Author Topic: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)  (Read 11999 times)

Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #125 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.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #126 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.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #127 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
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #128 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.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #129 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).)
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #130 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
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #131 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.
I do not ride a great big Mercian, gangster tanwalls, fixed cog in the back.

Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #132 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


Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #133 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.
I do not ride a great big Mercian, gangster tanwalls, fixed cog in the back.

Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #134 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

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #135 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.
I do not ride a great big Mercian, gangster tanwalls, fixed cog in the back.

Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #136 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.
Never tell me the odds.

yorkie

  • On top of the Galibier
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #137 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.
Born to ride my bike, forced to work! ;)

British Cycling Regional Track Commissaire
British Cycling Regional Circuit Commissaire

Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #138 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)

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #139 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.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #140 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.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #141 on: February 17, 2019, 07:46:52 pm »
Also possibly until reservations mean you've actually got a space reserved.
I do not ride a great big Mercian, gangster tanwalls, fixed cog in the back.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #142 on: February 17, 2019, 08:33:26 pm »
If that ever happens.  It may end up like CrossCountry.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #143 on: February 17, 2019, 08:46:53 pm »
May? It currently is.
I do not ride a great big Mercian, gangster tanwalls, fixed cog in the back.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #144 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.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #145 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.
Quote from: Kim
^ This woman knows what she's talking about.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #146 on: February 18, 2019, 12:47:44 pm »
Fittingly, the GWR one does.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #147 on: February 18, 2019, 02:22:09 pm »
Fittingly, the GWR one does.

Thank you Kim. I knew you'd know  :-*
Quote from: Kim
^ This woman knows what she's talking about.

PaulF

  • "World's Scariest Barman"
  • It's only impossible if you stop to think about it
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #148 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.

yorkie

  • On top of the Galibier
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #149 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!)
Born to ride my bike, forced to work! ;)

British Cycling Regional Track Commissaire
British Cycling Regional Circuit Commissaire