Deal agreed between RMT and SWR regarding future role of guards

DorkingMain

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I agree with your first point, but the RMT are not the answer nor the arbiter and the reality is that safety is the responsibility of other bodies of which more than one ruled on this- this has been covered in threads passim, but to summarise, the decisions on DCO safety and the various idiosyncasies and exceptions have all been made and the rulings are in the public domain. It is not relevant to start dragging in "passenger safety" yet again. I accept your point about traincrew availability, but your remedy of factoring in redundant idle capacity of surplus staff all over the place sat around on the off chance of a colleague going sick is impractical and commercially crazy, when the actual train does not even require the staff member in order to run, and it is not a fault of "planning". Does every bin lorry have a guy in the back reading the paper in case the driver sprains his wrist? DOes an operating theatre have a spare doctor in the canteen in case doc A gets a tummy bug? It doesn't happen anywhere else outside the railways for a good reason. Every single thing in life has a propensity to fail, from your doorbell to your car to your TV, so until you equip yourself with two of absolutely everything you ever need from cradle to grave it is not a good justification for carrying bodies round the network on every single train "in case something fails". This is all dragging back old arguments that have been done to death in other threads. This is not about "passenger safety".
I'm confused by your repeated comments digging at the RMT here - the guarantee of a guard on every train was agreed as part of negotiations between the company and ASLEF over a year ago. This was based on what drivers wanted (not having to deal with out-of-course situations alone, etc.)

Also - if you stand to lose a lot by not having redundant capacity, then yes - it makes perfect sense to have redundant capacity. The cost of a cancelled train is orders of magnitude greater than the cost of spare staff.
 
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the sniper

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Looking at it objectively, having fewer duties and a reduced working week, but no reduction in pay is extraordinarily good by any normal measure, but obviously I understand the unique issues of the railway industry.

We'll see how long the agreement is honoured. Regardless, SWR Guards still have a longer working week than many other TOCs and have given up even more T&Cs than they already had. Personally I'd argue the Metro Guards have a far less attractive role now. Paid £7k less than the Commercial Guards when they're expected to take on the worst aspects of the Commercial Guards job...

I imagine a significant proportion of passengers on services operated with Metro Guards hold Oyster or other smart tickets. It's not exactly going to help things if you then try to sell a paper ticket to someone who hasn't validated their Oyster card.

In depth revenue checks and Penalty Fares etc. will of course remain the responsibility of RPIs but this will certainly help in tackling ticketless travel. I'm sure there are plenty who have hitherto cottoned onto the fact that guards on their line are non-commercial; even just seeing regular ticket checks will dissuade them from trying it on.

It'll be absolutely counter productive. All it does is highlight to those who have paid that they needn't have bothered if the 'ticket man' just walks off if someone hasn't got a ticket, even if they've given the impression they want to buy one. It's better to leave an air of mystery over the consequences of fare evasion than highlight that revenue protection is ineffective or a joke.

Seems a lot of fuss about very little. The Southern OBS role is perfectly acceptable - and has proven to be so.

The OBS role is an interesting one - I had expected it to be quietly dropped after a year or two, or a recruitment freeze so it just quietly went away over time. But that hasn't happened, and it does seem to be providing benefits. It might indeed be difficult to remove it, as with it a wheelchair user can board any train without pre-booking, so it would be unreasonable to take that away.

They can't do that on Southern OBS routes officially or with any certainty otherwise.

40K a year for a comm guard ?
Lol. They’ve lost responsibilities and their working week has been reduced!

They'd previously sold plenty of T&Cs to get to £40k... Many Commercial Guards won't lose any responsibility in the short term. Metro Guards have arguably taken on an alternative set of problems and all have given up other T&Cs.

Losing responsibility undermines their position in the medium to long term. That's nothing to celebrate in the grade.

Which of you is correct?

TEW is correct. Full details of the proposal and an updated job description were sent out with the referendum email. I've seen both.

Have the competence standards/extent of reduced route knowledge of a DCO only Guard been defined in the job descriptions?

To be fair, my reference to the job descriptions was regarding what happens when the company chooses a Guard to loose their competence to work "Traditional operation", which is defined in the agreement.

DOes an operating theatre have a spare doctor in the canteen in case doc A gets a tummy bug? It doesn't happen anywhere else outside the railways for a good reason.

You must me sorely disappointed by the airline industry too?
 
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Ashley Hill

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it was reviewed and a conclusion was reached by the appropriate competencies at the time. The RMT was and is not one of those appropriate competencies.
If the 'appropriate competencies' are the same people who want DCO then their conclusions reached would be of no surprise!
As for guards being slow to open doors, any guard worth their salt would be at the door controls ready for the upcoming station and not out chasing commission.
 

dingdinger

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Slightly off topic but talking about different dispatch methods what is Cross Country's long winded approach all about. Guard gets tip from platform staff then gives the driver the signal to close the doors before the guard has one last check and gets second tip before closing local door and giving ready to go signal. Think Avanti do it on their diesels too.
 
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pompeyfan

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Slightly off topic but talking about different dispatch methods what is Cross Country's long winded approach all about. Guard gets tip from platform staff then gives the driver the signal to close the doors before the guard has one last check and gets second tip before closing local door and giving ready to go signal. Think Avanti do it on their diesals too.

It’s known as 10 bell dispatch and was also used by Southern when the conductor had to work from an intermediate cab, as well as GWR turbos on the conductor operated routes out of Reading.
 

LowLevel

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Slightly off topic but talking about different dispatch methods what is Cross Country's long winded approach all about. Guard gets tip from platform staff then gives the driver the signal to close the doors before the guard has one last check and gets second tip before closing local door and giving ready to go signal. Think Avanti do it on their diesels too.

It was cheaper than having proper guard's panels in the train. It doesn't have to be long winded if the crew are on the ball. Instead of having panels throughout the train there is just a signal button by each door and the driver uses the cab controls to the guard's instruction (the driver can't see the platform behind them).
 

ainsworth74

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It was cheaper than having proper guard's panels in the train. It doesn't have to be long winded if the crew are on the ball. Instead of having panels throughout the train there is just a signal button by each door and the driver uses the cab controls to the guard's instruction (the driver can't see the platform behind them).

That always felt like one of those decisions which would save money up front in procurement but end up costing you money over the thirty-odd year life of the train due to the long winded nature of the dispatch process (I appreciate it can be do fairly quickly if on the ball, but let's be honest it often isn't!) and on a whole life basis end up more expensive than just fitting proper panel to them in the first place.
 

Bletchleyite

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That always felt like one of those decisions which would save money up front in procurement but end up costing you money over the thirty-odd year life of the train due to the long winded nature of the dispatch process (I appreciate it can be do fairly quickly if on the ball, but let's be honest it often isn't!) and on a whole life basis end up more expensive than just fitting proper panel to them in the first place.

I assume that back in the late 90s a panel would have more dedicated wiring per button, whereas now it'd be in software and thus pretty much just the cost of the button and a tiny amount of circuitry to connect it to whatever common bus was in use, so it's unlikely to be repeated?

They wouldn't need to be a full panel - just adding a close button would have done as they're driver release (if you needed a re-release you'd be losing time anyway, so buzzing for that wouldn't be a great issue). I half recall Southern Electrostars only have close and signal plus the key?
 

LowLevel

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I assume that back in the late 90s a panel would have more dedicated wiring per button, whereas now it'd be in software and thus pretty much just the cost of the button and a tiny amount of circuitry to connect it to whatever common bus was in use, so it's unlikely to be repeated?

They wouldn't need to be a full panel - just adding a close button would have done as they're driver release (if you needed a re-release you'd be losing time anyway, so buzzing for that wouldn't be a great issue). I half recall Southern Electrostars only have close and signal plus the key?

When the guard keys in the panel intercom between driver and guard activates anyway so communication between the two isn't difficult (the same happens on 222s albeit they have different door panels and fewer of them - the driver uses the selective door opening and puts the release up to the train manager - which sounds clunky but manages to mitigate an inherent issue within the system whereby if the doors are released too quickly the signal doesn't go down the train correctly and some coaches don't release - a short delay was added to the guard release which ensures the SDO works correctly. Not the original reason for fitment which was failure to agree driver door release).
 

Domeyhead

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Which bodies were these, please? Perhaps you could name them and cite the rulings?
Of course I'm not, and I'm not going down the road of posting competitive URLs when you can find all this material if you look for it. I suspect you know more than enough about railway operations to know where to start! :) But if not, and if you are interested enough you can start at the Office of Rail And Road's summary of DCO and follow the various leads from there, which will take you through various studies by ORR, RSSB, Network Rail and other bodies.
 
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swt_passenger

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You don’t ever just “release when the wheels stop” under any circumstances. In this industry you always take a minute before you do anything. That way whatever you’ve just done is guaranteed to be somebody else’s fault (I jest, but there’s an element of truth to that) :)...
Except when ATO or ABDO are in use presumably?

(Note: Automatic Braking and Door Opening (ABDO) as in 701s)
 
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Domeyhead

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I'm confused by your repeated comments digging at the RMT here - the guarantee of a guard on every train was agreed as part of negotiations between the company and ASLEF over a year ago. This was based on what drivers wanted (not having to deal with out-of-course situations alone, etc.)

Also - if you stand to lose a lot by not having redundant capacity, then yes - it makes perfect sense to have redundant capacity. The cost of a cancelled train is orders of magnitude greater than the cost of spare staff.
Hi Dorking, no I'm not digging at the RMT per se. Its role is to protect the jobs, maximise the wages and improve the conditions of its members and nobody on this thread ( or even this board) should have any issue with that because it does a very good job. Anyone can sympathise with the perceived threat to guards jobs from DCO so of course the RMT was right to fight for the permanent and secure retention of on board staff, regardless of what their job title might be. My issue is that this was all presented as an overriding concern for passenger safety. Yes, anyone involved with railway operations has safety flowing in their veins but this concern for passenger welfare became a screen to hide behind, and yes when I mentioned the detraining of customers due to staff shortages it was to point out that any genuine concern for passenger welfare would not see them forced off a train mid journey on a winter's evening when in the age of the mobile phone the risk of continuing without a ticket checker - sorry, "guard" on board was on balance less than bundling them off the train and into the cold unexpectedly. The whole debate over whether a role was "safety trained" or "safety critical" was similarly concerned with protecting the job not the passenger. This obfuscation was carefully packaged and successfully presented to the public at large.
 

TEW

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It’s known as 10 bell dispatch and was also used by Southern when the conductor had to work from an intermediate cab, as well as GWR turbos on the conductor operated routes out of Reading.
GWR Turbos have now all been modified so that the guard simply closes the doors themselves.
 

AY1975

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The answer is in the above linked document hosted on the RMT website, but to paraphrase, no guards will hold dispatch competency for 701 stock. There will be guards that are likely to sign both Desiro and 701 stock so will retain dispatch for legacy units.
So AIUI it's basically the same as what the RMT agreed with ScotRail a few years ago, at least for Class 385 EMU-operated services such as Edinburgh-Glasgow via Falkirk.

Obviously, EMU-operated services within the Glasgow suburban area (plus services to Edinburgh via Airdrie since that route reopened) have been covered by the Strathclyde Manning Agreement since about 1985/86 whereby trains do not have guards but have a Ticket Examiner on board (a similar concept to the On Board Supervisor on Southern), although I believe that the original version of the Strathclyde agreement stipulated that Ticket Examiners must be qualified guards whereas I don't think that is still the case.

As with the Southern OBS, you might have expected that the Ticket Examiner role on Glasgow suburban EMUs would slowly die out in favour of full DOO but AFAIK (it's a while since I was last in Glasgow) that hasn't happened so far.

According to the agreement document linked from posts 24 and 25 in this thread, both grades of SWR guard (Metro Guards on suburban services and Commercial Guards on other services) will initially continue to operate trains using the traditional method, but Metro Guards will increasingly switch to DCO as the 701s enter service. DCO will also be adopted on other services as existing trains are modified to enable this method of operation.

However, whilst it would seem plausible that the 444s and 450s (and presumably the 458s as they are now to be retained and modified for 100 mph operation instead of retaining the 442s) will be modified for DCO at some point, it remains to be seen whether the 158s and 159s ever go DCO. They are nearly 30 years old so SWR may not think it worth modifying them in view of their age but AFAIK SWR has no immediate plans to replace them.
 
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Monty

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However, whilst it would seem plausible that the 444s and 450s (and presumably the 458s as they are now to be retained and modified for 100 mph operation instead of retaining the 442s) will be modified for DCO at some point, it remains to be seen whether the 158s and 159s ever go DCO. They are nearly 30 years old so SWR may not think it worth modifying them in view of their age but AFAIK SWR has no immediate plans to replace them.

If you take what SWR have said in the past at face value... They initially said at the start of the dispute that the method of operation on existing stock wouldn't change...

However it remains to be seen what will actually happen, modifying the existing Desiro and Juniper fleets isn't a far gone conclusion. As well as the installation of cameras the cabs would need a considerable redesign to accommodate the monitors and one has to question the wisdom of spending that kind of money on 20 year old trains when there will be no cost saving since you'll ha e a guard on board anyway. However you may find they will be converted to driver open/guard close which could be done relatively quickly.
 

Neptune

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Without wishing to go too off-topic here - I believe Northern guards are instructed to dispatch from the back. Therefore if they're doing tickets (particularly in coach 1 / 2) it can be a sprint back to the correct panel.

Obviously this is an argument in favour of drivers opening the doors, which I agree is a favourable method of operation.
Untrue. The only panel Northern guards cannot dispatch from is the one at the very front door, door release is allowable from it however.

As a for instance there is no dispatch possible from the front coach of a 333 as it is at the very front door in that coach but you can dispatch from the front coach of a 170 as it is the 2nd door from the front.

On a 195/331 each panel is diagonally opposite so at a L/H platform there is no front coach dispatch (front door) but on a R/H platform you can (2nd door back).

This all came about after James Street when an immediate instruction went out that doors could only be operated from the rear. After a while they realised that performance and revenue were taking a massive hit so relented and allowed door operation from everywhere except the very front door.

Door operation is allowed from the very front in the event of a DKS failure if it is the only panel available but must be authorised by control first.
 

VWRO2

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So with this decision, what are the repercussions to other staff? Will ROs still have dispatch duties?
 

yorkie

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...., you might have expected that the Ticket Examiner role on Glasgow suburban EMUs would slowly die out in favour of full DOO but AFAIK (it's a while since I was last in Glasgow) that hasn't happened so far...
These trains are fully driver only operated; the TTI is not involved in the operation of the train.
 

Bigfoot

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If you take what SWR have said in the past at face value... They initially said at the start of the dispute that the method of operation on existing stock wouldn't change...

However it remains to be seen what will actually happen, modifying the existing Desiro and Juniper fleets isn't a far gone conclusion. As well as the installation of cameras the cabs would need a considerable redesign to accommodate the monitors and one has to question the wisdom of spending that kind of money on 20 year old trains when there will be no cost saving since you'll ha e a guard on board anyway. However you may find they will be converted to driver open/guard close which could be done relatively quickly.

There was somewhere in much paper briefs produced that stated the role of the guard on various stocks. I can't find it currently, it may have been an internal document issued by the company/union.

However it stated the eventual method of working for each individual stock type as:

701 DO/DC
450/444 DO/GC
158/9 No change (If memory serves correctly this also included the 442s as it was before their withdrawal)

I would presume given the cab config of a 458 that they too will become DO/GC.
 

pompeyfan

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It’ll be interesting to see if there is an increase in wrong side releases and stop short door releases. I’m led to believe that when turbos started running on more west routes there was a sharp increase which still hasn’t flattened.

sadly I can’t see ASLEF, SWR or the ORR making any of those numbers available on a like for like basis.

still, all in the name of customer service and passenger safety.
 

Monty

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If anything it will be worse as the vast majority of drivers in SWR have not operated a DOO-P train before (which is what it is, despite the contrary DCO is *not* a method of working)

Still far too much is unknown, we still don't know what duties if any Metro Guards will have when it comes to managing the PTI.
 

swt_passenger

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It’ll be interesting to see if there is an increase in wrong side releases and stop short door releases. I’m led to believe that when turbos started running on more west routes there was a sharp increase which still hasn’t flattened.

sadly I can’t see ASLEF, SWR or the ORR making any of those numbers available on a like for like basis.

still, all in the name of customer service and passenger safety.
Perhaps they should switch on reading the CSDE data in the existing ASDO beacons?
 

AY1975

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If anything it will be worse as the vast majority of drivers in SWR have not operated a DOO-P train before (which is what it is, despite the contrary DCO is *not* a method of working)

Still far too much is unknown, we still don't know what duties if any Metro Guards will have when it comes to managing the PTI.
What does the P in DOO-P stand for?

If DCO isn't a method of working, what is it?
These trains are fully driver only operated; the TTI is not involved in the operation of the train.
By full DOO I meant DOO without a second member of staff on board.
There was somewhere in much paper briefs produced that stated the role of the guard on various stocks. I can't find it currently, it may have been an internal document issued by the company/union.

However it stated the eventual method of working for each individual stock type as:

701 DO/DC
450/444 DO/GC
158/9 No change (If memory serves correctly this also included the 442s as it was before their withdrawal)

I would presume given the cab config of a 458 that they too will become DO/GC.
So presumably that means SWR is looking at eventually operating the 701s in more or less the same way as the Southern 377s and all Glasgow suburban EMUs, even if SWR Metro Guards will still be called Metro Guards rather than On Board Supervisors (as on Southern) or Ticket Examiners (as on Glasgow EMUs)?
 

Bletchleyite

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What does the P in DOO-P stand for?

Passenger. All TOCs (I think) allow operation DOO if no passengers are on board.

So presumably that means SWR is looking at eventually operating the 701s in more or less the same way as the Southern 377s and all Glasgow suburban EMUs, even if SWR Metro Guards will still be called Metro Guards rather than On Board Supervisors (as on Southern) or Ticket Examiners (as on Glasgow EMUs)?

Yes, but one difference - on SWR the "guard" (whatever you call them) is mandatory, on Southern they are not.
 

vikingdriver

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It’ll be interesting to see if there is an increase in wrong side releases and stop short door releases. I’m led to believe that when turbos started running on more west routes there was a sharp increase which still hasn’t flattened.

sadly I can’t see ASLEF, SWR or the ORR making any of those numbers available on a like for like basis.

still, all in the name of customer service and passenger safety.

I'm a driver on the West with the turbos. Incidents like that are posted on our notice boards and I can't say that there ever seemed to be an unusual number of either of them compared to any other incident. Obviously I don't have the statistics but have never had the impression there is a big issue. Sure they happen but I don't think it is to the extent that people would like to hear! I did get the impression that a lot of drivers realised that they were a 2 button press away from a balls up and took whatever steps they needed to minimise the risk. At my depot, and I think it was a company policy, the management were hot on how quickly you released the doors, wanting you to pause and have a think first.
 

pompeyfan

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Perhaps they should switch on reading the CSDE data in the existing ASDO beacons?

considering the desiro fleet can’t detect a stop short and prevent an unaccommodated door release, I can’t see them being able to work with CSDE. I could be wrong though.

I'm a driver on the West with the turbos. Incidents like that are posted on our notice boards and I can't say that there ever seemed to be an unusual number of either of them compared to any other incident. Obviously I don't have the statistics but have never had the impression there is a big issue. Sure they happen but I don't think it is to the extent that people would like to hear! I did get the impression that a lot of drivers realised that they were a 2 button press away from a balls up and took whatever steps they needed to minimise the risk. At my depot, and I think it was a company policy, the management were hot on how quickly you released the doors, wanting you to pause and have a think first.

that is reassuring to hear, thank you for correcting me.
 

Fincra5

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Passenger. All TOCs (I think) allow operation DOO if no passengers are on board.



Yes, but one difference - on SWR the "guard" (whatever you call them) is mandatory, on Southern they are not.
Well... In the SN Agreement an OBS is Booked to be on every Coastal Service (And those that had a guard previously). There is a short list of exceptions when a train may run without and OBS but Trains will still get canned for No OBS or run empties to where an OBS is provided.
 

Monty

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What does the P in DOO-P stand for?

If DCO isn't a method of working, what is it?

DOO-P stands for Driver Only Operation - Passenger, in technical terms a DOO train is a non passenger train, empty coaching stock, engineers or a freight train etc.

DCO was a term coined at the start of the Southern Dispute a few years ago now, I'm not sure of the exact origin of the term but I'm sure someone came up with it during a tea and biscuits meeting between the DFT/ORR, RSSB and the TOCs...

In, short it's a sop to make DOO seem more palatable to both the public and the workforce. From a strictly technical and legislation point of view a DCO train is a DOO-P train.
 

swt_passenger

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considering the desiro fleet can’t detect a stop short and prevent an unaccommodated door release, I can’t see them being able to work with CSDE. I could be wrong though.
That’s why I didn’t mention stop short, because we know the system doesn’t check that. But CSDE should be an easier improvement if it’s already read. The online description I saw of the SWT Desiro system, (in rail engineer mag), said the TMS was reading platform side data, just not using it yet.
 

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