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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi
At the beginning of January, NXEC stopped their restaurant car services on the ECML. This meant that Standard lass passengers were no longer able to come along to the buffet car for a meal, although 1st Class passengers would still be able to get a hot meal 'at seat' service. This caused some internet chatter at the time.
What this means in practice is that the Buffet cars have been turned around. The seating now becomes Standard Class, with the serving hatch facing Standard Class in the centre of the coach. Until the change, the seats faced 1st Class, with the serving hatch a small hole at the end of the coach facing Standard Class, so if there was a queue of passengers, some had to straddle two coaches in the corridor connection.
Which is just a long-winded way of saying that if you're running NXEC ECML models, the buffet car should be turned round.
Oh, and 91117 failed at Alnmouth on the return journey - are they past their sell-by dates now?
mal
 

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I am pretty sure the buffet car in the 225 sets (Mk4s) were turned during 'Mallard' refurbishments and so, I think, should only be 'reversed' in 225 sets with red doors. Thats what the brief in ticket offices was, at the time.

Intercity/GNER Standard 225 formation:
91-TSOe-5xTSO-Buffet 1st-2xTFO-DVT

Intercity/GNER Pullman 225 formation:
91-TSOe-4xTSO-Buffet 1st-3xTFO-DVT

GNER/NXEC Mallard 225 formation:
91-TSOe-5xTSO-Buffet Standard-3xTFO-DVT

The small windows on the Mk4s go at the same end, except on the buffet standard.
 

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I'm with HHF on this one - pretty sure the buffets were turned during the Mallard refurbishment and also had their first class seats replaced by standard. I think at the same time some standard coaches were converted to firsts so that all sets had the same formation - previously there were a few Pullman sets with some extra first class.

NXEC still does restaurant service, just on far fewer trains than before. I don't think they'd want two different formations depending on whether they had restaurants or not, especially as I imagine most of the restaurant services are at busy times of day and the sets then go on to work non-restaurant services.
 

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I have just seen on another site, a story that Richard Bowker (MD of NXEC, I think) has suggested they might take catering off all NXEC services and replace it with trolley services, because they are losing the company money. London to Scotland with no hot food, brilliant idea! Who said bus companies couldn't run the trains!

I've also noted an error in my previous post, the GNER/NXEC Mallard 225 formation should read:

91-TSOe-4xTSO-Buffet Standard-3xTFO-DVT
 

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Train catering has been generally loss-making for many years, but is kept going because the operator believes that having catering available attracts more people to use the train, and when this is taken into account it is financially worthwhile. A variation is the operators who restrict full meal service to first class, possibly because they believe that the prospect of a hot meal will persude enough people to trade up from standard to first.

Any of this is of course quite hard to prove or disprove, and with a lot of long-distance trains not exaxctly short of passengers some may argue that attracting more is not helpful and the catering space would be better used to put in more seats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
QUOTE (hairyhandedfool @ 27 Feb 2009, 08:57) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I am pretty sure the buffet car in the 225 sets (Mk4s) were turned during 'Mallard' refurbishments and so, I think, should only be 'reversed' in 225 sets with red doors. Thats what the brief in ticket offices was, at the time.

Intercity/GNER Standard 225 formation:
91-TSOe-5xTSO-Buffet 1st-2xTFO-DVT

Intercity/GNER Pullman 225 formation:
91-TSOe-4xTSO-Buffet 1st-3xTFO-DVT

GNER/NXEC Mallard 225 formation:
91-TSOe-5xTSO-Buffet Standard-3xTFO-DVT

The small windows on the Mk4s go at the same end, except on the buffet standard.
Thanks, HHF, it was the first journey I'd made since October (when NXEC were still serving hot meals to all passengers) and was surprised by the buffet change; hadn't seen it before. Under GNER the food was pretty good in the restaurant car, and with two sittings per trip, I'd've thought they'd've made ££ on the deal. Makes you wonder if they're serious about competing with air on the Anglo-Scottish route. The chance of a hot meal made the long journey worthwhile & its withdrawal could persuade some standard class passengers (or is that customers?) to revert to air travel.
mal
 
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