What on earth is happening to first class seats on Class 444 trains?! Is the purpose of SWR refurbishment to get rid of all first class passengers?
I commute long distance, travelling over 1.5 hours to London Waterloo almost every day. I felt it worth paying for the 1st class ticket, because I want to have space to work on these journeys to make some use of the time or to be able to sleep comfortably. Since I am quite tall, I found it impossible to do so in standard seats, no enough leg space, seats not tall enough.
With the new Class 444 refurbished first class, all the benefits I used to justify paying for my first class season ticket have now gone away. This is madness, what are SWR trying to achieve by this?
Here is the list of changes I’ve observed in the new refurbished first class carriage:
As not to be completely negative, you do now have a new wireless charging area on shared tables, ha!
Class 444 were the last SWR trains where 1st class seats offered a reasonable level of comfort. When the new company with GWR in partnership took over, I expected that GWR standards of first class will be implemented on SWR, only now I see how wrong I was, extremely frustrating!
If this is the way SWR are going with long-distance Class 444 trains, then there is no way that I will continue paying for the 1st class season ticket.
Is there anyone else who feels the same way?
What can we do to convince SWR to stop destroying 1st class travel on their trains?
With MTR as a partner, one has to resume that SWR is trying to change their franchise into a metro operation focusing on shorter services bounded by Winchester, Haslemere etc and anyone unfortunate enough to live outside that area either uses their car or gets used a metro service that is just infrequent. Certainly the whole positive expectation from SWR of better trains, faster services etc has just disappeared in a puff of smoke.
I'm sure that SWR will be monitoring all of this feedback and will bring a halt to this refurbishment. After all, looking at their website, it states:
Over the next 7 years, we’ll be investing in our network, our people and the community to deliver high quality, safe and reliable services which meet the needs of customers and the communities we serve.
On long distance services, existing trains will undergo a full refurbishment, improving comfort levels and returning to service looking like new.
We’ve spoken in detail to over 1,000 customers and more than 110 stakeholders across the network to truly understand what you want from your train service. As we improve your service, we will continue to provide many ways to have your voice heard.
We’re committed to making life better for our customers.
Can SWR please confirm that our voices have been heard and that in order to improve comfort levels there will be no further refurbishment of 1st class carriages? If not, perhaps SWR can update its website accordingly.
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