Chaos at Eastbourne this afternoon (04/11)

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by TrainGeekUK, 4 Nov 2019.

  1. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    Indeed. The first person who says there's disruption and they've been told there's ticket acceptance should prompt the driver to check.

    If a load of people get on then there's either a massive conspiracy to defraud, or there might just be some truth in it!

    I know in the past around here (Hertfordshire) Uno drivers had no radio (they were expected to use their mobiles) but now they have the new Ticketer system I am sure they can be alerted very easily.

    I've heard of Arriva drivers refusing, despite tens of people trying to board, but Arriva has a terrible reputation locally for a number of reasons. It is frustrating when Arriva run so many buses that would be invaluable during rail disruption.
     
  2. RichardKing

    RichardKing Member

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    At Polegate yesterday evening, there was a very large group of passengers (some of whom had been waiting 2-3 hours for a replacement bus) attempting to use the local buses. Despite this, some drivers still claimed not to be aware of the ticket acceptance. For those who aren't familiar with Polegate, there is a bus stop next to the station, so the driver would've seen the signs of major disruption.
    The main problem was that as there was no clear attempt to ensure ticket acceptance was communicated with the bus drivers early on into the disruption (not directly GTR's fault, I know), this resulted in passenger numbers gradually building up until the peak-time commuters started returning to the coast, where things reached breaking point. No wonder the BTP were on site.
     
  3. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    In such circumstances, I'd pay to travel and make a claim for a refund.

    Rather that than be stuck at the bus stop for ages because some bus drivers think they know best. Seeing crowds of people and not taking time to call their control seems ridiculous.
     
  4. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Established Member

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    Why wouldn't it do the same thing again? Edit - seemingly it did!
     
  5. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    Slightly different failure second time round.

    The nature of the first failure was unprecedented - I’ve never known it happen in my long time on the railway.
     
  6. Snow1964

    Snow1964 Member

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    that’s not a very customer friendly approach to make the passenger explain the ticket acceptance, surely should be station staff (or stranded train crew) hopping on bus and checking driver knows
     
  7. nickswift99

    nickswift99 Member

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    Many stations will be unmanned and as the trains are disrupted the TOC may not be able to source transport to get staff to these stations.
     
  8. apinnard

    apinnard Member

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    So basically the controller modules work in 2+1 redundancy, but in this instance all 3 modules failed?

    That must be a pretty rare occurrence. I work in a lot of data centres and even in the world of I.T it is quite rare for the active, passive and spare kit to fail simultaneously.
     
  9. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    Many bus stops aren't near stations, and I am sure people want staff on stations - not walking up the road and jumping on and off every bus.

    Plus if a driver isn't believing there's acceptance in place, why would they believe rail staff? They'd still insist they need to be told by their control.
     
  10. carriageline

    carriageline Established Member

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    Close. They have 3 modules. They work on a voting system. When they are asked to do something by the signaller, they vote to decide whether it’s safe (99.99% it is!) if one of them disagrees, it blows its internal fuse and the other 2 limp on. If you end up down to 1, then you have no interlocking.

    3 of them dying at once is very rare, I would possibly say this is the only time it has ever happened? Someone more clued up will know.
     
  11. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    Slight correction (probably in terminology): if one of the MPMs disagrees it doesn’t blow a fuse (in the conventional sense), but it does shut down until ‘rebooted’ or replaced.

    However there are fuses protecting them, which can, of course, blow in the conventional sense!

    I, too, have never heard of 3 MPMs shut down, or ‘blow a fuse’ at the same time. It’s rare enough that just one goes, I can only remember that happening 2 or 3 times in my time looking after such things.
     
  12. TrainGeekUK

    TrainGeekUK Member

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    It wasn't a good day again yesterday with a freight train heading to Tonbridge going bang between Ham Street and Ashford. The line was out of commission for a substantial period of time. Again, southern had major issues getting replacement buses.
     
  13. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    Now the schools are back, how many replacement buses are there to call upon (along with ready and willing drivers) when this sort of thing happens at short notice?

    I wonder how feasible it would be for the DfT to consider having a fleet of buses at strategic locations, although that still doesn't address the issue of staffing them!
     
  14. carriageline

    carriageline Established Member

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    Well I never! I was always told they blow their security fuse if they have a disagreement. Every day is a school day!
     
  15. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    It’s terminology - the ‘security fuse’ isn’t a fuse as in something that blows with a electrical overload. It’s more a logic thing that triggers the processor to stop. It is often described by the techs as ‘blowing the fuse’ though.

    There are, however ‘proper’ fuses as well, as you don’t want too much current in your processors!
     
  16. tsr

    tsr Established Member

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    GTR currently have no regular contact with Stagecoach, as this is managed on their behalf. This may well change soon, but probably isn't likely to help get ticket acceptance in place more quickly, regardless of who communicates with Stagecoach. Unfortunately this is a repeat issue found by passengers, but cannot be verified until someone (be it station staff or passengers) reports it and railway controllers can escalate it. In other words, you can't say what bus drivers are doing from the confines of a railway control room unless a) you have a a controller on the ground or b) eyewitness accounts.

    GTR generally use Brighton & Hove Buses and Stagecoach for ticket acceptance around the South Coast area. Neither company is at all small or particularly locally-focused, although specific individuals may be.

    GTR do not have the time or resources to talk to individual bus drivers on existing service buses, nor do they or (to the best of my knowledge) any other TOC attempt it. To confirm receipt of messages in the area concerned could easily involve hundreds of bus drivers, plus dozens of railway controllers being trained in each bus company's communications equipment and procedures. This isn't going to happen. Controlling bespoke emergency rail replacement is hard enough.

    Buses were resourced practically as soon as the suppliers were asked, sent out within a few minutes of ordering them, and arrived almost to the minute of when they were expected. Replacement buses are rarely an instant solution. There were, however, no difficulties getting replacement buses.

    It does also have to be remembered that buses are rather slower than trains on the Marshlink, so smaller stations (Winchelsea, for example) usually have to wait for them to start journeys from Hastings, Rye or Ashford.

    The school run does hinder things overall (massively), though not really on the Marshlink route.
     

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