swap the names (letters) of coaches around willy-nilly with the digital displays.

If I at least know that coach B will always be coach B and therefore have a bike cubicle then that will make things a bit less confusing.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Joe.B on February 07, 2019, 05:38:27 pm
The introduction of these trains onto the East-Coast Mainline has (thankfully) been delayed so the excellent HST's and Electra's are still running.  With everything I'm hearing about the 800's I'm dreading them on my regular route.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 07, 2019, 05:42:18 pm
I'd say they're mostly an improvement on the HSTs unless you want to take a bike on them. Or like clean seats (or rather, seats which don't show the dirt). 
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Kim on February 07, 2019, 05:43:48 pm
I quite like HSTs, but I'm not in GWR-land.  The ones you get on Crosscountry are an alternative to Voyagers, which makes them more comfortable, better at fitting bikes, nicer toilets, and less radio-jammy.  The only issue is that you forget that Crosscountry have HSTs, so they catch you unaware and you follow completely the wrong bike space procedure.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 07, 2019, 05:45:51 pm
HSTs are wonderful, especially considering they were designed over 40 years ago. But they're not electric. Perhaps we should have had an elecrification program coupled with electrified HSTs...
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Kim on February 07, 2019, 05:46:40 pm
Well yes, running trains on diseasel in a country this size is just daft.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: toontra on February 07, 2019, 06:21:22 pm
The electrification of the London-Bristol line has turned into a ludicrously expensive farce.  Doesn't really bode well for further electrification, let alone HS2.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: grams on February 07, 2019, 06:42:37 pm
I'm not sure if they can change the letters around - I'd hope they don't. But they definitely *can't* change the coaches themselves around willy nilly though, so it'll always be the second coach from the standard class cab end.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: toontra on February 07, 2019, 06:43:30 pm
I'm not sure if they can change the letters around - I'd hope they don't. But they definitely *can't* change the coaches themselves around willy nilly though, so it'll always be the second coach from the standard class cab end.

Ah, OK.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: mattc on February 07, 2019, 08:58:11 pm
On our trains 1st class is at one end or the other. It used to be almost always the Paddington end, now it is pretty variable.

Something I saw today at Didcot might be the way out of this.

Electronic hi-res matrix display signs on platforms giving the usual information about where the train is going to, if it is on time etc. but also a digital map of the train showing bicycles and 1st Class. I’ll try and get a photo tomorrow when I pass back through Didcot...
Doesn't everywhere have this?

You poor provincials ...
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Jaded on February 07, 2019, 11:37:13 pm
On our trains 1st class is at one end or the other. It used to be almost always the Paddington end, now it is pretty variable.

Something I saw today at Didcot might be the way out of this.

Electronic hi-res matrix display signs on platforms giving the usual information about where the train is going to, if it is on time etc. but also a digital map of the train showing bicycles and 1st Class. I’ll try and get a photo tomorrow when I pass back through Didcot...
Doesn't everywhere have this?

You poor provincials ...

I guess if you only go on day excursions from Didcot to Didcot you might think this.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Jaded on February 08, 2019, 10:20:42 am
An update:

As far as I can see, there is only one set of these new signs at Didcot, and it is at the London end. For some reason First Class was at the wrong end so I couldn’t get a photo.

Maybe when mattc is next there with his bridge camera, anorak and sandwich box he can get a photo for us!
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Butterfly on February 08, 2019, 11:19:09 am
I'd say they're mostly an improvement on the HSTs unless you want to take a bike on them. Or like clean seats (or rather, seats which don't show the dirt).

I like seats that I can see the dirt. And the unidentified liquid. I don't mind sitting on a seat that someone has weed on, but I'd like the chance to dry it first so it doesn't sink into my trousers  :sick:
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Rod Marton on February 08, 2019, 11:55:36 am
Trains ordered by the government on a very strict contract for which stickers would require renegotiation, as I understand it. Yes really.

According to the seat plan, the bike space is:
- On all trains in coach B at the end nearest coach C.
- On 10 car trains (2x5), the second space is in coach H at the end nearest coach J.
- On 9 car trains (one unit), the second space is in coach J at the end nearest coach H.

(Coach A is the standard class end, and usually at the Bristol end of the train)


https://www.gwr.com/~/media/gwr/pdfs/seating-plans/intercity-express-train-5-carriage-seating-plan.pdf?la=en

https://www.gwr.com/~/media/gwr/pdfs/seating-plans/intercity-express-train-9-carriage-seating-plan.pdf?la=en

There are a few more spaces than this, but GWR don't actually admit to them existing. Cycle spaces double as luggage spaces and I think these are meant to be primarily for luggage (despite having hooks and the internal bicycle sign). So:

On five car trains, in the carriage either side of the middle one (at the end closer to the middle). One compartment in each.
Ten car trains comprise two five car trains connected together, so as above.
On nine car trains, two compartments in coach J (the one next to the first class carriages), at the end nearer the middle of the train. One compartment in coach B (other end of train), end nearer the middle of the train. One compartment in coach F (can't remember which end). And there is also a compartment in the first class area, though I've not tried this one as my local station has a short platform and I wouldn't be able to get off...

One of the many problems with the design of these trains is that they have tried to cram in as many seats as possible, and so minimised the space available for bikes, luggage, toilets, the vestibule, etc. Of course in rush hour they still run standing room only, so it is all rather pointless. And it just makes it extremely difficult to manoevre your bike into the space.

By the way, don't take too much notice of the reservation system. It's broken.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: toontra on February 08, 2019, 01:20:36 pm
Thanks Rod. It's puzzling why you and grams can explain the bike storage locations to me but GWR CS's weren't (in 3 separate emails and 2 phone calls), whilst station staff just shrug their shoulders if you ask.

Meanwhile, if anyone has any doubt about the problems these cubicles cause, check this out from my last trip:

(https://i.postimg.cc/SnVGcKXn/20190202-132508.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/SnVGcKXn)

I'd got on at Paddington and was the first bike on, so in the inside slot.  I go to get my bike out as we approach Bath Spa and find an extremely heavy and large bike on the outer hook.... with a wooden kitchen stool strapped to the pannier rack!!  It was well and truly wedged in to the cubicle and it took a LOT of grunting, swearing and physical exertion to manhandle this off the hook and find somewhere to prop it before getting mine out.

All the while people are trying to get past through the vestibule.  The owner should consider themselves fortunate I re-hung their bike in a relatively civilised manner and without causing damage to bike or stool!

Just one of the countless miseries to come in future years, no doubt.

Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 08, 2019, 02:49:34 pm
Somewhat outside the design parameters.  :o
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: rogerzilla on February 08, 2019, 08:32:09 pm
GWR bike spaces, sponsored by <insert name of estate car manufacturer>
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 08, 2019, 09:43:51 pm
I'd say they're mostly an improvement on the HSTs unless you want to take a bike on them. Or like clean seats (or rather, seats which don't show the dirt).

I like seats that I can see the dirt. And the unidentified liquid. I don't mind sitting on a seat that someone has weed on, but I'd like the chance to dry it first so it doesn't sink into my trousers  :sick:
Thing is, that's not what they show. What they show is last week's dirt that won't come out. I seem to remember hearing the fabric is being replaced by something darker and a different texture.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: rogerzilla on February 08, 2019, 09:58:37 pm
I always think airport carpet patterns are very clever; they already look as if people have dropped litter all over them.

http://carpetsforairports.com/
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: toontra on February 10, 2019, 06:54:25 pm
An update!

Received this from GWR in response to my 5th grumbling email last week:

Quote
Thank you for your email, regarding the signage for bicycle reservations on our trains.

We are currently waiting for the new signage for our trains, to be delivered to our depots so they can be fitted to the trains. This will include signs for the doors and windows for the carriages that contain bicycle spaces. We are also looking to place signs on the station platforms to indicate where the cycle carriages will be prior to the trains arrival.

And then on Saturday morning I see this on coach H sitting in Paddington:

(https://i.postimg.cc/XJhSJvGV/GWR-signeage.jpg)

The signage  was only on coach H (9-carriage config) - nothing on coach B where I actually hung my bike (had seat reservation for coach B) but it's the start of what I hope wlll be rolled out across the fleet.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 10, 2019, 08:03:42 pm
I'm not sure why they've used three small signs where one big one would be more visible, but it's a start in the right direction.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: mattc on February 13, 2019, 01:08:48 pm
I'm not sure why they've used three small signs where one big one would be more visible, but it's a start in the right direction.
Because normal proper passengers customers might be offended by them
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Ginger Cat on February 14, 2019, 02:56:06 pm
Got to remember that those new cl800 trains are basically a super-commuter train to cater for the Thames Valley commuters and extend the London commuter belt out to Swindon and maybe parts of Bath/Bristol. They are the only "customers" who count judging from the way the new trains are specified is anything to go by.

GWR only seems to like commuters- maybe why their 7-day season ticket between Bristol/Cardiff and Paddington is priced at just under 1.5 times the price of the open return fare- I discovered that when I was doing a project in London a few years back and up there 3 or 4 times some weeks, it's still the same. If I got the right train, there was a restaurant car and I could have a proper cooked brekkie- top notch it was. All gone now- even though it was very popular with the long-distance passengers.

Thankfully I don't have to do that journey any more as I find the cl800 trains are not comfortable after a couple of hours. Give me a HST over the cl800 any day- preferably a XC one as the XC refurb was much better than the GWR one. 

GC
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Kim on February 14, 2019, 03:49:29 pm
Commuters being the only people who count is hardly GWR specific.  Look at any TOC in the country.  Or most other non-freight transport (including, sadly, quite a lot of cycle campaigning).
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 14, 2019, 05:42:37 pm
GWR are exceptional in that 50% of their passengers are leisure travellers, though I'd imagine that's skewed by Devon and Cornwall, perhaps also Weymouth and Bournemouth.

The Class 800s will be replacing HSTs as far west as Swansea and Penzance. Way out of the commuter belt.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: quixoticgeek on February 15, 2019, 02:08:07 am
Commuters being the only people who count is hardly GWR specific.  Look at any TOC in the country.  Or most other non-freight transport (including, sadly, quite a lot of cycle campaigning).

This is recent tho. If you look at the number 1 cycle campaign group for the UK, Sustrans, for decades they seemed to be more about somewhere nice to cycle on a Sunday afternoon, than a viable way of getting from a to b.

Sure it's nice to be able to use decent cycle infrastructure for the Sunday afternoon ride home from the pub lunch. But the reality is, for most people, their most important journey is the one they take too/from work, on Monday through Friday. Infact for many people it's the primary reason they have their car. Replace that journey with a cycle journey, and you take a lot of traffic off the road.

Even if people primarily use a train to get to/from work, they will often drive too the station at one end.

Yes travel is commuter centric, but that's because it's the main source of transport.

J
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: grams on February 15, 2019, 08:27:35 am
Got to remember that those new cl800 trains are basically a super-commuter train to cater for the Thames Valley commuters and extend the London commuter belt out to Swindon and maybe parts of Bath/Bristol. They are the only "customers" who count judging from the way the new trains are specified is anything to go by.

The trains were specified and ordered by the government.

Quote
GWR only seems to like commuters- maybe why their 7-day season ticket between Bristol/Cardiff and Paddington is priced at just under 1.5 times the price of the open return fare

Annual price increases on season tickets are capped by the government, but open return fares aren't. So open return fares have been raised to the highest price the market will bear but season tickets are artificially low.

Again, government policy.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Jaded on February 15, 2019, 08:51:21 am
Yes, but...

Imagine if every passenger had a bicycle. How many trains would you need?

The solution, surely, is to look at ways of reconnecting living and working areas without involving lots of travel.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: quixoticgeek on February 15, 2019, 11:31:25 am
Yes, but...

Imagine if every passenger had a bicycle. How many trains would you need?

The solution, surely, is to look at ways of reconnecting living and working areas without involving lots of travel.

Yes and no.

When bikes become so commonplace they outnumber people, you can take different approaches. Many round these parts who commute by train, will have a bike at each end. Ride to one station, park bike in the underground bikepark with the other 11000, get train to destination, find other bike in the underground bike park among it's 11000 friends, ride to work. This does require you to have 2 bikes but round here you can get a ridable bike for the price of a good set of bolt croppers, bike maintenance is not needed, as it's a Dutch bike, and when it breaks, you dump it in the canal, and get another.

Bromptons are very popular around these parts too.

It's worth noting that until they rebuilt Utrecht Centraal, it was pretty damn hard to cycle up to an entrance. The main pedestrian entrance was through a shopping centre (they *REALLY* don't like you cycling through there DAMHIKT), the main bike routes go straight into the bike parking. For months I cycled through the bus station, did a rapid dismount, and ran up the stairs with my Brompton, until someone pointed out I wasn't allowed to cycle there. I still did it as I couldn't find a better way into the station. The new layout is slightly better for this, but it's still a faff. But then Utrecht centraal, even with it's current "improvements" has some absolute textbook examples of bad design. I often amuse myself while waiting for my train by bitching at the NS social media team about these design flaws...

J
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Rod Marton on February 15, 2019, 12:13:52 pm
Got to remember that those new cl800 trains are basically a super-commuter train to cater for the Thames Valley commuters and extend the London commuter belt out to Swindon and maybe parts of Bath/Bristol. They are the only "customers" who count judging from the way the new trains are specified is anything to go by.

The trains were specified and ordered by the government.

This explains a lot about the design of these trains.

I don't think they could ever be described as "super-commuter" trains, since commuter trains are generally designed to go above 100% occupancy and these certainly aren't - despite the fact that at rush hour they regularly run at >100% occupancy as far as Didcot or Swindon. It looks to me that the aim was simply to shoehorn in as many seats as possible without thought for any other space requirements. As such I can only think that they were designed by someone with no concept of running a railway, something which is certainly true of the government.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Kim on February 15, 2019, 12:26:04 pm
Commuters being the only people who count is hardly GWR specific.  Look at any TOC in the country.  Or most other non-freight transport (including, sadly, quite a lot of cycle campaigning).

This is recent tho. If you look at the number 1 cycle campaign group for the UK, Sustrans, for decades they seemed to be more about somewhere nice to cycle on a Sunday afternoon, than a viable way of getting from a to b.

Sure it's nice to be able to use decent cycle infrastructure for the Sunday afternoon ride home from the pub lunch. But the reality is, for most people, their most important journey is the one they take too/from work, on Monday through Friday. Infact for many people it's the primary reason they have their car. Replace that journey with a cycle journey, and you take a lot of traffic off the road.

Even if people primarily use a train to get to/from work, they will often drive too the station at one end.

Yes travel is commuter centric, but that's because it's the main source of transport.

Sure, but of the shorter journeys that are eminently cycleable, a greater proportion are non-radial.  Think children travelling to/from school (with or without parents), shopping, medical appointments and such.  They're also the journeys that are less well-served by public transport, which is usually radial to cope with the commuter traffic, and a greater proportion of people with protected characteristics (women, the elderly, disabled people).

Segregated cycle 'superhighways' in and out of the city centre of course, but we also need to facilitate cycling for more local journeys (including to radial public transport for people who don't want to cycle all the way into the city centre).  That can sometimes be as simple as providing somewhere sensible to lock your bike, or a safe crossing of a busy road.  A lot of it's going to be things like filtered permeability in residential areas, and wankpanzer-exclusion-zones around schools.

You could greatly improve the roads for everyone by eliminating the 'school run' drivers.


(I'd dispute that Sustrans were the number 1 cycle campaign group, though they might be the most visible.  That's probably We are Cycling UK, for all their faults.  Unless you count Cyclenation, or even LCC on its own (I think most of the effective campaigning has been at a local level).)
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: quixoticgeek on February 15, 2019, 12:34:04 pm
The trains were specified and ordered by the government.

This explains a lot about the design of these trains.

Here's a question for you. How many railway customers are there in the UK ?

Sure, but of the shorter journeys that are eminently cycleable, a greater proportion are non-radial.  Think children travelling to/from school (with or without parents), shopping, medical appointments and such.  They're also the journeys that are less well-served by public transport, which is usually radial to cope with the commuter traffic, and a greater proportion of people with protected characteristics (women, the elderly, disabled people).

Agreed, but the question is how many of them are there? When you look at it, commuting is the largest share of road use, regardless of transport method. If you shift those commuters from cars to bikes, then you make it safer for the other journeys. That crossing of the busy main road you mention below. If you take the cars off that busy main road, it becomes an easier engineering argument.

Quote
Segregated cycle 'superhighways' in and out of the city centre of course, but we also need to facilitate cycling for more local journeys (including to radial public transport).  That can sometimes be as simple as providing somewhere sensible to lock your bike, or a safe crossing of a busy road.  A lot of it's going to be things like filtered permeability in residential areas, and wankpanzer-exclusion-zones around schools.

The thing there, is if you look at it, most towns/cities are radial, big main roads heading in, and then smaller side streets filling it in (Canterbury is almost text book example of this). You can put the segregated cycle routes on all those arteries, and then you make everything between the spokes a 30kph limit, mostly one way streets, with big "uitgezonder fietsen" signs (or what ever it is in local), and suddenly your cycle infrastructure forms itself. Those rat runs that people took in their wankpanzer, they become cycle rat runs, everyone is happy.

Reduce, reuse, recycle.

J
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 15, 2019, 05:19:59 pm
Got to remember that those new cl800 trains are basically a super-commuter train to cater for the Thames Valley commuters and extend the London commuter belt out to Swindon and maybe parts of Bath/Bristol. They are the only "customers" who count judging from the way the new trains are specified is anything to go by.

The trains were specified and ordered by the government.
The basic design is by Hitachi, who call it the AT300 and sell it and various derivatives in various countries where it gets given various names. Class 800 is the classification in UK according to some scheme dating back to the days of BR. Some were ordered by the DfT directly, some by GWR and some by Virgin when they were running the ECML. They have slightly different specifications and are subdivided into 800, 801, 802 and 803. Most or maybe all of ones running on the GWML are 802. Not sure which sub-class are the pure electrics but the East Coast ones are branded Azuma, apparently Japanese for East. So the government input into their specification is certainly there but varies.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Ginger Cat on February 15, 2019, 05:56:24 pm
Aye, like most trains these days they are pretty much a standard platform with the traction package and interior layout and name specified by the buyer.... plus the usual costly GB options to make it fit our Big Heritage Train Set with it's ickle loading gauge. The DfT does not have a good record of procurement- plus one gets the impression there's no real push-back from the industry either- far too much PR and far to little of looking at the practicalities, so when reality strikes, it's all about poor compromises. (I was one of those raising concerns with the GW Electrification programme back in 2012 or so when the plans all looked too good to be true and genuine engineering concerns being raised got overly-glib answers......).

There was a channel 4 documentary recently about HS2 and whether the money would be better spent in the North of England on Northern Powerhouse. What struck me was one of the commuters they followed- taking over an hour to travel 6 miles to work by train.

I thought- "what is stopping her from cycling?"

It's a pity that wasn't explored because a combination of decent cycle routes and secure cycle parking at workplaces, even some subsidised lekky bikes and charging points (which makes it really easy for most people to ride 6 miles in half an hour even uphill- and without getting sweaty enough to need a shower) would probably be a lot cheaper than providing more and longer trains just at commuter time (which railways have-understandably- never been keen on as they only get used in peak time). Cheaper still than that the HS2 white elephant.

Back in the days when I cycled to work (10 miles each way), I did so partly because it was both quicker and cheaper than rail or car/bus. I was lucky in that I was able to take my bike into my office- it was a place where bikes were unofficially tolerated near workspaces and a so it was that surprising  number of people cycled to work. But not long after I was made redundant from there, the new regime that came in banned bikes from near the buildings (looked messy apparently) and relegated them to a "cycle shelter" beyond the end of the main car-park- this was a place without any stands to lock up to (it was an old half-covered bus shelter)- and strangely enough very few people cycle in now.

I think there's a wider issue in that govt needs a wider look at transport and what it is for. Car and train commuting could be reduced by better cycling provision AND better introduction of broadband + incentives for employers for working from home at least some days. Then- there's an argument for light rail metro/tram-trains to sweep up a bunch more. More freight by rail too.

Which then leaves long distance trains to be designed for long distance travel comfort! Decent trains for long-distance with proper room for stuff like bikes, tandems etc (rather than sets geared for commuters then as an afterword foisted on the people going further). Proper on-board catering. But it's all a dream now the HSTs are gone.

GC

Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 15, 2019, 06:11:54 pm
I don't think we have a sharp distinction between short- and long-distance trains in UK. Talking of commuter trains in this context is slightly misleading due to long-distance commuting as well as short-distance trips for other purposes (shopping or whatever).

Proper on-board catering.
That's a whole other can of helminths. One passenger's proper sit-down buffet car is another's stolen bag. Not to mention utilisation of space, accessibility, etc.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Ginger Cat on February 15, 2019, 06:51:54 pm
Ah but the restaurant car on some of the HST's between Swansea-Padd and Bristol-Padd was a Thing Of Extremely Goodness-ness (and always well patronised).

Gone now the HST are replaced by cl800's.

Why not have the option- the buffet car AND a trolley?

You can't get a proper cup of tea from a trolley as the water in the flasks isn't hot enough. Nor do trolleys supply that staple of the morning long journey the Bacon Butty. And I expect that after a year or two the GWR cl800 catering trolleys will go the way of catering trolley provision on XC Turbostar and Voyager routes (sometimes it happens, mostly not, always unpredictable- best take a flask).

The irony is that if GWR were proper capitalists they'd have put a Greggs franchise on their trains and we could then at least have had the option of a sensibly-priced bacon butty with a Proper Cup Of Tea  ;D.

GC
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 15, 2019, 07:15:53 pm
You can't get a proper cup of tea from a trolley as the water in the flasks isn't hot enough.
This is sadly true.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: rogerzilla on February 15, 2019, 08:08:49 pm
And if the train breaks down, seasoned travellers can no longer rush to the buffet car to clean it out of any alcoholic beverages.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: yorkie on February 15, 2019, 08:22:29 pm


The basic design is by Hitachi, who call it the AT300 and sell it and various derivatives in various countries where it gets given various names. Class 800 is the classification in UK according to some scheme dating back to the days of BR. Some were ordered by the DfT directly, some by GWR and some by Virgin when they were running the ECML. They have slightly different specifications and are subdivided into 800, 801, 802 and 803. Most or maybe all of ones running on the GWML are 802. Not sure which sub-class are the pure electrics but the East Coast ones are branded Azuma, apparently Japanese for East. So the government input into their specification is certainly there but varies.

Class 800 are the DfT ordered bi-mode trains for gWr and LNER, with a restriction on the power output to make them cheaper!

Class 801 are the pure electric variant of the above ordered by the DfT for LNER (some were ordered for gWr, but were converted to class 800 when the electrification to Bristol was cancelled)

Class 802 are the more powerful bi-mode ordered by First Group with no DfT input, initially only for gWr, but that order was increased to get extra trains for Transpennine Express and Hull Trains. (Both being First Group subsidiaries!)

The 802s have larger fuel tanks as well as more powerful engines, as they are designed to run further away from the wires into Devon and Cornwall.

gWr have 57 class 800 and 36 class 802, pretty much all of which have been delivered.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: grams on February 15, 2019, 08:41:52 pm
The basic design is by Hitachi, who call it the AT300 and sell it and various derivatives in various countries where it gets given various names.

Nope. The design was the result of a long and very expensive negotiation/design process between the government and Hitachi. There was no such thing as an "AT300" before this - that name was invented afterwards to sell the design to other companies.

I'm sure it uses aspects of existing Hitachi products, but fundamentally it's a bespoke design invented to win an extremely micromanaged British government contract.

Quote
Some were ordered by the DfT directly, some by GWR and some by Virgin when they were running the ECML.

No, this is not accurate. The government decided to procure new trains for both the East Coast and Great Western franchises itself and wrote a very detailed specification. Hitachi won the contract in 2009 and solid orders were placed by the government in 2012 and 2013. Virgin East Coast did not come into existence until 2015, and a condition of the franchise was using the new trains the government had already ordered.

It is true First Great Western nominally ordered the second and third batches of trains themselves, but for various reasons these were required to be basically identical* to the government-procured ones. And of course all train orders by the franchises have to be underwritten and approved by the government.

(* there are some mechanical differences, but the interiors are pretty much the same)
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Jaded on February 15, 2019, 09:06:29 pm
Yes, but...

Imagine if every passenger had a bicycle. How many trains would you need?

The solution, surely, is to look at ways of reconnecting living and working areas without involving lots of travel.

Yes and no.

When bikes become so commonplace they outnumber people, you can take different approaches. Many round these parts who commute by train, will have a bike at each end. Ride to one station, park bike in the underground bikepark with the other 11000, get train to destination, find other bike in the underground bike park among it's 11000 friends, ride to work. This does require you to have 2 bikes but round here you can get a ridable bike for the price of a good set of bolt croppers, bike maintenance is not needed, as it's a Dutch bike, and when it breaks, you dump it in the canal, and get another.

Bromptons are very popular around these parts too.

It's worth noting that until they rebuilt Utrecht Centraal, it was pretty damn hard to cycle up to an entrance. The main pedestrian entrance was through a shopping centre (they *REALLY* don't like you cycling through there DAMHIKT), the main bike routes go straight into the bike parking. For months I cycled through the bus station, did a rapid dismount, and ran up the stairs with my Brompton, until someone pointed out I wasn't allowed to cycle there. I still did it as I couldn't find a better way into the station. The new layout is slightly better for this, but it's still a faff. But then Utrecht centraal, even with it's current "improvements" has some absolute textbook examples of bad design. I often amuse myself while waiting for my train by bitching at the NS social media team about these design flaws...

J

In the context I’m not sure a comparison with the Netherlands is relevant.

The answer to my question is probably in the region of three to four trains where there is one now. I’m not sure I’d be willing to pay what it really costs to transport my bike by train, and providing city centre storage is expensive.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: toontra on February 17, 2019, 06:58:03 pm
I thought I had this figured thanks to gram & others revealing where the bike cubicles are located... but not so.

Got on at Bath this evening.  My seat reservation was for coach C so I got on at coach B at the C end.  Cubicle there, right enough but with 2 bikes already occupying the spaces (neither with a reservation visible and locked together with a D-lock).  Not enough time to get off & get down to the other end (coach J at the H end according to my notes, this being a 9-carriage configuration), so I stood in the vestibule holding the bike with the usual problem of people trying to get past.

The guard comes through at some point and I ask him where there is a spare cubicle space.  He says he'll have a look.  Just before Swindon he comes back and tells me to go to coach F.  Now this puzzles me because coach F has never been mentioned in any discussion about possible bike locations.  Anyway I dismount at Swindon and run down the platform and, sure enough, there is the empty cubicle at the front of coach F.

What I'm wondering is, perhaps there are other, non-advertised, cubicles that can be opened in "emergencies"?

In any case, until your bike reservation is actually linked to a specific space in a cubicle in a named carriage this is going to be an ongoing problem.  It really is pot luck at the moment.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 17, 2019, 07:46:52 pm
Also possibly until reservations mean you've actually got a space reserved.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Kim on February 17, 2019, 08:33:26 pm
If that ever happens.  It may end up like CrossCountry.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 17, 2019, 08:46:53 pm
May? It currently is.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Kim on February 17, 2019, 10:24:42 pm
Needs another wall on the bike compartment and a few bags of rubbish for the full effect.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Butterfly on February 18, 2019, 12:36:30 pm
On an aside note, and because I can't be bothered hunting for a thread: Which booking website lets you book bikes at the same time as tickets at the moment? The ones I used to use don't anymore.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Kim on February 18, 2019, 12:47:44 pm
Fittingly, the GWR one does.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Butterfly on February 18, 2019, 02:22:09 pm
Fittingly, the GWR one does.

Thank you Kim. I knew you'd know  :-*
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: PaulF on February 18, 2019, 02:23:19 pm
Fittingly, the GWR one does.

Was about to say the same thing - I've just booked my tickets for work tomorrow and happened to notice.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: yorkie on February 19, 2019, 01:03:18 pm
Fittingly, the GWR one does.
Also Transpennine Express, which uses the same booking engine (Both being First Group subsidiaries) and Scotrail. It is also possible to make a reservation using the Transpennine Express Android app (not sure about the fruit flavoured derivatives, 'cos I don't have one!)
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: PaulF on February 19, 2019, 01:17:44 pm
And there's an option on the iPhone app (GWR branded) as well, haven't tried to book a bike though....
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Butterfly on February 19, 2019, 02:21:28 pm
Fittingly, the GWR one does.
Also Transpennine Express, which uses the same booking engine (Both being First Group subsidiaries) and Scotrail. It is also possible to make a reservation using the Transpennine Express Android app (not sure about the fruit flavoured derivatives, 'cos I don't have one!)

That's useful, thank you.  :)
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: mattc on February 19, 2019, 03:15:47 pm
Fittingly, the GWR one does.
Well maybe it does ... but it also shows 3 trains in a row , on a Thu evening, with NO TICKETS available. (trains before and after are OK, and you can even get a cheap Single on 1 of them - woohoo!)

meanwhile here https://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/service/timesandfares you can of course buy a variety of tickets on those trains.

(feck knows what fun would await if I got as far as bike reservation.)

A brief glitch? Maybe ... but I find this is Situation Normal on the train sites these days. Now, where is that ryanair brochure ... no, don't be silly, a jet-pack would be safer ...
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: rogerzilla on August 27, 2019, 06:59:16 pm
You cannot get two  bikes with 44cm dropped bars side by side on the hooks.  They must have used those hipster fixies with chopped bars at the design stage.  Modern MTBs stand no chance.

Cross Country trains have the same width space for ONE bike.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 02, 2019, 04:42:45 pm
https://road.cc/content/news/267162-cycling-uk-slams-awful-cycle-storage-gwrs-high-speed-trains
"One of the biggest problems of cycle carriage is the diversity of bikes – a one size fits all solution isn't always possible, but this is a design that would seem to fit only a minority."
 

Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: phil w on October 02, 2019, 05:20:51 pm
Even if you do fit bikes in there you need two people to get the inner bike out as you cannot do that without first removing the outer bike.  Fine if travelling with another. But if on your own try doing that in the time it take for the train to stop, the doors open, and get off, before the train tries to go. All the while being jostled by grumpy passengers standing in the space you need to manuver in, 10 mins before train is due to stop.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: toontra on October 02, 2019, 05:51:57 pm
They are shit. I've been struggling on GWR for 10 months now and soon will be doing so on LNER when they are introduced.

It's not just the design that's at fault but also the implementation.  50% of the time I get on with my (now mandatory) bike reservation only to find the cubicle is filled with suitcases, so have to stand in the vestibule for the whole journey with people trying to squeeze past (including the refreshment trolley).  There is absolutely no monitoring going on.

The brief was clearly to make them as difficult to use as possible to act as a deterrent to cyclists.  Otherwise how the fuck did they pass any evaluation or independent scrutiny.  Were Cycling UK not involved at the consultation stage?  If not, who (from the cycling world) was?
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: phil w on October 02, 2019, 06:00:20 pm
They ought to get their senior management to a station. Have two cyclists turn up,with bikes in touring mode, or even just typical bikes. Then film the whole lot as the managers try and get the bikes in the spaces.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: toontra on October 02, 2019, 06:06:25 pm
They ought to get their senior management to a station. Have two cyclists turn up,with bikes in touring mode, or even just typical bikes. Then film the whole lot as the managers try and get the bikes in the spaces.

They ought to have done that before they commissioned the damn things!
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Kim on October 02, 2019, 06:19:16 pm
Were Cycling UK not involved at the consultation stage?  If not, who (from the cycling world) was?

I was.  See my earlier posts in the thread.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: zigzag on October 02, 2019, 06:24:31 pm
if i had to travel frequently on such trains, either a folding bike or two hack bikes for each end of the journey would make sense. their current implementation is a joke (and not a funny one).
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: toontra on October 02, 2019, 06:42:21 pm
Were Cycling UK not involved at the consultation stage?  If not, who (from the cycling world) was?

I was.  See my earlier posts in the thread.

Presumably the consultation was a post-design tick-box exercise and suggestions/criticisms given were ignored.  I can't imagine any cyclist would have seen this design as acceptable.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Kim on October 02, 2019, 06:49:24 pm
Were Cycling UK not involved at the consultation stage?  If not, who (from the cycling world) was?

I was.  See my earlier posts in the thread.

Presumably the consultation was a post-design tick-box exercise and suggestions/criticisms given were ignored.  I can't imagine any cyclist would have seen this design as acceptable.

As I say, they listened, but the consultation was too far down the design stage to do anything about the fundamental bikes-hanging-in-a-cupboard problem.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 02, 2019, 06:51:24 pm
Despite living in the heart of GWR land, I've never taken a bike on one of these trains. So far I've managed to find local train alternatives for any journeys when I wanted to put a bike on a train, apart from one recent occasion when I missed the local and ended up on a Cross Country Voyager. Luckily, there were no other bikes on it. I've been on those services when there have been about five bikes for the three spaces and 8 carriage-loads of passengers for the 5 carriages (and 9 loads of general luggage). This mostly happens on Sunday evenings IME.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Kim on October 02, 2019, 06:52:02 pm
if i had to travel frequently on such trains, either a folding bike or two hack bikes for each end of the journey would make sense. their current implementation is a joke (and not a funny one).

It's what we've had to suffer on CrossCountry Voyagers[1] for ages.  We're only getting noise now because the GWR users are discovering how awful dangly bike spaces in public vestibules are.  (Or alternatively, how good the provision on the HSTs actually was.)


[1] If anything the CrossCountry design is slightly worse.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 02, 2019, 06:53:58 pm
if i had to travel frequently on such trains, either a folding bike or two hack bikes for each end of the journey would make sense. their current implementation is a joke (and not a funny one).

It's what we've had to suffer on CrossCountry Voyagers for ages.  We're only getting noise now because the GWR users are discovering how awful dangly bike spaces in public vestibules are.
Well mostly... see above! But I think the inherent problem is the dangling. It might be space efficient but it's not efficient in terms of usability.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Kim on October 02, 2019, 06:58:33 pm
Agreed.  It's fundamentally discriminatory, and arguably unsafe.  And on busy services (those Sunday evening Voyagers are a prime example), there simply isn't room to load and unload your bike without first evicting several passengers, a couple of Luggages and assorted bags of coffee-dripping rubbish from the surrounding area.

Even when it's not rammed, I often have to use the Teacher Voice to persuade people to move so I can un-dangle my bike and re-attach panniers before arriving at the station, rather than getting in everyone's way trying to do it in the limited dwell time available.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 02, 2019, 07:05:18 pm
You're lucky if it's only coffee the rubbish bags are dripping...
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: rogerzilla on October 04, 2019, 06:42:34 am
Nah...Cross-Country use the same width space for ONE bike.  I had both CC and GWR in the same journey last month.

AIUI the trains were specified by some government department, not the train companies.  "They don't pay for their bikes...f**k 'em".

It's ruined one-way rides.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Kim on October 04, 2019, 11:24:28 am
Nah...Cross-Country use the same width space for ONE bike.

In the one on the left.  It's a double compartment on the right (without proper provision for handlebars).  And unlike the IEP, you have to offer the bike up to the hook from the front, rather than the side, which means more cantilevering and less room to manoeuvre in the vestibule.


Quote
AIUI the trains were specified by some government department, not the train companies.  "They don't pay for their bikes...f**k 'em".

Indeed.  The TOC gets to choose how many of these modular spaces are used for bikes, toilets, catering.  But the DfT specified them in the first place.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Joe.B on October 05, 2019, 08:26:58 pm
With some dismay I've just discovered that Transpennie Express will shortly begin operating the new 800 class on the Newcastle-Liverpool route.  At the moment they are running some fairly modern looking DMU type commuter trains one that route which aren't to bad for bikes so long as you've booked. 
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 05, 2019, 09:03:32 pm
On a totally different angle, a common complaint about the Class 800s seems to be that the seats are too hard. I reckon they're quite comfortable. Does anyone here find them too hard?
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: andyoxon on October 05, 2019, 09:22:25 pm
Earlier this year I booked my bike on CrossCountry.  Getting on at Oxford, the single to the left was occupied, and the bike in the double was on the LHS - it seems that a bike in the RH position of the double can't be removed without the other bike being taken out first.  At one point three other cyclists joined, at least two without bike reservations, two of their bikes went in the  luggage bay - with wheel off (guard had a 'don't do this again' word with them).   All in all, not the best experience.   3 bike spaces??!   I think if memory serves the single bay, had a heater in it at ground level(?) - not as big as the double at any rate.  edit.

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48849051477_2d340b9b23.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2hqCa8t)IMG_cc (https://flic.kr/p/2hqCa8t) by a oxon (https://www.flickr.com/photos/145942400@N06/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Kim on October 05, 2019, 09:25:24 pm
The heater's not a problem in practice, unless you lean your removed panniers against it.

That's a pretty good piece of bike tetris there.  Normally one of the bikes has handlebars, tyres or a sufficiently long wheelbase that prevents it from fitting.  If the train goes through Oxford, a Little Old Lady or Bemused Foreign Student with a Sensible City Bike™ is likely to be comprehensively defeated by them.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Karla on October 05, 2019, 10:08:39 pm
That's a pretty good piece of bike tetris there.  Normally one of the bikes has handlebars, tyres or a sufficiently long wheelbase that prevents it from fitting.

... or in the case of the extremely unsensible Bunbury Batbike, sufficiently deep section wheels.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: andyoxon on October 05, 2019, 10:36:11 pm
The storage hooks on XCountry seem to be a better design than the new GWR efforts...
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Kim on October 05, 2019, 11:05:05 pm
The CrossCountry ones seem easier to get your wheel into (assuming sufficient lifting ability and it actually fitting), but the new ones might make slightly better use of the vertical space?
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Kim on October 05, 2019, 11:46:47 pm
This tweet seems relevant... https://twitter.com/CrossCountryUK/status/1180468122391846912   :facepalm:

I suggest we all write them a complaint every time our CrossCountry bikes-on-trains experience is anything other than perfect...
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: quixoticgeek on October 07, 2019, 02:38:43 pm

Sparked by all the comments on twitter, and here, I kinda did a bit of a thread of photos of bikes on trains across Europe, Covering Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, and Slovenia.

You can find the thread here:

https://twitter.com/quixoticgeek/status/1181184296398274561

If people want I can either post the photos here too, or if anyone wants full res originals, just ask. They are all CC-BY-SA. Feel free to use in any campaigning, complaining, or what ever you see fit. It covers the full example of silly hooks, right up to what I consider the gold standard of level access, loads of space, no stupid hooks, and straps to hold the bikes in place.

Seems I take my bike on a lot of trains... Yet still no photos of the bike on the Danish trains (used 2 of), or French (used 1 of), or Luxembourg... *doh*

J
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 07, 2019, 03:00:40 pm
Interesting thread.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: quixoticgeek on October 07, 2019, 03:06:43 pm

Have added a small sub thread on pricing/ticketting for the various trains. It's not complete as I can't find all the tickets. But gives a rough idea.

https://twitter.com/quixoticgeek/status/1181204362015719426

J
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Kim on October 07, 2019, 03:17:35 pm
Those lower-level hook racks are interesting.  The bike takes up almost as much space as it does horizontally, but you've got the fun of fighting with hooks.  I suppose they're a bit more secure than a standard wheelbender, if you don't use additional straps.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: quixoticgeek on October 07, 2019, 03:21:59 pm
Those lower-level hook racks are interesting.  The bike takes up almost as much space as it does horizontally, but you've got the fun of fighting with hooks.  I suppose they're a bit more secure than a standard wheelbender...

The primary gain from them is that you can have x amount of bikes there, and in theory get any of them out at any given time, where as horizontal against the wall you have to coordinate so that if someones bike is against yours, you have to move it to get to yours.

On Saturday there were 3 bikes in the bike space on an NS VIRM train. 2 of us were getting off in 2 stops (Eindhoven), and one at the end of the line (Maastricht). So on rocky track, and with morons trying to push past us, we had to do a tower of Hanoi style move to get my bike from the bottom of the pile, to the middle of the pile, the bike from the middle of the pile to the bottom of the pile, and the touring bike with giant panniers on it to to the top of the pile.

Consider also that those German intercity trains, in summer, *ALL* the bike space is fully booked. I ended up taking 6 regional trains rather than 2 IC trains because the IC's had fully booked bike spaces. Fortunately all the regional trains, despite being double deckers, had level access space with no stupid hooks (but no straps). Unfortunately a lot of stations didn't have working lifts, making changes a big faff...

J
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Kim on October 07, 2019, 03:28:30 pm
Those lower-level hook racks are interesting.  The bike takes up almost as much space as it does horizontally, but you've got the fun of fighting with hooks.  I suppose they're a bit more secure than a standard wheelbender...

The primary gain from them is that you can have x amount of bikes there, and in theory get any of them out at any given time, where as horizontal against the wall you have to coordinate so that if someones bike is against yours, you have to move it to get to yours.

Yeah, that makes sense, but then so does a row of wheelbenders/channels (usually with knackered velcro or cam straps to stop the bike rolling out[1]), of the type you tend to get on GWR and some CrossCountry HSTs.

(The pair-of-wheelbenders-in-a-corner arrangement you get on some British local services doesn't count, because the bike against the wall is markedly harder to get at without moving the outer one.  But there only being room for two bikes minimises the amount of Sokoban you have to play.)


[1] The best approach here, and in most bikes-on-trains situations, is to lock one of the brakes on with a convenient rubber band to reduce rocking and rolling.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: quixoticgeek on October 07, 2019, 03:46:10 pm
Yeah, that makes sense, but then so does a row of wheelbenders/channels (usually with knackered velcro or cam straps to stop the bike rolling out[1]), of the type you tend to get on GWR and some CrossCountry HSTs.

(The pair-of-wheelbenders-in-a-corner arrangement you get on some British local services doesn't count, because the bike against the wall is markedly harder to get at without moving the outer one.  But there only being room for two bikes minimises the amount of Sokoban you have to play.)


[1] The best approach here, and in most bikes-on-trains situations, is to lock one of the brakes on with a convenient rubber band to reduce rocking and rolling.

The problem with anything hook like is it requires you to lift it. The Big Space To Put Bikes™ type arrangement (see new Dutch Sprinter, Arriva local trains in NL, DB Regional trains), is the ideal option, Sure if there's 30 of you it requires some coordination, but 95% of the time it's only a handful of you and there's no conflict.

The primary argument people give is "BUT YOUR TAKING SEATING SPACE AWAY FROM PEOPLE!".

To which I say "Just run more trains"
"But who pays for it?"
"I do, when I pay the VAT on Tampons, or the duty on my beer, or my income tax, or the VAT on my bike tyres"
"But but but but but..."
"The purpose of public transport is to transport the public"
"But that doesn't make money"
"Neither do roads, yet we all pay for them, even if we don't directly use them"
"but but but but"
"Yes, shift your butt, this is the bike space, there's plenty of other seats on the train, see, this sign here, is says cycle priority. I don't even speak $localLanguage and I know that".

This brings us to the whole function of trains, and their timetabling. If we are to see a widespread move from private cars and planes to trains, we are going to need to change the paradigm underwhich they are run. Sure your capacity numbers say one HS train ever 2 hours between $city1 and $city4 via $city2 and $city3 is cost effective. But the reality is, if the trains are actually every 30 minutes, or ideally every 15 minutes, then the equation moves from "Well the train is easier, but I don't want to wait 110 minutes for the next one, so I'll just drive. In an ideal world, local trains would run at least every 15 minutes, with intercity trains at least every 30 minutes, with really popular routes every 10 minutes or so (Utrecht Amsterdam is moving to 1 train every 10 minutes).

Ticketing needs to be transparent, and affordable. It should be clear that if a to b is longer than c to d, then a to b is more expensive. It should also be that a return ticket is between 190 and 200% the price of a single. If a single is €5, then a return should be about €9.20-€10. I would also abolish all advance tickets, they are just a tax on the unfortunate, what's that your gran just fell over and is in hospital and you need to get to the other end of the country to look after your other gran, tough, as you didn't plan this 6 months in advance then it's gonna cost you £600. No fuck that. I should be able to arrive at the station 5 mins before the train, buy the ticket, and get on. Simple. The current UK pricing model on returns is stupid, it discourages trip chaining, and disproportionately disadvantages women over men.

I'd also suggest there should be an easy subscription model, say €95 per month, gets you unlimited travel.

I do not agree with free public transport tho.

And finally the trains need to run pretty damn late, with all night services between major population centres.

J

PS Can you see where the quixotic in my name comes from?
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 07, 2019, 06:44:11 pm
As an alternative way of putting bikes on trains, I once sent a bike as an unaccompanied railway parcel when moving house in Poland. It was ridiculously cheap and ridiculously easy, but it was also ridiculously long ago when trains had guards vans (1999).
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 07, 2019, 06:45:49 pm
It should also be that a return ticket is between 190 and 200% the price of a single. If a single is €5, then a return should be about €9.20-€10.
What reason do you have for saying that?
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: quixoticgeek on October 07, 2019, 06:55:18 pm
What reason do you have for saying that?

Trip chaining.

J
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Kim on October 07, 2019, 06:55:48 pm
It should also be that a return ticket is between 190 and 200% the price of a single. If a single is €5, then a return should be about €9.20-€10.
What reason do you have for saying that?

Discourages triangular (other non-out-and-back geometries are available) journeys, which mean people will prefer to use cars for non-commute travel.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: quixoticgeek on October 07, 2019, 07:06:30 pm
Discourages triangular (other non-out-and-back geometries are available) journeys, which mean people will prefer to use cars for non-commute travel.

It's called trip chaining, and it's done more by women than men. CCP discusses it at length in her book (https://amzn.to/2Kpf2Qy).

This is one of the things I love about the Dutch OV chipkaart system. There are no returns, just singles. For everything that isn't trains, you pay €0.96 to check in, then about €0.11 per km, if you get off one vehicle and get on another, as long as you check back in again within 35 minutes, it sees it as one journey, and you don't pay the €0.96, just the €0.11. Say you want to do multiple errands, pharmacy to pick up drugs, AH to pick up food, across to kruidvat for toiletries, and then Gamma on the way home to pick up some plants, you end up with journeys of about €1.27, €0.21, €0.17, €0.11, as each one is just a short hop. Trains are a special case I've not quite worked out the pricing model on, but it's a similar check in + distance calculation. Usefully, because it's just one system, if you take a tram to the station in Amsterdam, then get a train to Utrecht, then get on a bus, if the connection is quick enough, as it's less than 35 minutes since you checked out of the tram, the bus in Utrecht is seen as a continuation of the journey.

The system isn't perfect, it could do with a daily cap (like Oyster does), but it's a really effective system that makes trip chaining a breeze.

I keep pondering how long I can go on a single check in with just the overstap at each connection...

J
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 07, 2019, 07:21:22 pm
Okay, but why does that mean returns should be 190-200% the price of a single? You've just given an alternative model that doesn't follow that – not selling returns at all – but which you seem to think allows trip chaining and is acceptable. It also has the advantage of pricing each leg at the tariff applicable when it's travelled, whereas a return made with one leg at peak hours and one at off-peak will have the peak fare applied to the whole ticket.

Another way to look at the question of return fares: a single from Bristol to Bath is £8, day return is £8.10. Bristol to Gloucester is £9.90, return £10. (These are local-to-me examples that I know of, many others can be found.) Does this mean a return should be around £16 and £19 respectively? Or do you think the single price would actually drop to £4 and £5?

A third way to look at it is that triangular tickets (and probably rectangular ones too) are already possible on British trains. Unusual and not commonly asked for, might even fluster the staff (this itself is probably at least as big an issue) but possible.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: quixoticgeek on October 07, 2019, 07:29:29 pm
Okay, but why does that mean returns should be 190-200% the price of a single? You've just given an alternative model that doesn't follow that – not selling returns at all – but which you seem to think allows trip chaining and is acceptable. It also has the advantage of pricing each leg at the tariff applicable when it's travelled, whereas a return made with one leg at peak hours and one at off-peak will have the peak fare applied to the whole ticket.

If the cost of a return is 200% the price of a single, that would mean that a return is the same as 2 singles. The ~190% is like the Dutch system with a checkin cost, and then a price per unit distance.

Quote
Another way to look at the question of return fares: a single from Bristol to Bath is £8, day return is £8.10. Bristol to Gloucester is £9.90, return £10. (These are local-to-me examples that I know of, many others can be found.) Does this mean a return should be around £16 and £19 respectively? Or do you think the single price would actually drop to £4 and £5?

I would drop it to £4 rather than double the single.

Quote
A third way to look at it is that triangular tickets (and probably rectangular ones too) are already possible on British trains. Unusual and not commonly asked for, might even fluster the staff (this itself is probably at least as big an issue) but possible.

I'm a train geek, I've travelled far and wide, I've picked up many of the idiosyncrasies of the UK ticket system, but I've never been able to successfully buy a triangular ticket in the UK. It was usually cheaper to stack returns and make an L shape rather than a triangle.

So, peak rate. Guess what, I'm going to continue to be really radical here. GET RID OF IT. If you have to use pricing models to discourage people travelling at a set time, it means you're not running enough trains/trams/metros/buses. Run more.

The way the Dutch trains deal with it there is no peak rate. It's the same cost all day. But you cay a discount card that is €60 per year, that gets you 40% off off peak trains. When they first came up with it, off peak was defined as after 0900. Meaning that your return home from work was at 40% off, but your way to work was full price. They changed that a couple of years back, so now it's 100% in the evening peak too. Fortunately if you continue to renew one on the old terms, they can't change it so my discount card I've had for over a decade is on the old system so it's cheap after 0900. Really useful.

But I'd rather it was just the same price all day. Note buses/metro/tram are the same price irregardless of time of day.

J
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 07, 2019, 07:40:28 pm
Buses, and arguably many trains on commuter lines, have another way of regulating demand at peak times: standing room only!
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 07, 2019, 07:43:49 pm
Okay, but why does that mean returns should be 190-200% the price of a single? You've just given an alternative model that doesn't follow that – not selling returns at all – but which you seem to think allows trip chaining and is acceptable. It also has the advantage of pricing each leg at the tariff applicable when it's travelled, whereas a return made with one leg at peak hours and one at off-peak will have the peak fare applied to the whole ticket.

If the cost of a return is 200% the price of a single, that would mean that a return is the same as 2 singles. The ~190% is like the Dutch system with a checkin cost, and then a price per unit distance.
It means it's the same price. It doesn't mean it's the same thing in terms of flexibility, validity, break of travel, etc.

Quote
Quote
Another way to look at the question of return fares: a single from Bristol to Bath is £8, day return is £8.10. Bristol to Gloucester is £9.90, return £10. (These are local-to-me examples that I know of, many others can be found.) Does this mean a return should be around £16 and £19 respectively? Or do you think the single price would actually drop to £4 and £5?

I would drop it to £4 rather than double the single.
I know you would! But what do you think Mark Hopwood would do?
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: quixoticgeek on October 07, 2019, 07:47:14 pm
I know you would! But what do you think Mark Hopwood would do?

Who?

J
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: grams on October 07, 2019, 07:48:58 pm
British train tickets are usually valid via a surprisingly wide variety of routes, so a return to the furthest point of the triangle may well be valid via the third point.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: quixoticgeek on October 07, 2019, 07:50:04 pm
British train tickets are usually valid via a surprisingly wide variety of routes, so a return to the furthest point of the triangle may well be valid via the third point.

Except when it isn't... usually if it's a via London or not option.

Canterbury to Brighton via London is a lot more expensive than Canterbury to Brighton via Rye...

J
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 07, 2019, 08:12:25 pm
I know you would! But what do you think Mark Hopwood would do?

Who?

J
I think we could have said the same about CCP! MH the MD is this man: http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=22016.msg270638#msg270638
(http://www.wellho.net/pix/mhopwoodmtmd.jpg)
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: quixoticgeek on October 07, 2019, 08:14:44 pm
I think we could have said the same about CCP! MH the MD is this man: http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=22016.msg270638#msg270638

I did at least provide a link to CCP's book, and I only called her CCP as I can't spell her name...

Given the ideas I've outlined above, what makes you think I'd expect a person like this to have any say in our transport pricing and timetable policy?

J
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 07, 2019, 08:23:28 pm
Yeah but CCP is just the latest term you've dropped in without explanation! Anyway, he has a say because that's his job, just as presumably Roger van Boxtel does (yeah, I looked him up  :D : https://www.ns.nl/en/about-ns/who-are-we/raad-van-bestuur.html ). Or like Peter Parker did back way back (no, not Spider Man [or should that be Spiderman?]. Peter Parker was MD of British Rail back in the 1980s, his name has stuck in my memory because I remember having to write something about him in an English lesson. No, I can't remember what it was about.)
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: quixoticgeek on October 07, 2019, 08:26:12 pm
Yeah but CCP is just the latest term you've dropped in without explanation! Anyway, he has a say because that's his job, just as presumably Roger van Boxtel does (yeah, I looked him up  :D : https://www.ns.nl/en/about-ns/who-are-we/raad-van-bestuur.html ). Or like Peter Parker did back way back (no, not Spider Man [or should that be Spiderman?]. Peter Parker was MD of British Rail back in the 1980s, his name has stuck in my memory because I remember having to write something about him in an English lesson. No, I can't remember what it was about.)

Es tut mir lied.

Roger van Boxtel doesn't have a say on ticket pricing in .NL, it's government regulated. NS has exactly 1 customer. The Dutch Government. Same as GWR has exactly 1 customer, the UK government. But the contracting model vs the franchising model in the respective countries are very different.

J
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 07, 2019, 08:41:44 pm
Both the operating companies and the government have a say in setting ticket prices in the UK. And then there are complicated formulae for sharing revenue between different TOCs operating the same routes and of course the whole thing is subsidised anyway. And then you get 'direct grant' franchises and goodness knows what else which all makes a farce of the facade of competition, while still being run for profit. But it is where we are and whatever changes we they make to it have to start from here. Though we probably don't know quite exactly where here is, let alone our destination, and as for how to get there...
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: grams on October 07, 2019, 08:52:12 pm
Canterbury to Brighton via London is a lot more expensive than Canterbury to Brighton via Rye...

The Any Permitted (i.e. via London) fares appear to be slightly more than the equivalent Canterbury-London, as you'd expect a triangular ticket to be!

The via Rye tickets are actually labelled "Not London", which lets you go to all sorts of exciting triangular places that Aren't London. Like New Cross. Maybe.

But it is where we are and whatever changes we they make to it have to start from here.

One of the joys of where we are is that any changes to ticketing have to be "revenue neutral" to avoid having to renegotiate *everything* with everyone. Therefore you can only cut the price of singles if you put up the price of returns to compensate.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 07, 2019, 08:55:38 pm
And engage in lots of calculations/guesstimations about the numbers. Same with anytime/off-peak/super off-peak of course. Aaargh!*

*= It's a recipe for not changing things that everyone agrees need changing.

Edit: Is that actually how revenue neutrality works? Isn't it to do with balance of revenue between operators rather than between ticket types?
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: fuaran on October 07, 2019, 08:58:59 pm
Roger van Boxtel doesn't have a say on ticket pricing in .NL, it's government regulated. NS has exactly 1 customer. The Dutch Government. Same as GWR has exactly 1 customer, the UK government. But the contracting model vs the franchising model in the respective countries are very different.
NS own Abellio. So they are profiting from their UK franchises, and using that to improve services in the Netherlands.

While in England and Wales, public sector organisations are banned from running franchises (it is now allowed in Scotland).
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: grams on October 07, 2019, 09:45:13 pm
NS own Abellio. So they are profiting from their UK franchises, and using that to improve services in the Netherlands.

Except they're not profiting (http://www.railtechnologymagazine.com/Rail-News/urgent-government-talks-after-dutch-company-plugs-80m-funding-hole-in-greater-anglia-) and Dutch tax and farepayers are paying to improve our services. Thanks QG!
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Ginger Cat on October 13, 2019, 05:20:01 pm
From what I can see, the new trains on the GWML are basically glorified commuter trains, ideal for giving the commuters from Reading/Didcot a seat and expanding the commuter belt into Swindon- but a fat lot of use for anyone else along the line west of Swindon.

There used to be a lot of regular cyclists using the HSTs Cardiff-Bristol Parkway and Bristol Parkway-Swindon. I wonder where those people have gone? Got in cars maybe? 

GWR fares are eyewatering too- unless of course you have a season ticket, typically a season ticket from Cardiff/Bristol to Reading/London costs 1.5 times the full open return fare.

I suppose the fact that someone in the Rail Delivery Group once described a season ticket in the South East as "the ultimate distress purchase" says it all; after all, why bother about customer service and things like bike racks when the majority of rail passengers only get the train because (in their view) there's no alternative...??!!  :(

The most positive changes I have seen recently are where the TOC is subject to a govt performance check by mystery shoppers- e.g. on "train presentation"- the fines can be enough to cut into the bottom line, which gets notice. Otherwise, if people will travel anyway- why bother?

Nor do I think the Dutch govt can moan too much about plugging holes in Abellio- after all, they have benefitted in the good years- so they have to tough it out in the bad years. Why on earth should it be a UK govt issue, Abellio competed in the franchise process and won, if they got the sums wrong that's for the Dutch taxpayers to deal with (and hold their state-owned operator accountable for).

I'm not a fan of franchising, but if the govt insist on using that model then there should be NO bail outs.

GC

Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 13, 2019, 07:22:20 pm
GWR fares are eyewatering too- unless of course you have a season ticket, typically a season ticket from Cardiff/Bristol to Reading/London costs 1.5 times the full open return fare.
Walk up peak return Bristol to Paddington is £218. But shop ahead and you get it for less than £50. Most likely you'll pay around £90 if travelling at peak times. The walk up open fare is a distress purchase or for those rich enough not to be bothered (and there's not so much difference between std and first, proportionally).
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 14, 2019, 09:26:15 am
Apparently the Queen's speech might suggest replacing the current franchise model with a 'concession' system, where fares and timetables are set by LAs but run privately. Hard to say what might actually happen if anything but there is an awareness that the franchise system as it currently is needs to be changed.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Polar Bear on October 14, 2019, 09:53:06 am
But be aware that the tories established the franchise system and they will have been 'consulting' the usual industry suspects and lobbyists so that any change will inevitably reduce accountability and either cost more or deliver less.

They will inevitably say that it is what he people asked for.  See the brexit shambles ...

Tories are only ever concerned about their own prosperity in my experience and don't give a xxxx for the plebs once they have extracted our money.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 14, 2019, 10:07:40 am
Absolutely. Although as the Brexit shambles show, the Tories under John Major who introduced the franchise system were 'the party of business' but now, they're the party of 'fuck business'. The only thing these early statements show is an awareness there is a problem.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Polar Bear on October 14, 2019, 11:05:35 am
On the contrary, I see the current tory party as even more greedy than ever.  Look at JRM taking his business outside of the UK and into the EU and Redwood openly advising his friends to take their money out of the UK.  They see post brexit UK as a place to exploit but not necessarily a 'rich pickings' place.  JRM himself estimated that it will take 50 years to recover the financial impact of brexit.

That is an awful lot of austerity for the plebs to swallow.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 14, 2019, 11:30:05 am
That's the difference between 'business' and personal interest. The two are no longer aligned.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: quixoticgeek on January 01, 2020, 10:33:45 am


The latest generation of German ICE trains, the ICE 4, has room for 8 bikes, and operates all the way down as far as Chur in Switzerland.

(http://pbs.twimg.com/media/ENMCtZMX0AAL4Ia.jpg)

J
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: FifeingEejit on January 01, 2020, 09:44:32 pm
if i had to travel frequently on such trains, either a folding bike or two hack bikes for each end of the journey would make sense. their current implementation is a joke (and not a funny one).
Ah but then there is no demand for bikes on trains so provision is dropped entirely.

Sent from my BKL-L09 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: rogerzilla on January 03, 2020, 04:28:03 pm
Rather off topic, but I've just found out that the requirement for British trains to have yellow ends (introduced in the late 1950s, I believe) was dropped in 2016*, provided the train has Euro-standard high intensity headlamps.  Many of the newer Class 800 operators now have rather natty liveries without the yellow ends.  So why does GWR persist in painting them on its dark green trains?  It's not a great colour combination.

*shunting engines and snowploughs** still need the diagonal "wasp stripes".

**Network Rail's snowploughs are built on redundant steam locomotive tender chassis; they don't see all that much use!
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: yorkie on January 03, 2020, 05:04:05 pm
Rather off topic, but I've just found out that the requirement for British trains to have yellow ends (introduced in the late 1950s, I believe) was dropped in 2016*, provided the train has Euro-standard high intensity headlamps.  Many of the newer Class 800 operators now have rather natty liveries without the yellow ends.  So why does GWR persist in painting them on its dark green trains?  It's not a great colour combination.


Whilst the requirement for a yellow end was dropped for trains meeting the new lighting regulations, there are some exceptions where there are user-worked level crossings. In a lot of instances, the sight lines do not allow for adequate sighting of approaching trains, even with the high-powered headlamps. A dark green train against dark green vegetation isn't going to end well...


See also Greater Anglia's new Stadler class 745 and 755 "FLIRT" trains, which have to have a yellow end due to all the farm level crossings in East Anglia.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Kim on January 03, 2020, 06:13:59 pm
The cynical engineering voice in the back of my head says that paint doesn't stop working due to electrical failure.

My experience in the real world says that if it's far enough away that it's not clear that there's a Fucking Great Train there, it doesn't matter what colour it is.  (I'm also aware that those driving trains and wearing orange hi-vis are likely to be from a population that finds colour somewhat more useful.)
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 03, 2020, 06:42:25 pm
AIUI the yellow ends were introduced as much for low-speed situations, such as sheds or trundling past the orange army, as for level crossings and the like.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 06, 2020, 11:46:56 pm
Yellow ends not required for new trains which comply with "Technical Specifications for Interoperability" regarding headlights.
Quote
Specifically by making an FOI Request to the DfT. And today I’ve had a reply:

Your enquiry in relation to yellow ends on trains has been passed to me for action. Your email identifies that trains operating on HS1 are not required to have yellow ends. You will no doubt be aware that the yellow ends were an early attempt to make trains more visible to track workers who might be on or about the line whilst trains are running. The rules of HS1 do not allow for working on the line whilst trains are operating and so yellow ends are not required.

Should a train be able to operate on both HS1 and the rest of the heavy rail network then a different arrangement would apply. The default position is that yellow ends would normally be required however new trains that comply with the Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSIs) and have the new headlight arrangement are considered to be clearly visible. On the basis that the new headlight arrangement gives good visibility to track workers, any application for a derogation against the requirement for yellow ends is usually granted by the standards committee.
https://pipsrailway.wordpress.com/2010/11/29/they-call-me-mellow-yellow/
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 06, 2020, 11:52:18 pm
Just remembered, I've seen fluorescent orange train noses in both Germany and Poland and possibly elsewhere too. I think they were fairly old trains, no idea what standards their headlights might have met.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: rogerzilla on January 09, 2020, 02:47:14 pm
Fluo paint is generally avoided, as it fades quite quickly with constant UV exposure and goes non-fluorescent and washed-out looking after a year or two.  If you have a hi-viz jacket and regularly hang it near a window, the same thing happens.

I don't know how often Dyno-Rod refinish their eye-popping vans.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: zigzag on January 09, 2020, 04:51:40 pm
Fluo paint is generally avoided, as it fades quite quickly with constant UV exposure and goes non-fluorescent and washed-out looking after a year or two.  If you have a hi-viz jacket and regularly hang it near a window, the same thing happens.

I don't know how often Dyno-Rod refinish their eye-popping vans.

can be solved by using uv-resistant clearcoat/lacquer? unlike hi-viz clothing.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: quixoticgeek on January 09, 2020, 07:33:20 pm
can be solved by using uv-resistant clearcoat/lacquer? unlike hi-viz clothing.

Doesn't that stop it being fluorescent tho? 

J
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: grams on January 22, 2020, 11:37:44 pm
I went on LNER and Hull Trains IETs last weekend, which have exactly the same bike cupboards and hooks.

On both of them the guard met me, unlocked the bike storage area and closed it afterwards. That did mean I had to rush through getting the bike hung up and removing luggage, but it's much less of a worry during the journey and no luggage to evict.

On Hull Trains they actually locked the cupboard, on LNER I thought they had but when I got off I found it was closed but not locked. It did mean I could get straight off - on Hull Trains I had to wait while the guard dealt with some other passengers.

The LNER guard opened both sides of the cupboard - the short side nearest the exterior carriage door also retracts, making access to the hooks much easier. I've never seen this unlocked or open on GWR.
Title: Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
Post by: toontra on January 23, 2020, 09:08:06 am
The LNER guard opened both sides of the cupboard - the short side nearest the exterior carriage door also retracts, making access to the hooks much easier. I've never seen this unlocked or open on GWR.

Neither have I! 

GWR guards are generally invisible - I've never had any kind of assistance when boarding or during a journey, no matter the problem (usually standing in a crowded vestibule with the bike because the cupboard was full of other people's carp).