Bring back good old British Rail

I ALONG with some work colleagues decided to travel by train to the “judgement day” rugby event at the Millennium Stadium.

We along with quite a number of fans awaited the train at Cwmbran railway station, only to find that it was the “normal” two car 10.50 train to Cardiff which was already full with people standing in the corridors as it came in.

Those of us who were lucky enough to get on the train were crammed in and unable to move, leaving some disappointed passengers on the platform with no relief train following.

I have absolutely no doubt that our train was overcrowded and therefore Arriva Trains Wales must be breaking the law by permitting this to occur. To add insult to injury, on the return journey they kept passengers queuing outside in the pouring rain and only permitting them into the station when the actual train pulled in.

Once again we were confronted by a totally inadequate two car train and this time very officious Arriva Trains staff blocked the doors to the nearest carriage, only permitting passengers onto the first carriage until once again it was completely overcrowded, they then opened the second carriage for the same result.

Arriva Trains Wales are an absolute shambles and totally undeserving of the franchise if they cannot foresee that demand would outstrip resources at such times, but I suspect that it is the way of the privatised rail industry, profit before service, there is no doubt in my mind that they made a small fortune with all the extra revenue they made from this event, and not putting on additional resources to cope with the extra demand, they and the shareholders are laughing all the way to the bank and bringing the concept of public service to an all time low.

Oh for the old BR days!

A Bond Tramway Close Cwmbran

Comments (6)

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1:08pm Thu 24 Apr 14

throwy1 says...

I can sympathise with you. I work in Cardiff and sometimes use the train to travel. During various games I have been greeted by the Barrier system of "crowd control" at Cardiff Central. I learned long ago the best way to return to Newport is not to be honest and join the Newport queue, but, join the London queue. All London trains stop at Newport and you get home much quicker. The other way is to use private transport as we do now.
I can sympathise with you. I work in Cardiff and sometimes use the train to travel. During various games I have been greeted by the Barrier system of "crowd control" at Cardiff Central. I learned long ago the best way to return to Newport is not to be honest and join the Newport queue, but, join the London queue. All London trains stop at Newport and you get home much quicker. The other way is to use private transport as we do now. throwy1
  • Score: 2

1:24am Fri 25 Apr 14

mocyoung says...

Firstly Arriva didn't ask the WRU / RRW to put this event on Easter Sunday. Rail services are always lesser on a Sunday due to lesser demand. The onus is on the rugby organisations to find out whether it is feasible to stage this event given the public transport available. There is no obligation by Arriva or FGW to provide any extra capacity on what is to all intents and purposes a holiday day where very little shops are open and most people are spending time with their family. And this wouldn't have been any different under BR. There would have been even less appetite for it under the state-funded system, with its necessities for budgetary accountability, red tape and work-to-rule attitude. Providing extra capacity isn't as simple as bolting a few extra carriages on. It's budgeting for fuel for those units and staffing costs and liasing with Network Rail to find slots to run any extra timetabled services.

There is no legal limit to persons on trains. A train manager / guard will not allow a train to operate if he/she deems it unsafe. Furthermore if you yourself felt the train to be unsafe you could have not boarded. However it seemed getting to a rugby game was slightly more important to you.

As for queuing in the rain, why didn't you bring an umbrella or a raincoat? This is Britain on a bank holiday weekend. It was always going to rain. Facetiousness aside, there are wonderful things (in newspapers) called weather forecasts. Also there is infinitely more room outside the station than on a platform and therefore it is infinitely safer for a mass of people - some drunken - to be kept away from the tracks for as long as possible, lest an accident occur. I'm sorry you think you have better knowledge and practice of crowd control than the professionals who do it for a living.

Arriva has actually increased capacity on the Wales & Borders network since privitisation - adding the new Class 175s (of which there are 27 trainsets) plus a raft of extra Class 150s (ex-BR stock). Weekends are traditionally the times when essential maintenance is carried out on sets which run many hundreds of miles during the week. Given that most of the travelling fans were coming from the West, it is fair to assume most of any available extra stock was allocated to transporting fans from Llanelli, Swansea and Neath.

throwy1: As for joining the London queue for Newport, I'm glad you think it acceptable to take up the place on a train of a person travelling for much longer who may be left behind when on most normal matchdays there is a dedicated Newport shuttle. Kudos.
Firstly Arriva didn't ask the WRU / RRW to put this event on Easter Sunday. Rail services are always lesser on a Sunday due to lesser demand. The onus is on the rugby organisations to find out whether it is feasible to stage this event given the public transport available. There is no obligation by Arriva or FGW to provide any extra capacity on what is to all intents and purposes a holiday day where very little shops are open and most people are spending time with their family. And this wouldn't have been any different under BR. There would have been even less appetite for it under the state-funded system, with its necessities for budgetary accountability, red tape and work-to-rule attitude. Providing extra capacity isn't as simple as bolting a few extra carriages on. It's budgeting for fuel for those units and staffing costs and liasing with Network Rail to find slots to run any extra timetabled services. There is no legal limit to persons on trains. A train manager / guard will not allow a train to operate if he/she deems it unsafe. Furthermore if you yourself felt the train to be unsafe you could have not boarded. However it seemed getting to a rugby game was slightly more important to you. As for queuing in the rain, why didn't you bring an umbrella or a raincoat? This is Britain on a bank holiday weekend. It was always going to rain. Facetiousness aside, there are wonderful things (in newspapers) called weather forecasts. Also there is infinitely more room outside the station than on a platform and therefore it is infinitely safer for a mass of people - some drunken - to be kept away from the tracks for as long as possible, lest an accident occur. I'm sorry you think you have better knowledge and practice of crowd control than the professionals who do it for a living. Arriva has actually increased capacity on the Wales & Borders network since privitisation - adding the new Class 175s (of which there are 27 trainsets) plus a raft of extra Class 150s (ex-BR stock). Weekends are traditionally the times when essential maintenance is carried out on sets which run many hundreds of miles during the week. Given that most of the travelling fans were coming from the West, it is fair to assume most of any available extra stock was allocated to transporting fans from Llanelli, Swansea and Neath. throwy1: As for joining the London queue for Newport, I'm glad you think it acceptable to take up the place on a train of a person travelling for much longer who may be left behind when on most normal matchdays there is a dedicated Newport shuttle. Kudos. mocyoung
  • Score: 6

12:45pm Fri 25 Apr 14

throwy1 says...

Mocyoung, yes it is perfectly acceptable to use any train to get to your destination. Firstly if a fellow passenger requires a seat that badly they can always reserve one. Secondly a ticket doesn't guarantee a place on a train only travel. Thirdly the day I travel on a train from Cardiff to Newport and all seats are taken and all standing room taken, then I will accept your criticism until then.......
As for your other observations the number of attendees at the matches was over 41000. Allowing for say 25% being Cardiff locals at least 30000 would be travelling fans. Given the matchday was advertised well in advance and rolling stock in [position British rail could easily have put on extra services to cope with the demand for travel.
Mocyoung, yes it is perfectly acceptable to use any train to get to your destination. Firstly if a fellow passenger requires a seat that badly they can always reserve one. Secondly a ticket doesn't guarantee a place on a train only travel. Thirdly the day I travel on a train from Cardiff to Newport and all seats are taken and all standing room taken, then I will accept your criticism until then....... As for your other observations the number of attendees at the matches was over 41000. Allowing for say 25% being Cardiff locals at least 30000 would be travelling fans. Given the matchday was advertised well in advance and rolling stock in [position British rail could easily have put on extra services to cope with the demand for travel. throwy1
  • Score: -2

2:43pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Realist UK says...

The simplistic call for the return of the old BR days is endearingly naive. Under EU law it cannot happen. I agree with mocyoung, although Easter Sunday is a holiday, and being the most important day in the Christian calendar, you're lucky that ARRIVA staff were prepared to work any service so that the greedy WRU could lure the mindless to a meaningless event.
The simplistic call for the return of the old BR days is endearingly naive. Under EU law it cannot happen. I agree with mocyoung, although Easter Sunday is a holiday, and being the most important day in the Christian calendar, you're lucky that ARRIVA staff were prepared to work any service so that the greedy WRU could lure the mindless to a meaningless event. Realist UK
  • Score: 4

6:57pm Fri 25 Apr 14

mocyoung says...

throwy1 you miss my point. I wasn't talking about space on the train, I was talking about taking a place in the queue. They let a certain number of people board the train from the queue, say 400. If 200 of those did what you did, a potential 200 London-bound people would be left behind for another hour just to satisfy your own selfish needs. Again, kudos.
throwy1 you miss my point. I wasn't talking about space on the train, I was talking about taking a place in the queue. They let a certain number of people board the train from the queue, say 400. If 200 of those did what you did, a potential 200 London-bound people would be left behind for another hour just to satisfy your own selfish needs. Again, kudos. mocyoung
  • Score: 4

12:56pm Tue 29 Apr 14

throwy1 says...

mocyoung wrote:
throwy1 you miss my point. I wasn't talking about space on the train, I was talking about taking a place in the queue. They let a certain number of people board the train from the queue, say 400. If 200 of those did what you did, a potential 200 London-bound people would be left behind for another hour just to satisfy your own selfish needs. Again, kudos.
No if the number of passengers getting on a London bound train at the time matches finish numbered 200 it would be a miracle. No I have no problems taking the actions that I take
[quote][p][bold]mocyoung[/bold] wrote: throwy1 you miss my point. I wasn't talking about space on the train, I was talking about taking a place in the queue. They let a certain number of people board the train from the queue, say 400. If 200 of those did what you did, a potential 200 London-bound people would be left behind for another hour just to satisfy your own selfish needs. Again, kudos.[/p][/quote]No if the number of passengers getting on a London bound train at the time matches finish numbered 200 it would be a miracle. No I have no problems taking the actions that I take throwy1
  • Score: 0

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