Author Topic: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)  (Read 5672 times)

yorkie

  • On top of the Galibier
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #75 on: October 23, 2018, 11:23:29 pm »
Meanwhile on Virgin West Coast.... Conveniently in the same car as the bike storage!
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!
Born to ride my bike, forced to work! ;)

British Cycling Regional Track Commissaire
British Cycling Regional Circuit Commissaire
British Cycling Ride Leader

Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #76 on: October 26, 2018, 03:54:42 pm »
 
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 :)

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #77 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,... )
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #78 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!

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #79 on: October 26, 2018, 08:17:01 pm »

SHut that door - those poor bikes will catch a chill!
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #80 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?

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #81 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.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #82 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.

Never tell me the odds.

Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #83 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!



Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #84 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.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #85 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.
Never tell me the odds.

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #86 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.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #87 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.

CommuteTooFar

  • Inadequate Randonneur
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #88 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.







       

Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #89 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.

Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #90 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.   

Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #91 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

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #92 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.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #93 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...
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #94 on: February 07, 2019, 04:53:08 pm »
I thought it was still HSTs to Cheltenham Spa?
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #95 on: February 07, 2019, 04:54:24 pm »
No, it is shiney ones with hard seats.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #96 on: February 07, 2019, 04:55:10 pm »
I like the hard seats! Except they're always dirty.  :(
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #97 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.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #98 on: February 07, 2019, 05:00:48 pm »
I like the hard seats! Except they're always dirty.  :(

And not leather  >:(
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Bikes on Class 800 trains (GWR)
« Reply #99 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.