Abellio Scotrail DOO Operation - 10 year plan - Conductors Beware

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Clansman

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Just received word from my conductor friend that Abellio Scotrail are going to be introducing DOO operation as partof a 10 year plan. This would include the majority of services from Glasgow Queen Street/Edinburgh Waverley - Falkirk/Stirling/Alloa/Dunblane. Luckily, the Intercity services will require full time guards as is required currently on these services. The plan is to introduce so called "Ticket Examiners" on routes around the Central Belt providing spot checks to tickets at most. The plan would include all Stirling Guards undertaking this role, along with some of the Edinburgh/Glasgow Central guards. The other half of the Edinburgh guards will work along side the Perth, Inverness and Aberdeen guards working as a conductor on the Intercity Routes as is now. Routes North of Inverness will still require guards. Dundee guards will entertain a similar role to the Edinburgh guards, with them alternating between Ticket Inspector and Ticket Examiner. Leaflets were handed out which stated the proposal which outlines the whole 10 year phase, which ill get photos of.

Not looking good on the guards front for Scotrail. As a driver, I'm livid at this. When I worked for Scotrail 5 years ago, when the Airdrie-Bathgate line opened, we were promised that DOO operation would only be implemented on that line, but now it looks like Abellio have shot everyone else in the back since. Hopefully the unions organise some action as this isn't acceptable. Sad reminder on how the railway is changing.

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scotraildriver

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Agree. Bad times. Not sure where this will go however as, strangely I thought, the RMT reps at my location seem to think its not a bad first proposal. I fully expected this to be shot down in flames and it wasnt. Not by the union anyway. Weird. And Ive also had some guards claiming they are quite happy as they will retain their conditions but have less responsibility. Wait and see with this one I think.
 
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NotATrainspott

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This is going to turn into another DOO-vs-Guard argument. For all it's worth, Transport Scotland set the ScotRail franchise and they don't think that the existing ScotRail DOO is a bad model to follow across the rest of the network. For TS, if staffing costs go down while ticket revenues go up (as now the on-train staff can focus on revenue collection) it's a win-win, especially when the franchise needs so much subsidy. Unlike the DfT, the politicians who direct the franchising process don't have an aversion to unionisation, but they won't hold back natural progress (which will then benefit everyone) just to keep people in their current jobs.
 

notadriver

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Can anyone tell me what the TIcket Examiners salary is ? Do they make any announcements or have any GSM-R training? Can they freely roam on any train or must they be on specific trains like the conductors ?
 

yorkie

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Can anyone tell me what the TIcket Examiners salary is ?
There's a 5 year old thread here, I'm sure it'll have increased since then.

Can they freely roam on any train or must they be on specific trains like the conductors ?
They are allocated to specific trains, and all trains are allocated a ticket examiner. If a TE is unavailable the service isn't cancelled, but a financial penalty applies. I can't ever recall catching a train without one. They are highly visible, very pro-active and I've never found any to be unfriendly. I would recommend a trip on the Strathclyde network (e.g. on a Daytripper) to see what it's like and how this works in practice.
 

Philip Phlopp

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I find the mix of 25kV AC and the absence of a second PTS trained member of staff aboard a train frankly ludicrous, but that's just me.
 

najaB

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I find the mix of 25kV AC and the absence of a second PTS trained member of staff aboard a train frankly ludicrous, but that's just me.
Are you sure that ticket examiners aren't PTS trained? Like you said it does seem a bit odd.
 

ComUtoR

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I would recommend a trip on the Strathclyde network (e.g. on a Daytripper) to see what it's like and how this works in practice.

It does not reflect the reality of working on the network. Just because as a passenger you may see that the system as working it does not mean that there isn't a myriad of problems internally.


A one size fits all approach does not work. I could not imagine the number of staff required to put a Ticket Examiner on every train out of Charing Cross. The financial penalty for not having a Ticket Examiner must be prohibitive enough that on a high density metro network the penalty is greater than staffing costs.
 

scotraildriver

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Ticket examiners check tickets and nothing else. No PTS, no announcements, no GSMR , no resetting pass comms no nothing. If the driver is incapacitated there is little they can do. Certainly no train protection, detonators or anything like that. These proposals involve much higher speed routes than Strathclyde and much longer distances between stations. Potentially higher risk in the event of a serious incident. Highly concerning.
 

cactustwirly

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Ticket examiners check tickets and nothing else. No PTS, no announcements, no GSMR , no resetting pass comms no nothing. If the driver is incapacitated there is little they can do. Certainly no train protection, detonators or anything like that. These proposals involve much higher speed routes than Strathclyde and much longer distances between stations. Potentially higher risk in the event of a serious incident. Highly concerning.

Perhaps a better Idea would be to have DCO and a Guard, where the Guard is safety trained, but is able to examine tickets without going to the back cab to open doors.
 

jopsuk

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Perhaps a better Idea would be to have DCO and a Guard, where the Guard is safety trained, but is able to examine tickets without going to the back cab to open doors.

or door controls throughout the train? That's a pretty common way of working after all.

South West Trains have a guard on every train out of Waterloo.

Meanwhile most of the AC operators out of London run DOO for commuter operations
 

Observer

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Was anything ever mentioned in the Abellio bid to do this?

I'm not surprised anyway. They always said that the 385s would be capable of both DOO/DCO due to the various routes they would be on, but of course they'd extend it as soon as possible just to cheapen things up.

At least the 385s have gangways meaning that the ticket examiners would be able to access the entire train at all times compared to the non-gangwayed stock. I've had a run on a 334 on the front set and nobody showed up for a ticket check, but they may have been on the rear set.

Just watch as the same things happen like they did with Airdrie-Bathgate, strikes take place and then they go back to work accepting the conditions with a little deal.

SCOTRAIL staff are threatening action which could disrupt travel after learning of plans to downgrade conductors on a new electric train fleet.

Workers at several depots across the Central Belt are understood to be discussing an unofficial overtime ban in protest at the plans, which could lead to trains being cancelled.

A leaked document passed to Scotland on Sunday sets out plans for drivers to take over the safety role of opening and closing of train doors from conductors, who would be left to check tickets.

It also proposes that lower-paid ticket examiners could rep*lace conductors on some services.

The door-control change, called driver-controlled operation (DCO), would be introduced when a fleet of 70 Hitachi-built trains start running next year, replacing older carriages.

The routes to be affected by the proposals will be Edinburgh-North Berwick, Glasgow/Edinburgh-Dunblane, Gl*as*gow-Alloa, Glasgow-Cumbernauld-Falkirk Grahamston, and a secondary Edinburgh-Glasgow line via Shotts.

The only route to be served by the new trains on which conductors will retain their current role is the main Edinburgh-Glasgow line, via Falkirk High.

The document said this was “to reflect the importance of the customer experience” bec*ause the route has first-class seating unlike the others.

However, it said the Scottish Government’s Transport Scotland agency “required the new electric services to be operated at the lowest possible cost to the taxpayer”.

It stated: “ScotRail propose conductors undertake commercial duties on these routes.”

It also proposed that ticket examiners could be drafted in for this instead, and more of them will be recruited.

Electric trains around Glasgow have been operated solely by drivers for 30 years, which is known as driver-only operation (DOO). Ticket examiners check fares on such trains.

Extension of the practice on a new Edinburgh-Glasgow line via Bathgate in 2010 triggered a series of strikes.

However, the unions reluctantly accepted the change by acknowledging the system had previously operated on part of the route.

However, the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, which represents conductors, said any move by ScotRail to implement the latest proposals would trigger a ballot for industrial action.

Scotland secretary Mick Hogg said: “We will not accept anything that proposes removing the guard [conductor] from the train.

“This also includes any attempts to water down the safety role and responsibility of the guard. There will be no further extension of driver-only operation or driver-controlled operation under any circumstances.

“This campaign is not about money, but purely about health and safety – keeping our trains safe and keeping members of the public safe.”

Aslef, the main drivers’ union, also expressed opposition.

Scotland district secretary Kevin Lindsay said: “I’m not aware of these proposals and we’ve had no talks on this.

“But Aslef’s policy remains that we don’t support any further extension of DOO or DCO. We will not accept any further expansion.”

The RMT declined to comment on talk of unofficial action at depots, thought to be Glasgow Central and Queen Street, Edinburgh and Stirling.

However, one conductor said: “Staff are very downhearted and feel let down by the company. There is a lot of resentment.”

Unofficial action by ScotRail drivers last year in protest at continually being asked to work overtime forced the cancellation of hundreds of trains.

The ScotRail Alliance, which includes track owner Network Rail, said the proposals were to coincide with the new trains. Its spokeswoman said: “As part of this introduction, we want to discuss and consult with our people about making some changes to the way we work, so we can deliver the very best, safest service to our customers. These changes would mean we would retain two members of staff on trains – over and above any catering staff. We would protect staff terms and conditions and we would stick to our no-compulsory redundancy agreement.

“Our number one priority is always customer and staff safety, which is why we would never bring forward any proposals that have any impact on our strict safety regulations.”

The alliance said it was also seeking to incorporate Sundays, which are currently covered by staff working overtime, into the working week.

The spokeswoman said: “We want to grow the number of people who use Scotland’s railway. That is why we are keen to speak to our people about having Sunday as part of the working week. It will mean more opportunities for people to work on the railway.”

Read more: http://www.scotsman.com/news/transp...-downgrade-conductors-1-4045580#ixzz428RIWBWe
 
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Philip Phlopp

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Ticket examiners check tickets and nothing else. No PTS, no announcements, no GSMR , no resetting pass comms no nothing. If the driver is incapacitated there is little they can do. Certainly no train protection, detonators or anything like that. These proposals involve much higher speed routes than Strathclyde and much longer distances between stations. Potentially higher risk in the event of a serious incident. Highly concerning.

I totally agree. The nature of these routes, which outside of Glasgow, are fairly rural, concern me greatly. My biggest worry is that a fallen tree, in addition to blocking the line, will have also dragged down the OLE catenary in such a way that it hasn't tripped and remains live.

It would be, unfortunately, very easy for a driver exiting a cab to make use of a signal post telephone to come into contact with still live 25kV catenary, a scenario previously considered less likely until the Southeastern derailment which disabled the GSM-R communications system on the train.
 

380101

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The proposal is for DOO to be introduced on all new electric services. Services with 1st class ie; queen Street to waverly via Falkirk high will retain a Conductor (guard) who will conduct revenue duties, but retain PTS. The driver will have control of the doors. Ticket examiners will be onboard all other new, non 1st class, electric services for revenue duties as per the Strathclyde DOO area.

All DMUS and HST services will be operated by a Guard and Driver as it is at the moment.

Conductors will keep their grade, pay, 5% commission and existing T&Cs for the duration of the franchise.

Ticket examiners will however be used to operate 1st class services if no conductor is available.

From what I've been hearing so far, conductors in Queen St and Edinburgh seem to be quite happy with these proposals. Not helpful as it's already creating an "I'm alright Jack" attitude between guards and ticket examiners. The insistence that it must be a guard for 1st class services sends the wrong message out and looks like the company doesn't trust a ticket examiner with 1st class passengers. Ticket examiners within Scotrail will have far better customer service skills as they are interacting with passengers all day long, whereas alot of guards don't have time due to having to carry out safety duties at stations.

As a driver who works both DOO and with a guard in ScotRail, I feel alot less stressed working with a guard than I do when working a DOO service - even in a 380 with body side cameras.

I will fully support any industrial action the guards decide to take and I hope ASLEF do too!
 
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Can see the vast chunk of the UK network going DOO eventually. So much of what Conductors/Guards/train managers do is so very difficult to quantify. To use bean counter parlance, what "added value" or "marginal gains" do guards bring? I think there should be a separate guard's forum on this website where guards can write about every time they have done something that has benifited a passenger or the railway. A page devoted to saving the grade if you like.
 

Agent_c

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Can see the vast chunk of the UK network going DOO eventually. So much of what Conductors/Guards/train managers do is so very difficult to quantify. To use bean counter parlance, what "added value" or "marginal gains" do guards bring? I think there should be a separate guard's forum on this website where guards can write about every time they have done something that has benifited a passenger or the railway. A page devoted to saving the grade if you like.

All it takes is one major incident where the absence or presence of a safety trained guard is a key factor....
 

mark-h

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The proposal is for DOO to be introduced on all new electric services. Services with 1st class ie; queen Street to waverly via Falkirk high will retain a Conductor (guard) who will conduct revenue duties, but retain PTS.

...

Ticket examiners will however be used to operate 1st class services if no conductor is available.

I find that a bit odd- the guard does not have any role in the 1st class onboard service (apart from checking tickets which a ticket examiner would also do).
 

LowLevel

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Can see the vast chunk of the UK network going DOO eventually. So much of what Conductors/Guards/train managers do is so very difficult to quantify. To use bean counter parlance, what "added value" or "marginal gains" do guards bring? I think there should be a separate guard's forum on this website where guards can write about every time they have done something that has benifited a passenger or the railway. A page devoted to saving the grade if you like.

Reason number 3094: today I prevented a severe allergic reaction progressing further by establishing the woman who had turned all sorts of blotchy colours and was getting worse quickly was allergic to cats, found a cat hiding under a seat further down and made it's owner put it back in it's basket and move next door.

Bizarre little occurrences like this happen every day. Most go unreported as they are prevented from becoming incidents by a properly trained guard.

Other incidents I'm aware of lately include coming to the aid of a very shocked driver when an errant OHLE structure came crashing into their cab and pushing the matter on a reported rough ride on a non driving vehicle uncovering a significant rolling stock defect (neither anything to do with me personally).
 

All Line Rover

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Spot checks I wouldn't be happy about. There would be an increase in anti-social behaviour. But ticket inspectors employed to man every train for the full duration of each journey, with the driver doing everything else, will not result in any meaningful changes from a passenger perspective, providing the ticket inspectors are sufficiently well trained.
 

bb21

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Standards definitely seem to be slipping. On my latest trip to SPT heartland, half the trains had no TEs onboard.
 

SpacePhoenix

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Why isn't it mandatory for all TOC staff of all TOCs who are going to work the trains outside of a depot (ticket examiner, catering staff - probably not cleaners who would only clean the trains in a platform) to have the full PTS?
 

313103

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why isn't it mandatory for all toc staff of all tocs who are going to work the trains outside of a depot (ticket examiner, catering staff - probably not cleaners who would only clean the trains in a platform) to have the full pts?

cost!
 

380101

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I find that a bit odd- the guard does not have any role in the 1st class onboard service (apart from checking tickets which a ticket examiner would also do).

As do most of us in ScotRail. It is if Abellio are suggesting that Ticket Examiners are not good enough to interact with 1st class passengers.
 

313103

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Would they have all been fully PTS trained before privatization?

Virtually all Staff employed in frontline roles on BR were trained to be trackside whether you was a guard or driver obviously, but also station staff including those working in ticket offices and in those areas where third rail was used they were also trained to use the isolating bar.

In the private railway world all staff with the exception of a guard or driver have been deemed as non essential so do not need to be trained to go trackside.

If someone drops an item from the platform onto the track, i have to tell the person that i am not allowed to retrieve it. Just the other day someone had managed to allow there suitcase to fall onto the line. As luck would have it two of us were on duty, however it required contacting the signaller, having the line blocked, still not allowed on the track so had to lay down on the platform and retrieve the offending item with a litter picker, then contact the signaller, then the line was reopened, then a long winded report made was made as to way we requested the line to closed >all nonsense in my eyes but us is not to know the reason why, us is to do or die.
 

LowLevel

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Why aren't you allowed on the track? Must be some windbaggery from your local management because there's provision in the rulebook for station staff provided they've been locally briefed on the station operationally to go on the line to retrieve objects without having a PTS as long as the line is blocked.
 

Jonfun

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Why isn't it mandatory for all TOC staff of all TOCs who are going to work the trains outside of a depot (ticket examiner, catering staff - probably not cleaners who would only clean the trains in a platform) to have the full PTS?

No real need. When are revenue inspectors and catering staff likely to need to go trackside in normal circumstances? In an emergency (eg evacuating a train on fire), you don't need PTS anyway, so safety on the tracks will be one of the things covered in the basic training before they start work onboard.
 

DarloRich

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or door controls throughout the train? That's a pretty common way of working after all.

South West Trains have a guard on every train out of Waterloo.

Meanwhile most of the AC operators out of London run DOO for commuter operations

best tell London Midland that then!

Spot checks I wouldn't be happy about. There would be an increase in anti-social behaviour. But ticket inspectors employed to man every train for the full duration of each journey, with the driver doing everything else, will not result in any meaningful changes from a passenger perspective, providing the ticket inspectors are sufficiently well trained.

until the train encounters an emergency. The ticket collectors wont have pts or any safety training. I do wonder how they will secure the train in the event of an accident incapacitating the driver.

They are allocated to specific trains, and all trains are allocated a ticket examiner. If a TE is unavailable the service isn't cancelled, but a financial penalty applies. I can't ever recall catching a train without one. They are highly visible, very pro-active and I've never found any to be unfriendly. I would recommend a trip on the Strathclyde network to see what it's like and how this works in practice.


It woks well in that tickets get checked and the people doing it are nice. What happens in an emergency, especially under 25kv ohle? Lets not dress this up as anything other than a cost saving measure.


I find the mix of 25kV AC and the absence of a second PTS trained member of staff aboard a train frankly ludicrous, but that's just me.

That is two of us then. It wont matter though......
 

LowLevel

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If I were ever downgraded I can tell you exactly how it would work - I'd do the square root of sod all because the railway mantra is to work to procedure and if my training is irrelevant it wouldn't be used. There's your risk. Some clever **** seeking to mess about with my job role is going to entirely lose my goodwill and I'd cheerfully sit and watch. 'Sorry guv, I used to be a guard, you didn't want that and now your dead driver and the passengers aren't my problem - but they've all got tickets'.
 
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