10:02 Brighton to London Bridge today

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Skimpot flyer

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A trainload of passengers were waiting on Platform 3 at Brighton, for the 10:02 to London Bridge. The train had been sitting in the platform for at least ten minutes, with the doors locked. At about 10:01, a passenger approached the driver's door, which was open, to politely request that he open the doors, so people could take a seat and assist with a punctual departure. No shouting, no swearing. Driver emerges from cab, talks to platform dispatch guy and tells him to 'get another driver, I'm not being spoken to like that' and carries on texting on his phone... So everyone has to pile onto the (slower) 10:05 departure. Can a driver really have this much power? If I had a hissy-fit at work, and refused to do my job, I'd expect disciplinary action at the least, and possibly dismissal :roll:
 
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trainmania100

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Its not a first, that service always seems to be sat in platform 3, a 4 car 377 usually and the doors always seem to be locked until a few minutes before departure.
Quite often I see people getting agitated
 

Deepgreen

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A trainload of passengers were waiting on Platform 3 at Brighton, for the 10:02 to London Bridge. The train had been sitting in the platform for at least ten minutes, with the doors locked. At about 10:01, a passenger approached the driver's door, which was open, to politely request that he open the doors, so people could take a seat and assist with a punctual departure. No shouting, no swearing. Driver emerges from cab, talks to platform dispatch guy and tells him to 'get another driver, I'm not being spoken to like that' and carries on texting on his phone... So everyone has to pile onto the (slower) 10:05 departure. Can a driver really have this much power? If I had a hissy-fit at work, and refused to do my job, I'd expect disciplinary action at the least, and possibly dismissal :roll:

There must be more to this than meets the eye (or ear). No shouting or swearing maybe, but was there possibly rudeness, threat, or similar? I cannot imagine a driver simply abandoning his/her train on the strength of something trivial. Or perhaps the platform staff, rather than the passenger, was rude to the driver?!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I think we all know the OP is questioning if the driver's employee would look favourably upon such behaviour.

Or even 'employer'.
 
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BestWestern

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Does this service operate with a Guard, or is it DOO? If it has a Guard, the responsibility for releasing the doors to allow boarding is theirs, rather than that of the Driver. Just interested...
 

Jonfun

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Unfortunately, some passengers think they are entitled to boss railway staff about and speak to them like crap. In my opinion, they should be removed from the station and banned from travelling by rail, though I appreciate that's easier said than done.
 

najaB

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If I had a hissy-fit at work, and refused to do my job...

Unfortunately, some passengers think they are entitled to boss railway staff about and speak to them like crap.

Unless we find out exactly what was said, and by whom, there's no way that we can legitimately hang either the driver or the passenger out to dry.

I fear that it won't stop people trying though.
 

7031

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Unless we find out exactly what was said, and by whom, there's no way that we can legitimately hang either the driver or the passenger out to dry.

I fear that it won't stop people trying though.

Exactly this. Anything we say in this thread is going to be purely speculation as we don't know what either the driver or the passenger really said or how they said it.

Of course, it's certainly also possible that the driver was just having a particularly bad day.
 

ComUtoR

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I think we all know the OP is questioning if the driver's employee would look favourably upon such behaviour.

No they weren't. The only question was
Can a Driver really have this much power ?

The sort answer to that is indeed yes. We are not slaves and we are still very much like any other employee.

The nuts and bolts of what actually happened are pure speculation. Was skimpot accusing the Driver of having a Hissy-fit ? That's pretty disrespectful and hearsay.

As to the Driver not doing his job. I would say that they were potentially doing the correct thing by not taking the service. As a Driver if you become distracted for any reason then you should not drive your train. If this Driver felt that the passenger was rude in any way and believed that it may cause a distraction to their day then they must absolutely not drive.

As I have direct access to the various incident reports I can categorically state that often, one of the route causes is down to some kind of personal conflict earlier in the day. That ranges from simple things like another nightmare school run to stand up rows with the Signaller.
 

Mojo

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I'm not talking about this incident, as we only have the OP to go by to say that the customer was being nothing other than polite. But, being a driver is a lonely, boring job, and there's every possibility that if someone said something unkind that it could perhaps weigh on the driver's mind, causing distraction and possible performance or safety issues.
 

Skimpot flyer

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As far as I can tell, the passenger was merely asking for the doors to be opened, so the (many) other passengers, many with suitcases, babies in prams, etc, could board. Opening the doors any closer to departure time (it was by then, 10:01 already) would likely cause the train to be late leaving, possibly incurring further delays up the line. Not an unreasonable point, in my opinion
 

najaB

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As far as I can tell...
This is the problem - you have an *idea* of what was said, but did you clearly hear every word? There are people who can very politely and quietly be very insulting. Verbal communication is 30% what you say and 70% how you say it.
 

tsr

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The service in question did run, leaving Brighton 10 minutes late, and terminating at East Croydon, 13 down. Looks like the reason given is "train crew being delayed" so presumably the driver was replaced or given a few minutes to ensure they were in a fit state to drive. As above, there could be a million different things which were said in the heat of the moment, or it could have been that somebody (maybe even a phone call which you did not see being made) wound the driver up when he had agreed to work overtime at short notice to run the service. In addition, of course, to any of the above possible reasons.

Thameslink services do, though, have problems at Brighton with having the doors released only two or three minutes before departure. As yet, I've not seen any formal information as to why this might be, other than the usual modern tight diagramming / intense service causing delays / driver having to walk to the front of a long train. It certainly doesn't help with passenger and staff stress levels. The more fuss is made, perhaps the better!

Does this service operate with a Guard, or is it DOO? If it has a Guard, the responsibility for releasing the doors to allow boarding is theirs, rather than that of the Driver. Just interested...

It's a DOO Thameslink service, and in any case, conductors for GTR workings of any colour don't generally release doors before departure at Brighton. Certainly not on the usual stock for mainline services such as this. In fact it's not possible for conductors to release passenger doors on a 377/387 except in emergencies via the egress handles...
 
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leaffall

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Its not a first, that service always seems to be sat in platform 3, a 4 car 377 usually and the doors always seem to be locked until a few minutes before departure.
Quite often I see people getting agitated

I think what happens is the southern service from Victoria arrives as an 8 or 12 car and gets split. The 4 car at the buffer stops remained locked because the front portion does the 0932 to LBG (I think)

So then the rear 4 remain locked until the TL driver comes up to work the 1002 and because he isn't diagrammed to be there until 5 minutes before and as you say, by then there's a lot of people. In an ideal world someone could release the doors earlier but platform staff don't have master keys. Only drivers and engineers have them.

It's also worth noting that the 377 is one of those trains where you can't just get in and release the doors. You have to key in, acknowledge the TPWS and wait for MITRAC to power up and run through self-tests. You have have to confirm the train's configuration and GPS location. Only when that is done can you get a door release. Unfortunately this process takes about a minute to a minute and a half but only adds to passenger annoyance because they think you're being belligerent by not releasing the doors as soon as you're in the cab.

As for this individual incident we don't really know how "polite" the passenger spoke, just because there was no 'swearing and shouting" doesn't mean there wasn't that "passive-agressive" thing going on we all hate! Anyway realtime trains shows it departed at 1012 whether that was with a spare driver or the original after he had a moment to reconsider I don't know.

But frankly it wasn't necessary for the passenger to stick his nose in, the driver knows he has to open the doors and I'm sure he would as soon the trains systems allowed.
 

Deepgreen

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But frankly it wasn't necessary for the passenger to stick his nose in, the driver knows he has to open the doors and I'm sure he would as soon the trains systems allowed.

Notwithstanding all the many unknowns here, I don't think the passenger necessarily stuck "his nose in", rather he probably (not unreasonably, and together with the rest of the waiting passengers) wanted to get on and sit down rather than stand around outside an empty train for reasons he/they neither needed to know or care about. Delayed door release on empty trains where passengers are waiting to board is a source of great irritation to passengers, and it doesn't matter to them whose job it is to open the doors.

As I said above, there are many unknowns here and I am not commenting on this specific instance.
 

leaffall

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He was sticking his nose in. Precisely what he was doing. If there's any lesson I've learned from this thread it's to close the cab door as soon as you get in
 

Domh245

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I can see why the passenger would have wanted to ask the driver what was happening, but for those of us with a bit of an understanding, it isn't really necessary. To go up and ask the driver "are you going to open these doors" - or words to that effect, could be taken very personally be the driver. To suggest to a driver that they were going to drive off without any one on board having neglected to open the doors would be quite insulting to you if you prided yourself on working professionally.
 

leaffall

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It's obvious I wasn't there, as for "enlighten us" I went to great lengths to explain the reasons why the door release may have been delayed and all you did, was to pick one line and argue the toss.

If he went to the driver's door to tell/ask the driver to open the doors when he knew full well that the doors would be released then regardless of what was said he's sticking his nose in

There are a number of ways this could have been handled better:

1) another member of staff, maybe the duty fitter could release the doors or better still, a driver is actually diagrammed to be at the train earlier the release the doors.

2) station announcers could make announcements explaining the delay and reassuring passengers the doors would be opened shortly

3) Proactively fending off problems by telling passengers "sorry I'll get the doors open as soon as I can" as he walked down, but we're not encouraged or obliged to

4) the passenger could have excercised a little bit more patience and not go speaking to the driver while he was setting up the cab we don't know what he said but whatever it was it caused a scene

5) the driver could have taken a deep breath and counted to ten when faced with a passenger who upset him

Its all a storm in a tea cup to be frank and further to the OPs observations I can pretty much guarantee no action will be taken
 

ar10642

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I can see why the passenger would have wanted to ask the driver what was happening, but for those of us with a bit of an understanding, it isn't really necessary. To go up and ask the driver "are you going to open these doors" - or words to that effect, could be taken very personally be the driver. To suggest to a driver that they were going to drive off without any one on board having neglected to open the doors would be quite insulting to you if you prided yourself on working professionally.

If you prided yourself on working professionally, would you storm off, delaying a train, even if a passenger was rude to you? Perhaps such easily offended people shouldn't be doing public facing jobs. The public can be rude and uncaring, but that comes with the territory unfortunately. And let's be honest, a lot of railway staff can be like that too.

Perhaps "sorry, I can't open the doors yet, but I will as soon as I can", or words to that effect would have done the job.
 

Class377/5

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Another point overlooked is the driver may have been trying to fix a problem or issue on the unit. Noted the comment about driver on his phone, he could be messaging fleet departure with images to help fault finding (this is done on a regular basis) rather than ignoring the service.

We have next to no facts other than something happened and there are lots of jumping to conclusions from both sides. And I'd like to state if someone feels it's so note worthy to post up in public in the manner it was which only shows the driver in a bad light not what was actually said (complete lack of info/facts there), why bother? Why not talk to the TOC rather than put a one sided view across?
 

ComUtoR

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If you prided yourself on working professionally, would you storm off, delaying a train, even if a passenger was rude to you?

Delaying the train or even refusing to take it IS the professional response. I guess you missed my post about becoming distracted.

Perhaps such easily offended people shouldn't be doing public facing jobs. The public can be rude and uncaring, but that comes with the territory unfortunately

It should not "come with the territory" that is giving people free licence to abuse front facing staff. There are many caveats with public facing industries in that abuse, verbal or otherwise, will not be tolerated.
 

DarloRich

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As far as I can tell, the passenger was merely asking for the doors to be opened, so the (many) other passengers, many with suitcases, babies in prams, etc, could board. Opening the doors any closer to departure time (it was by then, 10:01 already) would likely cause the train to be late leaving, possibly incurring further delays up the line. Not an unreasonable point, in my opinion

but you don't know - he may have been ffing and blinding and making threats. Should anyone face such behaviour at work?

As for any discipline matters it would be a "your word against his" situation: My member was abused by a passenger whilst going about his business. He was threatened and in accordance with rule 2.3.4.5.6a of the XYZ decided he was too shaken to continue with his duties. It is therefore outrageous he has been subjected to this etc etc etc

In a written statement Mr Smith (67) of Godalming indicated that he simply said to the driver: "I say old chap would you mind awfully opening the doors so we can sit down" He then abused me and storm off in an almighty huff

case closed.
 
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maniacmartin

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Passengers aren't experts in the workings of the railways and don't know about all the procedures for setting up the train that the driver has to do. From the average passenger on the platform, this sort of situation looks like the driver has just forgotten to open the doors, so I don't find it surprising that one of them went to ask the driver to open them.

Things would be a lot better if the railways put more effort into useful communication with passengers. A short announcement from platform staff that the driver is currently setting up the train and the doors will be open shortly could probably have prevented the whole incident.
 
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I can see why the passenger would have wanted to ask the driver what was happening, but for those of us with a bit of an understanding, it isn't really necessary. To go up and ask the driver "are you going to open these doors" - or words to that effect, could be taken very personally be the driver. To suggest to a driver that they were going to drive off without any one on board having neglected to open the doors would be quite insulting to you if you prided yourself on working professionally.

Bet that one has been done before lol!
 

Deepgreen

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It's obvious I wasn't there, as for "enlighten us" I went to great lengths to explain the reasons why the door release may have been delayed and all you did, was to pick one line and argue the toss.

If he went to the driver's door to tell/ask the driver to open the doors when he knew full well that the doors would be released then regardless of what was said he's sticking his nose in

I did "pick one line" because it was a contentious (and apparently anti-passenger) one! Yes, we may well know many possible reasons why door release wasn't effected, but, my point was that a passenger cannot be expected to know (or care) about such niceties. He and all the other people waiting would just want the doors opened to gain access and sit down. Who is to say that he "knew full well that the doors would be released"? If that hadn't happened one minute prior to scheduled departure, questions would obviously be forming in passengers' minds. The average passenger, seeing a member of staff in the cab, might well ask if the doors could be opened, without being labelled as nosey.
As I said, I was not commenting on this specific incident, but simply pointing out that passengers often are left wondering why access to trains is denied to them. I have no idea what was said here (as I also pointed out), but it would seem that there is more to it than we know so far.
 
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Antman

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A trainload of passengers were waiting on Platform 3 at Brighton, for the 10:02 to London Bridge. The train had been sitting in the platform for at least ten minutes, with the doors locked. At about 10:01, a passenger approached the driver's door, which was open, to politely request that he open the doors, so people could take a seat and assist with a punctual departure. No shouting, no swearing. Driver emerges from cab, talks to platform dispatch guy and tells him to 'get another driver, I'm not being spoken to like that' and carries on texting on his phone... So everyone has to pile onto the (slower) 10:05 departure. Can a driver really have this much power? If I had a hissy-fit at work, and refused to do my job, I'd expect disciplinary action at the least, and possibly dismissal :roll:

If this is exactly what happened, and I'm not casting any aspersions on the OP, it just sounds like another example of passengers/customers being treated with utter contempt. Couldn't the driver have just enlightened the passenger as to what was happening? And I've dealt with similar when I was on the buses and if I'd had a hissy fit like that I would no doubt be on a disciplinary.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Clearly yes, as it just happened.

Oh dear:oops:
 

bengley

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If you prided yourself on working professionally, would you storm off, delaying a train, even if a passenger was rude to you? Perhaps such easily offended people shouldn't be doing public facing jobs. The public can be rude and uncaring, but that comes with the territory unfortunately. And let's be honest, a lot of railway staff can be like that too.

Perhaps "sorry, I can't open the doors yet, but I will as soon as I can", or words to that effect would have done the job.

It's not a public facing job. Train drivers are employed to drive trains from a locked cab.
 
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