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Author Topic: Platform changes that mean you miss a service  (Read 1439 times)
froome
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« on: September 12, 2018, 09:59:35 am »

Can anyone tell me what happens if a platform change is announced very late, and you are unable to get to the new platform in time to board your train, and particularly if you have an advanced ticket for that service.

It didn't quite happen to me, but suspect it did to a few others. A week or so ago I was at Southampton Central to catch the 1710 train back to Bath Spa. IME trains on that route always go from platform 4. However, this one was shown on the screen as leaving from platform 3A, even though another train was also shown from leaving from that platform for Totton at 1706. Getting to that platform involves going up to the footbridge and then down again. On platform 3A the 1706 arrived and then left on time. I think at about 1708 (but can't be sure) that the 1710 was then announced due to arrive on that platform, but at about 1709 and a bit a platform change was announced which said it would arrive at platform 4 (and we then saw it arrive). A staff member on platform 3A was phoning (I assume) the staff member on platform 4 to tell them what was happening. So about 80 or so people rushed for the stairs, and a few of us went to the lift because we had heavy luggage (I had a bike). Fortunately we all fitted into the lift and got to the footbridge.

Knowing the train was already waiting and that the lift is a little way distant from where the train stops, I carried my bike down the stairs, as did the other person with a bike, but those with heavy cases went to the catch the lift down. I caught the train, which left very soon afterwards. I didn't see any of the people who went for the lift get on, and am pretty sure they missed it.

Presumably any of the following could happen to those who did miss it and had advanced tickets:

a) They would be charged the full fare for their journey as they didn't have the correct ticket.

b) They could claim back compensation for being late (it is an hourly service so presumably they would arrive one hour late), which could include compensation for the full fare charged?

c) They could ask for a remit from the station staff at Southampton explaining what had happened, to show to the TM on the next train. However, I'm sure that the staff on platform 4 will say they looked to see if anyone needed to get on and that everyone on the platform had. And they would be correct, in that the passengers who still needed to board hadn't made it to the platform in time, being in the lift (or still waiting for it). So my suspicion is that they may not be prepared to issue a remit if it implied they hadn't done their job correctly.
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froome
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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2018, 10:02:02 am »

I should add one extra point. Southampton Central is run by a different company to that providing the service, so who would any claim be made to?
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eightf48544
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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2018, 11:11:14 am »

Interesting example of the Punctual Versus reliable railway.

The punctual railway means people miss their train in circumstances like this, a reliable railway ensures people have a train at or near the advertised time.
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the void
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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2018, 11:11:54 am »

...and the signaler responsible for changing the platform at the last minute works for a different company yet again!
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froome
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« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2018, 12:48:19 pm »

...and the signaler responsible for changing the platform at the last minute works for a different company yet again!

I didn't know that. Which company would they work for?

I still find it odd that the train was due on platform 3A in the first place, as there didn't seem to be any other services coming onto platform 4 around that time. I did wonder whether it was due to staff shortage meaning there was nobody to send the train off from there, but as there was somebody there when it was replatformed I assume not.
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RA
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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2018, 01:18:25 pm »

...and the signaler responsible for changing the platform at the last minute works for a different company yet again!

I didn't know that. Which company would they work for?

I still find it odd that the train was due on platform 3A in the first place, as there didn't seem to be any other services coming onto platform 4 around that time. I did wonder whether it was due to staff shortage meaning there was nobody to send the train off from there, but as there was somebody there when it was replatformed I assume not.
The 17:10 service was switched to platform 3 a couple of years ago as there was a freight container working for Southampton Western Docks or Maritime booked just in front of it that was scheduled through platform 4 as the terminals are on the down side of the running lines. It would appear that although the freight working is no longer an issue, the platform allocation has remained as platform 3. The signallers at Eastleigh sometimes forget that this service is booked through platform 3, especially as most (if not all) other services at xx:10 use platform 4.
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the void
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« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2018, 02:18:57 pm »

I didn't know that. Which company would they work for?

The signalers work for Network Rail.
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CJB666
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« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2018, 03:29:46 pm »

Had that problem at Newport on the way to Abergavenny. Train from Paddington left OK. But lost time. It was 15 minutes down at Newport. This was enough to just  and only just - miss the Arriva connection. They didn't bother to hold the Arriva train although staff could clearly see quite a few pax. struggling with luggage to get over the footbridge. We got to the Arriva train just as the doors were shutting. It then left. We had to wait for the next train. Meanwhile we missed the booked transport from Abergavenny. We lost the costs for that, AND had to pay for taxis at 50 to get to our hotel. Never got a any replies to our complaints to FGW or Arriva. Never went again.
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rower40
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« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2018, 08:54:46 pm »

This would seem to be an appropriate place to post a warning to users of Filton Abbey Wood.
Between the end of the Filton 4-track blockade (19th November if memory serves) and the last day of the May-to-December 2018 timetable (8th December), there will be 4 platforms in use at Filton Abbey Wood, but the electronic timetable will still have the OLD platform numbers.

So some trains will be physically unable to use their timetabled platform.  Others could use their timetabled one, but would have to 'weave' to do so.

The specifics:
current usage;
Platform 1 - all trains towards Temple Meads, from both Parkway and Patchway
Platform 2 - all trains towards Parkway
Platform 3 - all trains towards Patchway and South Wales

After the 4-track layout opens
Platform 1 - all trains from Parkway; also (by exception) Patchway to Temple Meads non-stop trains (i.e. not stopping at Lawrence Hill or Stapleton Road)
Platform 2 - all trains towards Parkway; also (by exception) Temple Meads to Patchway fast trains
Platform 3 - Patchway to Temple Meads trains
Platform 4 - Temple Meads to Patchway trains

I'm prepared to wager that the CIS screens will be switched off for those 3 weeks!
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froome
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« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2018, 08:56:21 am »

...and the signaler responsible for changing the platform at the last minute works for a different company yet again!

I didn't know that. Which company would they work for?

I still find it odd that the train was due on platform 3A in the first place, as there didn't seem to be any other services coming onto platform 4 around that time. I did wonder whether it was due to staff shortage meaning there was nobody to send the train off from there, but as there was somebody there when it was replatformed I assume not.
The 17:10 service was switched to platform 3 a couple of years ago as there was a freight container working for Southampton Western Docks or Maritime booked just in front of it that was scheduled through platform 4 as the terminals are on the down side of the running lines. It would appear that although the freight working is no longer an issue, the platform allocation has remained as platform 3. The signallers at Eastleigh sometimes forget that this service is booked through platform 3, especially as most (if not all) other services at xx:10 use platform 4.

Thanks for this response, which answers what happened.

But it would also be good to know the answers to the redress issue, which is why I posted in this thread.

My guess at what would happen is that a claim would be made to GWR, as the TOC running the service the ticket was for, and assuming they reply, the reply would be that their service ran to time so no claim could be made to them. They might suggest approaching SWR, as the TOC running Southampton Central. A claim made to them may, if they reply, say their staff checked to see all on the platform had boarded and sent the train off on time, so no claim could be made against them. I suspect any claimant by this time will have given up, and doubt that National Rail, as signallers, would ever be mentioned. And I suspect there isn't any way to make a claim against NR anyway, as they are not a TOC.

So the outcome may well have been that someone would have bought an advance ticket which they tried to use but couldn't, had to pay extra for a full fare ticket, lost out for an hour to catch the next train, and lose out in every way. Does that seem most likely?
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martyjon
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« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2018, 09:11:28 am »

...and the signaler responsible for changing the platform at the last minute works for a different company yet again!

I didn't know that. Which company would they work for?

I still find it odd that the train was due on platform 3A in the first place, as there didn't seem to be any other services coming onto platform 4 around that time. I did wonder whether it was due to staff shortage meaning there was nobody to send the train off from there, but as there was somebody there when it was replatformed I assume not.
The 17:10 service was switched to platform 3 a couple of years ago as there was a freight container working for Southampton Western Docks or Maritime booked just in front of it that was scheduled through platform 4 as the terminals are on the down side of the running lines. It would appear that although the freight working is no longer an issue, the platform allocation has remained as platform 3. The signallers at Eastleigh sometimes forget that this service is booked through platform 3, especially as most (if not all) other services at xx:10 use platform 4.

Thanks for this response, which answers what happened.

But it would also be good to know the answers to the redress issue, which is why I posted in this thread.

My guess at what would happen is that a claim would be made to GWR, as the TOC running the service the ticket was for, and assuming they reply, the reply would be that their service ran to time so no claim could be made to them. They might suggest approaching SWR, as the TOC running Southampton Central. A claim made to them may, if they reply, say their staff checked to see all on the platform had boarded and sent the train off on time, so no claim could be made against them. I suspect any claimant by this time will have given up, and doubt that National Rail, as signallers, would ever be mentioned. And I suspect there isn't any way to make a claim against NR anyway, as they are not a TOC.

So the outcome may well have been that someone would have bought an advance ticket which they tried to use but couldn't, had to pay extra for a full fare ticket, lost out for an hour to catch the next train, and lose out in every way. Does that seem most likely?


Try Passenger Focus, they sometimes, only sometimes mind, get redress for passengers when other avenues have closed.
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Timmer
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« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2018, 10:18:38 am »

So the outcome may well have been that someone would have bought an advance ticket which they tried to use but couldn't, had to pay extra for a full fare ticket, lost out for an hour to catch the next train, and lose out in every way. Does that seem most likely?
If I've missed my connecting train and was travelling on an advanced ticket, even a split advanced ticket, and its the railways fault, I won't be paying any extra.
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