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Author Topic: Reading - Safety on Stairs  (Read 2929 times)
Gordon the Blue Engine
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« on: January 12, 2011, 11:49:59 am »

I was on Platform 8 at Reading yesterday waiting for 1723 to Oxford. The first train shown was the 1711 XC (Cross Country Trains (franchise)) to Manchester, shown on time at 1711. At 1711 they announced a platform change to... platform 3!

So there was immediately a mad panic as most of platform 8 set off on the long journey by subway, or even longer by footbridge for those non-regular travellers who do not know the subway exists, to platform 3. Regular travelers were of course aware that the 1711 would go when ready and would not be held while stragglers (including a significant number of non-commuters with suitcases I noticed) arrived from P8, so there was a lot of running up and down stairs etc., which FGW (First Great Western) tells us is very naughty.

I accept that the platform change was a Network Rail decision, but this decision was the cause of a safety risk which FGW sees as significant and worth having a campaign about.  Would it be possible for a platform change announcements (especially when they're like P8 to P3) to finish with something like "this train will not depart for 5 minutes, customers are asked to take care when using the stairs" (or whatever wording FGW uses on its stairs safety notices).
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« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2011, 01:42:52 pm »

Holding a train would incur the wrath of delay mins, which I'm sure XC (Cross Country Trains (franchise)) would happily pass back to FGW (First Great Western) dispatch staff for a late dispatch. Which would then get disputed etc etc.
I don't know however if the late arrival would asorb any delay mins.
Passenger loadings is another allocation for delay mins however this still costs the TOC (Train Operating Company) ^

I do not work for FGW (First Great Western) and posts should not be assumed and do not imply they are statements, unless explicitly stated that they are, from any TOC (Train Operating Company) including First Great Western.
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« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2011, 03:04:53 pm »

More work for the bean counters. Another example why the split between rail and wheel doesn't work.

In a rational system, Networkrail changed the booked platform any subsequent delays should be down to them, although if the change was due to a late arrival that could be down to Networkrail, XC (Cross Country Trains (franchise)) SWT (South West Trains) FGW (First Great Western) (at Southampton or Reading) or one of the freight companies.

The only people I can't see as being at fault are the FGW despatch staff, but who as SDS says would probably get the blame.

Just think allegedly grown up managers spend their days arguing
 about "Delay Minutes" instead of getting out and about and dealing with
 the causes of the delay.

Gordon is right to draw attention to the safety issues.

I know it was alleged from my time at East Croydon that the box used to delight in swapping the Victoria and London Bridge trains thus causing a two way scramble to change platforms but unless they had a very good reason they'd have a Please explain" to fill in from the stationmaster, who inturn would be explaing why to the Divisional Manager. If it was a frequent occurrance with a particuar pair of trains some subtle retiming or replatforming would occurrwithout any fuss
« Last Edit: January 12, 2011, 03:50:33 pm by eightf48544 » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2011, 03:21:21 pm »

In the old days if the box was going to change the platform all they had to do was call up the control room on the radio to pre warn them when a platform change was going to happen. This also warned the platform staff who could start moving people over.

Now there is little notification of any changes and if the control staff are not watching carefully then things can be very rushed.

My train was replatformed on Sunday and the CIS (Customer Information System) only picked it up as we pulled in. The staff held us though until everyone had crossed over.
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« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2011, 04:35:37 pm »

The XC (Cross Country Trains (franchise)) services from Bournemouth to Man Picc have a 6 or 7 min turnround booked, so presumably as this platform change wasn't  announced until 1711 the incoming train was already significantly late, and could not have departed on time anyway.  Was the PIS (Passenger Information System) already showing a delayed departure time, and if so there should have been ample time to cross to P3 AFAICS (As Far As I Can See).

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« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2011, 06:15:41 pm »

At 1711 the P8 Screen was showing 1711 departure until the announcement and the dreaded scrolling  "...Correction..." appeared.  That's why everyone thought they had to rush to P3 even if in fact they didn't.  I don't know if a later expected departure time then appeared on the TV summary screens, but I'm sure no-one going from P8 to P3 would have noticed even if there was.
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« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2011, 08:21:15 pm »

A late notice change to P3 for an xx:11 XC (Cross Country Trains (franchise)) departure that is other wise running on time is usually, down to other services running late on the GWML (Great Western Main Line) as entry to P3 does not require crossing Ps4 or 5.
I don't have yesterday's data but having a quick look at the situation today 1L71 1703 to PAD» (Paddington (London) - next trains) ex SWA» (Swansea - next trains) was 14L and 1A24 1710 to PAD ex BRI» (Bristol Temple Meads - next trains) was 11L from RDG(resolve).
If those two services were also running late yesterday (but by not quite so much) the chances are that they would've been given an open run into P5 and the XC service re-platformed.
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