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Author Topic: "Mutiny" on the train  (Read 2650 times)
TaplowGreen
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« on: October 04, 2021, 06:39:13 am »

Blimey - the lengths some people will go to to get to Swindon!!!  Smiley

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/travel/news/passenger-mutiny-forces-packed-train-to-reverse/ar-AAP6poJ?ocid=msedgntp
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ChrisB
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« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2021, 07:43:56 am »

According to RTT» (Real Time Trains - website), there was no call at SWI» (Swindon - next trains)?

https://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/service/gb-nr:V70270/2021-10-03
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ellendune
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« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2021, 08:13:34 am »

And it was cancelled at Reading!  It was supposed to be non-stop from Taunton to Reading - I presume since it is marked STP it was diverted from the Berks & Hants due to engineering works. Son it was never due to stop at Swindon. 

But it was stopped for over 1.5 hours just west of Swindon. 
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bignosemac
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« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2021, 08:42:40 am »

The train was due to make additional stops at Bristol TM(resolve) and Bath due to both the 1730 and 1830 Bristol TM - Paddington having been cancelled due to staff shortages.

It picked up passengers at Bristol TM and Bath Spa with some of those assuming it was making calls at Chippenham and Swindon. There was, according to posts on social media, confusing station announcements, incorrect information from staff in Bristol and Bath, and constantly changing information on screens and displays. Under those circumstances it's perfectly understandable that people boarded at Bristol and Bath thinking this ex-Penzance train, already diverted from its usual route, would be calling at Chippenham and Swindon.

On board, the train was understandably packed after Bristol & Bath. Easy to miss PA (Public Address) announcements and impossible to go and find the Train Manager. In those circumstances one can understand the passenger alarm being pulled.

Bad job all round by GWR (Great Western Railway).
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broadgage
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« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2021, 09:35:44 am »

Whatever the exact circumstances, this sort of thing will hardly encourage rail travel in general, and GWR (Great Western Railway) travel in particular.
Rail is already considered to be hugely complex and expensive, and unreliable.

This makes the "famous five" advertising campaign look increasingly silly. No amount of advertising compensates for this sort of thing.

"This is the XX-YY service from Penzance to Paddington. It may be diverted en-route, and might or might not make extra stops on the diversion or elsewhere. Change at Reading for London."

Get the basics right first.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2021, 09:48:46 am »

Railway Byelaw 11.3: No person shall, without reasonable cause, activate any emergency system and/or any communications system provided on any part of the railway including a train.

Does a few (?) passengers potentially being overcarried constitute 'reasonable cause'. Absolutely not, under normal circumstances. But in this case if one or more railway officers advised passengers that the service would make an additional Swindon call then GWR (Great Western Railway) will have to take the hit.

If not then the responsible passengers should be ashamed of themselves.

Quelle surprise, the railway shoots itself in both feet, again, by not having communication channels adequately defined.
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broadgage
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« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2021, 10:05:46 am »

Strictly speaking, those passengers who operated the emergency alarm made things worse and could in theory be prosecuted.
Back in the real world their actions are understandable, and a "mutiny" or other protest does bring this sort of thing to public attention, and embarrass GWR (Great Western Railway) and their hopeless weekend service.

I presume that any enquiry will focus on communications and information, and avoid any talk of the underlying causes of the problem, such as lack of staff and lack of trains.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
grahame
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« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2021, 10:29:13 am »

Strictly speaking, those passengers who operated the emergency alarm made things worse and could in theory be prosecuted.

But the utter stupidity of even thinking of doing so in such circumstances beggars belief.  It reminds me of the time a train manager or RPI (Revenue Protection Inspector (or Retail Price Index, depending on the context)) threatened me with prosecution for failing to have a valid ticket and presenting him with something that wasn't even a travel ticket when asked.

Travelling home from Filton Abbey Wood in the afternoon on a Friday, I had asked for a single to Melksham at the ticket hut and been charged £10 for what looked like a standard ticket - all the coding stuff on it, and with "From Filton Abbey Wood" and "To Melksham" clearly printed on it.   I thought I was right and I trusted the staff member who sold it to me - £10 sounded about right, no warning flags.

Turned out I have been sold a weekend first upgrade, which that staff member on the Temple Meads to Chippenham leg of my journey told me wasn't a travel ticket, pointing out the various codes on it.  He said he would "let me off" because a Weekend First upgrade should not have been sold on a Friday, but warned me sternly that I would need to buy a proper ticket to get from Chippenham to Melksham - that I risked being in serious trouble if I tried to complete my journey using the piece of card I had, especially as I had already been warned; he kinda implied that his colleague on the Melksham train would be on the lookout for me or at the least need me to "talk my way though" as I had done with him and take the risk of having the book thrown at me.

Now - I'm a pretty hardened traveller, but this incident really shook me up - for sure, I was technically in the wrong. I was sufficiently shaken to catch the much slower bus back to Melksham ... and here I am remembering it 8 years later. Profound.

I would - hope - that there were no "jobsworths" around yesterday and unless passengers were deliberately being naughty (no evidence that they were - the naughtiness is with the rail industry for failing to provide!) they should be looked after and apologised to ... not told (even here, even in passing) that they are liable for prosecution for pulling the chord, travelling beyond their station, or anything else.


Edit to add - See http://www.passenger.chat/12887
« Last Edit: October 04, 2021, 10:44:55 am by grahame » Logged

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bignosemac
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« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2021, 10:36:26 am »

↑↑↑ What he said. <round of applause>

Potential prosecution should not feature at all in GWR (Great Western Railway)'s responses to customers on that train. Only what's morally right need be discussed.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2021, 10:44:12 am by bignosemac » Logged

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johnneyw
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« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2021, 10:38:44 am »

There's also the knock on effects on following services to consider....or not in the case of those responsible.  As I understand it, just cause for such action is when passenger lives/saftey are at risk and this, as far as I can see, was not the case.  Indeed, it could be argued that such actions could potentially compromise passenger and staff safety.
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grahame
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« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2021, 10:49:49 am »

... just cause for such action is when passenger lives/safety are at risk ...

If you were on a train that ran though a station where it should have stopped ... might you not feel, especially if you were not a rail regular, that the train might be running away ... (Edinburgh Waverley, August 2019 - it does happen!)

But, for goodness sake, let's not expect customers of the rail industry to be as fully informed and totally trained on all unusual circumstances as the staff, and require them to make perfect judgement calls when something doesn't work as it should.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2021, 10:55:35 am by grahame » Logged

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bignosemac
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« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2021, 10:58:13 am »

A TOC (Train Operating Company) would never prosecute in these circumstances. Evidence for starters - good luck identifying. Grossly overcrowded train. Inability to contact TM(resolve). Proving malicious intent or mens rea. Arguing 'reasonable cause'. That's a lot of cost, effort and bad publicity to go through for a maximum return of £1000. In reality any such fine will be much less.

What ought to be looked at is a separate, "If you require assistance..." contact system. Or a Passcom that doesn't immediately put the anchors on until communication with staff is established. Many trains are already fitted with such.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2021, 11:06:47 am by bignosemac » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2021, 11:10:52 am »

Or a Passcom that doesn't immediately put the anchors on until communication with staff is established. Many trains are already fitted with such.

IET (Intercity Express Train) emergency alarms don’t immediately put the anchors on.  The driver has a foot pedal that can override it like most (all?) modern trains.  A CCTV (Closed Circuit Tele Vision) image from the nearest camera then gets displayed to the driver and they can speak to whoever has activated the alarm in theory. 

Though like any out of course situation it’s not always possible for all the various procedures to work like clockwork.
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johnneyw
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« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2021, 11:50:47 am »

... just cause for such action is when passenger lives/safety are at risk ...

If you were on a train that ran though a station where it should have stopped ... might you not feel, especially if you were not a rail regular, that the train might be running away ... (Edinburgh Waverley, August 2019 - it does happen!)

But, for goodness sake, let's not expect customers of the rail industry to be as fully informed and totally trained on all unusual circumstances as the staff, and require them to make perfect judgement calls when something doesn't work as it should.

Okay, difficult to make a call on, I agree.  Difficult to enforce potentially as well.   Call me a bit old fashioned though but I would worry if there was a resulting slippery slope tendency towards increasingly loose interpretation of what constitutes proper use.
But that's just me and maybe I've unwittingly pressed the "silly old fool mode" button! 
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broadgage
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« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2021, 01:17:22 pm »

I did state that passengers operating the emergency alarm could be prosecuted IN THEORY but was not advocating or suggesting such an action.

Not even heard of anyone being charged a penalty fare !
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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