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Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Andrew32, 27 Oct 2016.
I believe it is on DMUs at Chiltern as well?
As is Hull Trains and Grand Central. Even the now retired Chiltern first generation bubble cars were driver release and guard lock.
There is no issue with that method of work at all.
Indeed it seems there is no issue with driver open and close, as has been agreed on Anglia, as long as there is still a guarantee of a safety critical member of staff on board.
Indeed the Anglia solution gives the best of both worlds - with one exception. It allegedly reduces dwell times and speeds up trains - which of course was the principal reason often cited for going DCO / DOO anyway, and increases the time the on board staff member can spend in the train doing customer facing activities. Both are things the companies - and posters on here - have cited as very important and key reasons to go DOO. It doesn't however mean a train can run without somebody on board, so still gives that guarantee that there will always be a member of staff on board.
If the TOCs employed enough staff in the first place then the lack of a guard is rarely an issue. Indeed at the TOC I work for then cancellations or delays due to no driver are far far greater in number than cancellations due to no guard, yet I don't see anyone demanding we get rid of drivers to reduce cancellations.
Suppose that's an angle rarely discussed here. DOO on current stock might well have a justified reason to cause the RMT to strike. DOO on new stock perhaps less justified.
I am so certain that strikes are going to carry on forever that I am changing my weekend plans under the assumption that we will never have a "Normal" weekend up north for the foreseeable. As a pin-in-the-map different-place-every-weekend groundhopper, the loss of Northern services every weekend is cutting my hobby to the bare bones, but if the RMT want to ruin peoples' plans without budging an inch, so be it. We're resourceful up north, we potter on!
Yes, it does. I'm aware of three - via the RAIB - in the last decade or so though, against maybe four or five times that involving DOO trains. You're right about risk though, and I'll admit that you probably couldn't make a case for retaining guards on the PTI risk alone. Add in the other benefits, emergency situations etc., and it must come close to justifying the additional cost of a safety-critical second member of staff over a 'customer service' OBS. The depths of the Hope Valley or the top of Dent Dale are very different places to anywhere on London Underground's network too - the driver might be alone with a trainload of passengers on the latter, but help is never all that far away. You could quite reasonably be looking at an hour or more for any sort of assistance to arrive at the former.
An excellent post. Yes, there's a risk that the last train will be cancelled if there's no guard (although that should very rarely happen on a properly staffed railway with adequate spare cover!). If there's no absolute requirement for a guard, it will run without a guard on far more occasions that it would otherwise have been cancelled on - it's inevitable, especially given Northern's (yes, I know that the train in your specific example isn't Northern's) chronic short-staffing. Why would they, as a business with a duty to their shareholders, pay overtime to cover work that they can get away without covering?
I certainly wouldn't want to be on my own, incapacitated or otherwise, on my own with a load of drunken passengers on that last train on a Saturday evening (or a Wednesday, when it always seems popular!), stuck in the middle of Cowburn Tunnel or in the woods that you mention. It doesn't have to be a fallen tree, it could be a routine failure, or damage after hitting a sheep - anything. Whilst the driver's out trying to do what needs to be done, for however long, the passengers would have to be left to their own devices.
If there was a such a penalty, then the "exceptional circumstances" clause might be more convincing!
Southern have already learned that the on-board person has to run off every few minutes anyway, not to open and close the doors but merely to observe the platform - because otherwise any wheelchair users wishing to board will probably be left on the platform. If they're having to go off and do that, there's no benefit really to them not closing the doors and dispatching the train themselves, even if the driver releases the doors.
Its also because people dont believe its for 'our safety'. Why would the guards lose money and inconvenience passengers for their safety?
The storm is the RMT not wanting to lose their membership base. They know that although jobs will be guaranteed ie no loses Northern won't recruit as much. That's why they are using the 'our safety' argument. They forget to mention the tube is DOO.
I've thought of something. Have a guard and an OBS. The guard can do the doors and check tickets and the OBS can sell tickets and assist passengers. On a coupled train without end gangways, the guard can be in one unit and the OBS in another.
Wouldn't solve anything. If the guard is unavailable the RMT would still want the service cancelled, even if an OBS is available.
Cross train them.
I have thought of an even better idea. Let's have an OBS assigned to each passenger as he enters the station. The OBS can carry his bag, fetch him coffee, even read out his newspaper for him.
Solve any unemployment problem overnight but I don't hold out much chance of the rail network surviving a fortnight.
I'm at the stage now where any idea to resolve this dispute is a good one.
Your safety is largely the responsibility of the memebr(s) of staff in charge of the train. Increasing the driver’s workload substantially not only puts your safety at risk, but also puts the driver at risk of criminal action, maybe as far as a manslaughter charge, if he makes a mistake or misjudgment under the increased pressure.
Other than maybe on busy trains (where it’s not unknown to have a revenue person or a second guard booked to assist) or two units coupled with no gangway, what’s the point when the guard can adequately do all of the above?
When do the RMT have to legally declare by if they wish to strike on Saturday 27th (I seem to recall they must give a certain notice period)?
The RMT has to give two weeks' notice.
Well heres an idea then to stop more strikes. Since we've had 30 over "our safety" already and the rail companies have ignored it why not let DOO run its course. When there is the accident that the RMT are predicting will happen the RMT can say "Well we told you so didnt we and you didnt pay any attention." The public will be so horrified that the RMT were right and loss of life. The company would then rush to reintroduce guards with immediate effect.
Why wont that happen. Well for two reasons mainly.
1) Its not about safety its about the reduction of the RMT power base.
2) DOO is safe we've had the tube running on it for years.
If an OBS closed the doors however, they would be ‘safety critical’ and require extra knowledge, health requirements and route competencies. The lack of these requirements means they can be flexible deployed wherever needed (hence a financial saving, and minimising a performance risk for the trains, without it costing the OBS anything).
Southern does cancel trains when an OBS is not available and it is not an exceptional circumstance. They occasionally have to explain it on their social media to angry customers.
ASLEF agreed a list of circumstances under which it's acceptable to operate a train with just a driver on board.
Strike action confirmed for another 3 Saturday's up to 10th November now.
I wonder how long before Northern Management bring the issue to a head by proactively cancelling all Sunday services thus depriving the striking guards of thier ability to make up lost wages by working OT on the Sundays?
Note that not providing services during industrial action is allowable but not providing services on Sunday when there's no industrial action or other factors outside of the control of the TOC isn't and is a breach of the franchise agreement. Unless Northern could somehow prove that trains not operating on Saturday meant trains were left out of position meaning Sunday cancellations were unavoidable.
Can't see anything on the RMT's website or twitter feed yet. Although, I notice on their Twitter feed they've retweeted something from Andy McDonald and are following it up by attacking anyone who suggests they are aligned with Labour. If they want to distance themselves from the Labour Party maybe they should be retweeting tweets from non-Labour politicians as well? Is Corbyn led Labour still not left wing enough for the RMT?
I also notice the RMT's 'Role of The Guard' video features a guard in a traditional uniform on a GNER service. Have they bought up the lack of provision of a hat for Northern guards?
No surprise there
Sounds like they have still got the work experience kid running the Twitter account, how long before they make another "I can't believe they said that" tweet (worse than trying to say DOO will be like Greenfell (sp)
Why punish the non-striking guards with the loss of pay by cancelling Sunday services? Some lines already operate at reduced frequency on Sundays at the moment due to staff unwilling to volunteer for shifts
Isn't that already in place at Northern on some services in the form of "Assistant Ticket Examiner" roles?
But our friend 'in the know' said this just wouldn't happen.
Where did he go anyway?
He made a schoolboy error. Same mistake I made. Failed to consider they would move to Saturday strikes so the can recoup losses by working Sundays. There by continuing strikes indefinitely without loss of earnings.
Three more Saturdays
Industrial action shouldn't make any difference as units can always be moved empty stock. There are plenty of drivers sat around on Saturday nights and obtaining paths shouldn't be a problem.
INB4 they strike during the Christmas Markets and torpedo public opinion.
Which seems to generally work well, and in the spirit agreed by all parties. A shame that the same approach isn't rolled out elsewhere.