Asked to remove retro railway attire

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Hey all,
I was at doncaster station just today, wearing a (very) old Virgin Trains jacket. I was told by a dispatcher to remove the coat immediately, lest I have it confiscated. This is apparently due to the fact that it is "private property" and cannot be worn a train station due to its TOC relations.

The TOC it belongs to ceased trading 18 months ago - is the dispatcher within his right to do this? I wasn't impersonating staff or anything.


Random detail that may be useful - I acquired this jacket third party through eBay
 
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STINT47

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I would say that they are within their rights to ask you to remove the jacket and if you refuse to remove you from the station. Although Virgin no longer run the trains at Doncastet I can easily see how a none railway enthusiast could mistake you for staff.

The staff member could not confiscate the jacket. That would be classed as theft. More likely that if you refused to remove it or leave the police would be called to remove you from the station.
 

Journeyman

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Hey all,
I was at doncaster station just today, wearing a (very) old Virgin Trains jacket. I was told by a dispatcher to remove the coat immediately, lest I have it confiscated. This is apparently due to the fact that it is "private property" and cannot be worn a train station due to its TOC relations.

The TOC it belongs to ceased trading 18 months ago - is the dispatcher within his right to do this? I wasn't impersonating staff or anything.


Random detail that may be useful - I acquired this jacket third party through eBay
They have a point, to be fair. Whoever sold it to you shouldn't have done.
 

bramling

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Hey all,
I was at doncaster station just today, wearing a (very) old Virgin Trains jacket. I was told by a dispatcher to remove the coat immediately, lest I have it confiscated. This is apparently due to the fact that it is "private property" and cannot be worn a train station due to its TOC relations.

The TOC it belongs to ceased trading 18 months ago - is the dispatcher within his right to do this? I wasn't impersonating staff or anything.


Random detail that may be useful - I acquired this jacket third party through eBay

I don’t think they could confiscate it - especially as the TOC in question no longer exists (the question of who owns it might be an interesting one, as old railway uniform tends to come off the back of a lorry, so to speak).

However they could ask you to leave the station, and I think would be within rights to do so.

Not sure why anyone might want to wear anything which resembles uniform, unless one wants to be lynched in the event of service disruption!
 

61653 HTAFC

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18 months is certainly not that "retro". Had it been a (historic) LNER coat that would possibly be less of a problem despite the current TOC using the same name. The current LNER livery is still very obviously a Virgin-inspired scheme, so the potential for confusion is quite high.
 

Darandio

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Hey all,
I was at doncaster station just today, wearing a (very) old Virgin Trains jacket. I was told by a dispatcher to remove the coat immediately, lest I have it confiscated. This is apparently due to the fact that it is "private property" and cannot be worn a train station due to its TOC relations.

The TOC it belongs to ceased trading 18 months ago - is the dispatcher within his right to do this? I wasn't impersonating staff or anything.


Random detail that may be useful - I acquired this jacket third party through eBay

I have come across several instances of enthusiasts in the past who wore older rail clothing or hi-vis purely to live out a fantasy of being employed by the railway and hoping people will ask them for help. I'm not suggesting this was your intention but if staff feel that you may be interfering in any way with their operations then they can ask you to take it off.
 

Titfield

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The purpose of uniform clothing is to enable staff of that organisation to be identified. The wearing of that uniform by someone not entitled to wear it is self evidently misleading even if there is no explicit intent to mislead.

The realities and practicalities of rebrands / new operators inevitably means that "non current" uniform will continue to be worn by members of staff going about their duties for a period of time. Wearing of "non current" uniform by someone to whom it was not issued legitimately by that organisation can only serve to confuse and possibly deceive.

Sorry if this seems harsh but wearing it is asking for trouble.

Incidentally I have often thought that the wearing of mainline toc (and similar) high viz on heritage railways can also serve to confuse and i am surprised that heritage railways permit this to happen.
 

Tramfan

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Noting also that old-pattern uniforms almost always remain in use for some time after a rebranding.
Not only that, but there's probably a good number of the general public who aren't aware that Virgin Trains no longer run trains. I was on a TfW class 158 the other week and overhead someone on the phone saying that they were on a Virgin Train!
 
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The purpose of uniform clothing is to enable staff of that organisation to be identified. The wearing of that uniform by someone not entitled to wear it is self evidently misleading even if there is no explicit intent to mislead.

The realities and practicalities of rebrands / new operators inevitably means that "non current" uniform will continue to be worn by members of staff going about their duties for a period of time. Wearing of "non current" uniform by someone to whom it was not issued legitimately by that organisation can only serve to confuse and possibly deceive.

Sorry if this seems harsh but wearing it is asking for trouble.

Incidentally I have often thought that the wearing of mainline toc (and similar) high viz on heritage railways can also serve to confuse and i am surprised that heritage railways permit this to happen.
I once saw a Rail manager going around Manchester Victoria with a long overcoat on in 2000. It was from the 50s and said station manager, I thought it was odd to wear it.
 
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Hey all,
I was at doncaster station just today, wearing a (very) old Virgin Trains jacket. I was told by a dispatcher to remove the coat immediately, lest I have it confiscated. This is apparently due to the fact that it is "private property" and cannot be worn a train station due to its TOC relations.

The TOC it belongs to ceased trading 18 months ago - is the dispatcher within his right to do this? I wasn't impersonating staff or anything.


Random detail that may be useful - I acquired this jacket third party through eBay
Hi guys, much appreciated for the kind replies. All information is appreciated and the other perspectives are welcomed. I've had no trouble in the past, I've had this jacket for some time now and not ran into any trouble. As only a single piece of railway attire, not one person has ever mistaken me for TOC staff, and I've boarded several LNER trains since and had zero trouble with it.

And - all issues with confusion aside - surely I cannot be removed from a station for an item of clothing that is neither vulgar nor in appropriate? I'm causing no disruption on any form. And I've removed the jacket regardless
 

skyhigh

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I suppose, technically, that although issued to staff the uniform remains the property of the TOC. When we've had new uniforms, we've been asked to return our old one - knowing how protective of their brand Virgin are, I'd be surprised if they hadn't required the old Virgin-branded coats back.

So if someone took that jacket, sold it online (without consent of the owner), then depending how you look at it that could meet the threshold for theft. And if you then bought it, legally the original owner still has a right over it. Obviously it's not clear who the original owner is now the TOC doesn't exist, and they might not care anyway, but wearing it around a station might not be the best idea.
 

MotCO

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I once stumbled into Waitrose, wearing my England cricket replica shirt sponsored by ....Waitrose! And yes, I was approached by a shopper for advice! So I could understand that wearing a Virgin coat could cause problems. It is also possible a less scrupilous person wearing such a coat could try to despatch a train.

(Mind you, I've also been asked for advice in a supermarket whilst I was wearing my work suit. Don't you expect to see shoppers wearing their work attire in a supermarket?!)
 

skyhigh

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It is also possible a less scrupilous person wearing such a coat could try to despatch a train.
Or try and get a free ride, try and take advantage of unwitting passengers (can I see your ticket, sorry that's not valid, you need to pay me £x...), various security risks etc...

I'm obviously not saying the OP was doing anything nefarious, but I can see why staff wouldn't be too keen on random people wearing old uniform.
 

D6130

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I once saw a Rail manager going around Manchester Victoria with a long overcoat on in 2000. It was from the 50s and said station manager, I thought it was odd to wear it.
Generally speaking, throughout my 37 year railway career, I've found that the older the item of uniform clothing, the better quality, the harder-wearing and the warmer it would be.
 

WesternLancer

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Or try and get a free ride, try and take advantage of unwitting passengers (can I see your ticket, sorry that's not valid, you need to pay me £x...), various security risks etc...

I'm obviously not saying the OP was doing anything nefarious, but I can see why staff wouldn't be too keen on random people wearing old uniform.
You could then say you have moved on to work for Virgin Money and offer 'investment advice' - as you got a job transfer from the trains division but still were waiting for new uniform from the bank....:lol:

Generally speaking, throughout my 37 year railway career, I've found that the older the item of uniform clothing, the better quality, the harder-wearing and the warmer it would be.
I've often seen Sir Richard posing with people in Virgin outfits that, being on the scanty side, are probably not too good for keeping warm...
 
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Or try and get a free ride, try and take advantage of unwitting passengers (can I see your ticket, sorry that's not valid, you need to pay me £x...), various security risks etc...

I'm obviously not saying the OP was doing anything nefarious, but I can see why staff wouldn't be too keen on random people wearing old uniform.
Aye I do see your point there, that hadnt occurred to me in the slightest but does make a fair bit of sense.
 

Titfield

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Extract from ebay.co.uk

Government items policy | eBay

Government, transit or shipping company property is not allowed.
The sale of transit or shipping company property or government-issued documentation or identification cards is restricted or prohibited on eBay.

What is the policy?​

The following or similar items are not allowed:
  • Government, private transit, or shipping company uniforms and accessories such as hats, pins and scarves. Vintage or collectable uniforms and accessories may be listed if they meet all these requirements:
    • The item is 10 years old or older
    • It’s no longer in use
    • It doesn’t look like a current uniform or accessory
Strange they use American style wording but the message is clear.
 

paul1609

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I often used to pop in to Waitrose in my naval uniform on the way home from work. The staff said they used to look forward to my visits because all the shoplifters though I was security and fled the store.
 
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I have come across several instances of enthusiasts in the past who wore older rail clothing or hi-vis purely to live out a fantasy of being employed by the railway and hoping people will ask them for help. I'm not suggesting this was your intention but if staff feel that you may be interfering in any way with their operations then they can ask you to take it off.
Also a very good point, and one that hadnt sprang to mind. My reason for wearing it is simply that I had a big passion for the TOC, and loved the livery and their traction. I've wanted one for a long time but held off while virgin trains west coast still existed.

But yes I understand you weren't accusing me, cheers for the reply.

Extract from ebay.co.uk

Government items policy | eBay

Government, transit or shipping company property is not allowed.
The sale of transit or shipping company property or government-issued documentation or identification cards is restricted or prohibited on eBay.

What is the policy?​

The following or similar items are not allowed:
  • Government, private transit, or shipping company uniforms and accessories such as hats, pins and scarves. Vintage or collectable uniforms and accessories may be listed if they meet all these requirements:
    • The item is 10 years old or older
    • It’s no longer in use
    • It doesn’t look like a current uniform or accessory
Strange they use American style wording but the message is clear.
The item in question is both (at least) 10 years old and no longer in use. And "doesn't look like a current uniform" is rather vague, does this disallow the sale of all red fleece coats now due to their LNER resemblance?, Or all gray shirts with yellow patterns due to their McDonald's uniform accessory?,

I'm aware those are eBay's words rather than your own but I still feel the last rule is rather vague
 

Titfield

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I agree the phrase "doesnt look like a current uniform" is somewhat vague. I think the point they may be trying to make is that some uniforms only undergo very minor changes over extended periods of time and thus they are trying to prevent uniforms over ten years old that may still look very similar to the current one and thus may mislead the general public if worn at the business location of the originator of the uniform.
 

bramling

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I once saw a Rail manager going around Manchester Victoria with a long overcoat on in 2000. It was from the 50s and said station manager, I thought it was odd to wear it.

It is sometimes the case that some railway staff persist with old uniform as they feel it is smarter and/or more respectable than some of the modern stuff. And in some cases they’d be right - look at the current London Underground uniform as a good example. Uniform tends to be more enforced for station staff than train staff.
 

pdeaves

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"doesn't look like a current uniform" is rather vague, does this disallow the sale of all red fleece coats now due to their LNER resemblance?, Or all gray shirts with yellow patterns due to their McDonald's uniform accessory?,
The wording is specifically in regard to older uniform, that it doesn't look like new uniform. It does not ban any other clothing that, on its own, could, perhaps, just may be, slightly look similar to something else.
 

Kilopylae

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I once saw a Rail manager going around Manchester Victoria with a long overcoat on in 2000. It was from the 50s and said station manager, I thought it was odd to wear it.
That's just legend behaviour. I'd do the same if I were a station manager - I might try to get hold of an old hat as well.
Or try and get a free ride, try and take advantage of unwitting passengers (can I see your ticket, sorry that's not valid, you need to pay me £x...), various security risks etc...

I'm obviously not saying the OP was doing anything nefarious, but I can see why staff wouldn't be too keen on random people wearing old uniform.
This would be my thinking too. There are good, non petty reasons not to want civilians dressing up as rail workers
 
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I once popped down to my local station after school, to photo a class 442 drag. Was wearing a shirt and tie, with my school staff badge still round my neck. Someone must've thought I worked for SWT - I managed to answer their query about the train service they wanted to their satisfaction.
 

Baxenden Bank

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Extract from ebay.co.uk

Government items policy | eBay

Government, transit or shipping company property is not allowed.
The sale of transit or shipping company property or government-issued documentation or identification cards is restricted or prohibited on eBay.

What is the policy?​

The following or similar items are not allowed:
  • Government, private transit, or shipping company uniforms and accessories such as hats, pins and scarves. Vintage or collectable uniforms and accessories may be listed if they meet all these requirements:
    • The item is 10 years old or older
    • It’s no longer in use
    • It doesn’t look like a current uniform or accessory
Strange they use American style wording but the message is clear.
That may be Ebay policy but I suggest it is only ever enforced if someone (ie the brand owner) complains about a specific listing. I see numerous items of bus / coach company clothing offered. Sometimes described as worn, sometimes new. Also items such as rucksacks.

I have a very red fleece jacket from a Regatta outlet store (Fleetwood Freeport as was). I have never been mistaken by the public as a staff member, nor been approached by rail staff, but I have had some 'looks' whilst on Virgin West Coast stations. I bought it because it was good value and of the correct size. If Virgin wished to copy my street style with their uniform, fine!

I also have (semi-legitimately issued decades ago) a BR 'Diddy Jacket' ( I think they were called) ie an orange coloured waistcoat type garment. No reflective stripes in those days but it has a label inside with a BR part number!
 

island

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Hey all,
I was at doncaster station just today, wearing a (very) old Virgin Trains jacket. I was told by a dispatcher to remove the coat immediately, lest I have it confiscated. This is apparently due to the fact that it is "private property" and cannot be worn a train station due to its TOC relations.

The TOC it belongs to ceased trading 18 months ago - is the dispatcher within his right to do this? I wasn't impersonating staff or anything.
There would be no right to confiscate the item; that would be theft.

If you did not have a ticket for travel, you could be required to leave the station, by way of the withdrawal of your implied licence to be on private property.

If you did have a ticket for travel (in the reasonably near future), then you had a contractual right to be on the station which cannot be unilaterally abrogated. I am not aware of any terms of the contract, Railway byelaws, etc. prohibiting the wearing of clothing bearing insignia of defunct (or even current) TOCs. Naturally, in the interest of good manners one might wish to comply with a reasonable and polite request.

The terms and conditions of unrelated and irrelevant businesses such as eBay do not have any bearing on this.
 

Tazi Hupefi

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How was the coat obtained? Technically you may be in possession of stolen goods / handling stolen goods, although doubtful anyone will come looking for it! However, I certainly wouldn’t be out and about in such clothing.

I suspect the uniform likely always belong to the rail operator, or it’s successor.
 

_toommm_

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It is sometimes the case that some railway staff persist with old uniform as they feel it is smarter and/or more respectable than some of the modern stuff. And in some cases they’d be right - look at the current London Underground uniform as a good example. Uniform tends to be more enforced for station staff than train staff.

There’s a guy at Sheffield station (EMR dispatcher) who does this. In cold weather, he’ll wear a thick wool-looking trench coat, and he wears a BR-style hat.

Every time I see him i think he does look bloody good in it though.
 
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