Avanti West Coast - staff shortages?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Scotrail12

Member
Joined
16 Nov 2014
Messages
661
So it's looking ike a bit of a problem at the moment with Avanti West Coast, particularly the services from Glasgow.

2 days in a row that there have been 2 morning trains in a row cancelled due to shortage of train crew (I was affected by it yesterday and couldn't get to London as a result) - 0532 & 0630 yesterday and the 0737 & 0836 were cancelled out of Glasgow today. All services resumed at Preston.

Is the company having issues at the moment? When I was getting a refund for my tickets yesterday, they said there were overtime issues and that they struggle to find staff to do morning services (or something along those lines). It doesn't give me much confidence to use them again in the near future if there's an even remotely high chance of cancellation due to crew not turning up. Seems like a particular issue with morning trains, not enough people on standby around Glasgow?
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

8J

Member
Joined
31 Aug 2009
Messages
615
So it's looking ike a bit of a problem at the moment with Avanti West Coast, particularly the services from Glasgow.

2 days in a row that there have been 2 morning trains in a row cancelled due to shortage of train crew (I was affected by it yesterday and couldn't get to London as a result) - 0532 & 0630 yesterday and the 0737 & 0836 were cancelled out of Glasgow today. All services resumed at Preston.

Is the company having issues at the moment? When I was getting a refund for my tickets yesterday, they said there were overtime issues and that they struggle to find staff to do morning services (or something along those lines). It doesn't give me much confidence to use them again in the near future if there's an even remotely high chance of cancellation due to crew not turning up. Seems like a particular issue with morning trains, not enough people on standby around Glasgow?

I don't think it is down to, as you put it, "crew not turning up". I suspect it has a lot more to do with traincrew not wishing to work overtime and/or there being industrial unrest with the respective unions for traincrew.
 

setdown

Member
Joined
5 Jan 2016
Messages
117
I remember a similar issue causing bedlam a couple of summers ago in Liverpool. A summer Saturday, and there were no Virgin trains southbound that day until about 1pm. I'd never seen Lime Street so busy, it was incredible. That was down to a shortage of drivers as well.
 

Peter0124

Member
Joined
20 Nov 2016
Messages
834
Location
Glasgow
I'm worried it's going to happen again tomorrow


This service being cancelled is a sign some services will be starting from Preston tomorrow as that's what happened on Monday and Tuesday aswell.
 

seagull

Member
Joined
28 Feb 2011
Messages
365
There's some muscle flexing taking place at the moment, not entirely unexpected following years of Virgin being almost too relaxed about various working arrangements.
Which has led to a "pause" in driver training and therefore the response of no more rest day working (rest day working being allowed previously on the basis that it could be justified to cover for training needs).
 

Scotrail314209

Established Member
Joined
1 Feb 2017
Messages
1,696
Three consecutive Euston - Glasgow services are curtailing at Preston this evening due to a shortage of train crew.

1S90 17:10 London Euston - Glasgow Central terminating at Preston
9S97 17:39 London Euston - Glasgow Central terminating at Preston
1S95 18:30 London Euston - Glasgow Central terminating at Preston

This means that there is a 2 and a half hour gap between 16:34 and 19:10 for stations north of Preston, and three hours between 16:10 and 19:10 for Glasgow.

I've noticed the curtailments mainly seem to be on the Glasgow services, is there a shortage of train managers or drivers?
 

voyagerdude220

Established Member
Joined
13 Oct 2005
Messages
2,872
Three consecutive Euston - Glasgow services are curtailing at Preston this evening due to a shortage of train crew.

1S90 17:10 London Euston - Glasgow Central terminating at Preston
9S97 17:39 London Euston - Glasgow Central terminating at Preston
1S95 18:30 London Euston - Glasgow Central terminating at Preston

This means that there is a 2 and a half hour gap between 16:34 and 19:10 for stations north of Preston, and three hours between 16:10 and 19:10 for Glasgow.

I've noticed the curtailments mainly seem to be on the Glasgow services, is there a shortage of train managers or drivers?
It's related to the recent Driver agreement for RDW not being renewed.
 

dk1

Established Member
Joined
2 Oct 2009
Messages
10,499
Location
East Anglia
Yes, that's what the company was thinking. But the RDW agreement has not been extended. (for a reason?)

#Aslef.
Of course I mean we always want more but if RDW agreement not sanctioned by ASLEF or industrial unrest then you certainly don’t want more & refuse anything extra.
 

brassballs

Member
Joined
8 May 2021
Messages
13
Location
uk
Of course I mean we always want more but if RDW agreement not sanctioned by ASLEF or industrial unrest then you certainly don’t want more & refuse anything extra.
Yep. There is a reason behind it.

We all have money people at our depots:D

No . It's not 50% it's 42% combined.
Plus you can put it into Brass but that wasn't my point
 

Carlisle

Established Member
Joined
26 Aug 2012
Messages
3,520
We all have money people at our depots
In which case one might ask what planet one’s on engaging in industrial action during a pandemic where rail’s been on government life support for over a year ?
 
Last edited:

Flange Squeal

Member
Joined
17 Jul 2012
Messages
719
In which case one might ask what planet one’s on engaging in industrial action during a pandemic where rail’s been on government life support for over a year ?
If it is that the free day agreement has expired and not been renewed, then this is essentially just people not working on their days off. It's not really them starting a big fight.
 

Carlisle

Established Member
Joined
26 Aug 2012
Messages
3,520
If it is that the free day agreement has expired and not been renewed, then this is essentially just people not working on their days off. It's not really them starting a big fight.
If it’s a collective instruction to union members not to work rest days, how is your analysis correct ?
 
Last edited:

Flange Squeal

Member
Joined
17 Jul 2012
Messages
719
If it’s a collective agreement not to work rest days, your analysis is incorrect
So if staff daring to have their days off is industrial action, then how many of their days off should staff be forced to do per month? Or on every day off, should they be expected to be on call and drop their personal lives at a moment's notice if a train is about to be cancelled? I'd say a better solution would be for companies to employ enough staff in the first place, so that the business doesn't have to rely on people voluntarily working their days off to keep the basic timetable going. Every year in Summer, if there's cancellations you see comments along the lines of "Bet the staff are all at BBQs", and that might be true. But that doesn't mean that they are skiving - it just means they're choosing not to work their days off in the Summer, and spending them with their friends and family instead of working! A free day agreement simply outlines the terms of working free days - it doesn't guarantee a minimum level of staffing. If there is no free day agreement, then there is no official agreement for staff to work their days off.
 

High Dyke

Established Member
Joined
1 Jan 2013
Messages
3,275
Location
Yellabelly Country
In which case one might ask what planet one’s on engaging in industrial action during a pandemic where rail’s been on government life support for over a year ?
As an aside from this subject, Network Rail staff (including me) were recently accused of taking"unofficial industrial action" for not working rest days. Management completely ignored the fact they had changed the roster pattern, but didn't have sufficient staff to cover all the jobs when they implemented the rosters.
 

bb21

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Global Moderator
Joined
4 Feb 2010
Messages
24,128
If it’s a collective instruction to union members not to work rest days, how is your analysis correct ?
Not working rest days is not industrial action.

You need to volunteer for rest day work, and anyone can opt out of volunteering at any time, union or no union, agreement or no agreement. At different points throughout the year you would encounter cases where very few people/none volunteered and it is a risk operators willingly take. Having an agreement in place does not guarantee there will be sufficient volunteers at all times.

However if there is no agreement then it is little wonder there is no volunteer. People generally rely on the union to have agreed something decent with the company on their behalf. No agreement can naturally be interpreted as the offer from the company being unsatisfactory, hence no volunteer. Nothing stopping you from offering to work rest days in the absence of an agreement, but most seem to choose to exercise their democratic right and refuse.

If the financials do not work out for the operators, the practice will soon stop. Indeed there is nothing stopping the government insisting that this practice is stopped, but there seems little appetite for it. Perhaps you would like to lobby your MP to advocate for a change?
 

Parham Wood

Member
Joined
13 Jun 2011
Messages
230
Certainly up to the late 70s and beyond I think nearly all "blue collar" railway staff and a few technical grade staff were up for RDW to boost their pay. Certainly long PW and S&T weekend shifts were very desirable as considerable sums could be earnt given the multiples of time and a half or double time that would apply. Since wages were low I can see why people jumped at this so working a six day week as standard.

In these more modern times the railway should not rely on RDW and should have enough staff to cover the work and to allow for holidays and a certain level of sickness. However there will be times when there are not enough staff to cover turns due to a short term higher level of sickness so some RDW should be allowed. It will put operating costs up I assume which will fall on the passenger.
 

liam456

Member
Joined
6 May 2018
Messages
232
I found this REALLY annoying yesterday trying to travel from Manchester back home to Glasgow. Thanks to Delay Repay though I make a profit off the trip, my tickets paid for by Valneva (taking part in their vaccine trial) and the railway twice over! It does soften the blow knowing what the reason actually is. If the curtailments are at Preston does that mean that the crew diagrams north of there make more use of RDW than south of there?
 

dk1

Established Member
Joined
2 Oct 2009
Messages
10,499
Location
East Anglia
I found this REALLY annoying yesterday trying to travel from Manchester back home to Glasgow. Thanks to Delay Repay though I make a profit off the trip, my tickets paid for by Valneva (taking part in their vaccine trial) and the railway twice over! It does soften the blow knowing what the reason actually is. If the curtailments are at Preston does that mean that the crew diagrams north of there make more use of RDW than south of there?
Possibly but could be many things. At my depot we often have one shift with more vacancies than others whether it be through sickness, training or something else. You might have six or more spare drivers in the afternoon yet four RDW drivers on early turn as none of the late shift can pick it up as more than a 3hr movement from their spare time. You could offer to cross one of those late shift drivers palm with silver to move more than 3hrs and book them off with pay the day before but nobody is going to agree to do that if in dispute.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top