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Author Topic: "Mutiny" on the train  (Read 1951 times)
PhilWakely
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« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2021, 01:28:32 pm »

This chat reminds me of this - taught to me by my mother many moons ago.
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broadgage
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« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2021, 01:31:34 pm »

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.

"If you require assistance, please choose from the following menu.
Choose one to report a crime or dangerous situation.
Choose two for a medical emergency.
Choose three for lost property.
Choose four if you have become separated from the rest of your party.
Choose five for mobility assistance.
For anything else please choose nine."

Customer then chooses nine.
"hello this is customer services, please be aware that calls are recorded [insert long and tedious message about data protection] Your call is important to us and will be answered shortly" [18 minute wait]
Train goes into tunnel and call terminated.

"This is customer services------------"repeat as needed.
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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.
Timmer
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« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2021, 01:40:16 pm »

We didn’t discuss it yesterday in the ‘shortage of traincrew thread’, but things became a right mess in the afternoon and evening when a number of Bristol-London trains were cancelled at fairly short notice leaving what would already have been very busy diverted SW services (remember semi fasts were starting from Castle Cary) to pick up passengers from Bristol, Bath and Chippenham right during the Sunday afternoon/evening peak return to London.

GWR (Great Western Railway) did run a shuttle service using 387s between Swindon and London but the problem was much further down the line.

I would suspect GWR will say it was either cancelling the diverted SW beyond Bristol or cancelling the Bristol to London trains.

Perfect storm really. Let’s remember that weekend travel is now much busier than at times during the week. Weekends have always been best avoided, now more so.

The same afternoon GWR tweeted about taking the train to Bath, not great timing. Needless to say it got a response it from a few disgruntled customers!

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bobm
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« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2021, 02:22:26 pm »

Having brought the train to a stand at least there have been no reports of people using the emergency door release and walking along the tracks. 
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broadgage
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« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2021, 03:08:04 pm »

Having brought the train to a stand at least there have been no reports of people using the emergency door release and walking along the tracks. 

Presumably no station was within sight or known to be nearby.
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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.
stuving
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« Reply #20 on: October 04, 2021, 03:25:42 pm »

There's an insider's version of what happened on railforums - with some omissions of what can't be said from inside. The key is that the Swindon stop (and Chippenham too) was announced before departure, but withdrawn en route. I presume that was before it left Taunton; any later would be a serious problem in itself. Even if done earlier it creates a huge customer information problem, with the obvious potential for what happened to happen. 

On timings, from liverail:
passed    Swindon 19:13 20 late (P3)
arrived    Swindon 20:26 off-route, so no timetable entry, and no platform shown
departed Swindon 20:35 off-route, so no timetable entry
arrived    Reading  21:01 104 late, terminated (due to crew hours and return stock timing)

As usual, whatever was decided as the "solution" wasn't quick to arrange.
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eightonedee
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« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2021, 04:18:07 pm »

Thanks Stuving for copying that to us. From a quick read there does not seem to be any clear answer to the question "were passengers told clearly and audibly that the stop at Swindon had been withdrawn?". Even if this had been announced on the train, the quality of announcements (especially volume levels) is very variable and the accuracy of "walking writing" notices is also poor with errors often occurring. It looks and sounds as if it was too crowded for train staff to walk through making announcements in person to passengers.

If the train had been announced and "advertised" as stopping at Swindon, then once there were passengers on board travelling there it should not have been changed en route. To do so, especially in these circumstances and in the absence of (for example) the train suffering a failure causing it to be cancelled was a disaster waiting to happen. From the information here presented the only "problem" was the train was 20 minutes late at Swindon. That cannot justify a decision to cut stops out after passengers for those stops have boarded.

 
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bignosemac
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« Reply #22 on: October 04, 2021, 05:03:11 pm »

From what I've read, the special stop order for Chippenham and Swindon was rescinded while the train was at Bath Spa. This was apparently done by Control after consultation with the train crew.

Perhaps the train crew advised Control that the train was too overcrowded to take on more passengers. Its equally possible that the scheduled crew change at Bristol didn't happen, bearing in mind the driver shortage on Sunday afternoon. This may have meant that the existing crew were going to be out of place and/or out of hours.

It's also seems that Control messed up. To add a special stop order, then remove it appears to be main cause of the subsequent problems. Contributing factor being GWR (Great Western Railway)'s inability to roster sufficient staff on a Sunday.

Whatever the reasons it's very apparent that communication to passengers was lacking. Said passengers can't be blamed for possibly missing announcements. The general hub-bub on an overcrowded train can easily drown out PA (Public Address).
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broadgage
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« Reply #23 on: October 04, 2021, 05:18:20 pm »

The more charitable customers will regard this a yet another GWR (Great Western Railway) c0ck up, to add to the many others, not actively malign but simply incompetent. No matter what excuses may be made as to just how hard it is to actually make the advertised stop. And even harder to make it all the way to London.

The less charitable believe that there is some actively malign policy to actively make things worse.
I do NOT agree with this second view, but it is widely held.
"Why did they advertise a stop, but then not actually stop the train at that station"?
"Because they can" ! Is a fairly widely held view.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2021, 05:37:07 pm by broadgage » Logged

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.
Timmer
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« Reply #24 on: October 04, 2021, 05:49:25 pm »

I would imagine there was an uncomfortable tea with no biscuits meeting in one of the briefing rooms at Milford House this morning. If there wasn’t there jolly well should have been!

But let’s not forget the elephant in the room here and that was the cancellation of three consecutive Bristol to London trains was down to the same problem…shortage of train crew! This is what caused an already busy train from the SW being boarded by three loads of passengers who had been waiting at Bristol.

I’m in no doubt that with the train already full to bursting after it stopped at Bath, along with knowing there were many passengers further up the line waiting for a train to London that the decision was taken not to stop at Chippenham and Swindon.

I’m sure lessons will be learned from what happened last night, but until you have enough crew to run the advertised timetable this problem will never go away. Traveling with GWR (Great Western Railway) on weekends is a complete lottery.
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broadgage
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« Reply #25 on: October 04, 2021, 06:35:02 pm »

TWO elephants in the room, not just lack of staff but lack of trains.

FGW (First Great Western) as they were then known had a miserable record regarding weekend staffing, since long before the pandemic. Might be a bit better next year, but for how many years have we heard that ?

And as regards lack of trains, the failed IET (Intercity Express Train) project and the much smaller but even more failed 769 project seem unlikely to improve any time soon.
Remember all the promises made in previous years regarding both long distance and local services ? 70 short formations today.

And of course GWR (Great Western Railway) are still operating the reduced "covid mode" timetable. Any attempt to return to a full service would make both the staff shortage and the train shortages even worse.
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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.
jamestheredengine
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« Reply #26 on: October 04, 2021, 07:01:47 pm »

If they really have that few crew/trains as to end up with two-and-a-half-hour gaps in service, the least disruptive thing would be to plan to cancel the Reading-Paddington legs of some (or even most) Intercity trains and have London passengers transfer to the Relief Lines or the South Western at Reading.
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stuving
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« Reply #27 on: October 04, 2021, 07:27:22 pm »

I really don't see why there would be a lot of passengers towards London from Swindon to board 1A58. Some of the cancelled trains from Bristol did run from Swindon, including 1A27 at 18:10 and 1A29 at 19:11. These show in RTT» (Real Time Trains - website) as class 80x, but I understand they were 387s (of unknown length).

So 1A29 left Swindon P3 a couple of minutes before 1A58 turned up there. That decision taken at Bath, by Control in consultation with 1A58's crew, is getting even harder to understand.
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Timmer
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« Reply #28 on: October 04, 2021, 07:34:10 pm »

These show in RTT» (Real Time Trains - website) as class 80x, but I understand they were 387s (of unknown length).
Journeycheck was showing the Swindon-Paddington services as 8 carriages.

Wish I had recorded the cancellations and these replacements in the shortage of traincrew thread little knowing what was going to happen. Saw GWR (Great Western Railway) were stopping services up from the SW to cover for the cancelled Bristol to Paddington services thinking they will be pretty busy. You could see from both Journeycheck and RTT that things were getting messy.
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broadgage
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« Reply #29 on: October 04, 2021, 07:39:44 pm »

If they really have that few crew/trains as to end up with two-and-a-half-hour gaps in service, the least disruptive thing would be to plan to cancel the Reading-Paddington legs of some (or even most) Intercity trains and have London passengers transfer to the Relief Lines or the South Western at Reading.

Possibly worth considering as a SHORT TERM EMERGENCY measure until they have enough staff and enough trains.
However a connecting service via Reading is a powerful disincentive to travel if compared to a through service.
Great care would have to be taken that changing at Reading does not become the new normal but remains a short term measure.
The painfully slow service to Waterloo is not a serious contender except on really bad GWR (Great Western Railway) days or those who wish to be at Waterloo without a cross london transfer.
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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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