Heathrow Connect

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yorkie

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I've read reports of "aggressive staff" on Heathrow Connect. I've not yet used the service so I was wondering if anyone here has, and what their perception is?

CJB on [url said:
news://uk.railway]Being[/url] in the travel industry it is about time pressure was put on First
Great Western Link / BAA to do something about lightening up the
aggressive tone of the announcements to passengers on the new Heathrow Connect trains.

The actual tone is from an aggressive male - what happened to the sexy
female announcements on the London Underground and National Rail
Southern / SWT services?

However the MAIN issue of concern is the announcement that if
passengers do not have the correct ticket then they may be issued with
a penalty fare. This simply is not customer friendly towards overseas
visitors who do not understand the British penchant for penalty fares
on our trains. It is also arrogant in the assumption that passengers
want to ride for free. However it does not make allowance for
passengers wishing to purchase tickets on board.

We have travelled on such special airport services in Oslo and also in
Stockholm. On these, especially in Sweden, the announcements are
friendly, the staff are helpful, and it is possible to purchase tickets
on board. They do NOT have aggressive announcements warning of the
imposition of penalty fares if the correct tickets are not purchased
before boarding. Neither do they have intimidating and aggressive
revenue protection staff as they do on First Great Western Link
services.

Over the years I have witnessed many hapless and unwitting overseas
tourists being harassed and bullied by jobsworth ticket railway
inspectors and also bus drivers. However the new Heathrow Connect
service has to be the very worst at this.
Can anyone else share their experiences?
 
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Tom C

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I used Connect once from Paddington to Hayes. The guard was an Asian fella, didn't check any tickets but became very rude towards a passengers who had his feet on the seat (quite right) although not checking tickets didn't really give me much confidence. Either First don't care who they employ or morale is dangerously low already.
 

Mojo

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Each train has 2 ticket inspectors (NOT guards).
One does the front 2 coaches and one the rear 2, they then swap around at Hayes & Harlington and collect the premium fares.

There are many pointless announcements, and it also has some references to the station 'Hayes' which is not even on the route (Hayes & Harlington IS)

Apparently they refuse to sell travelcards which they are obliged to do, so you actually have to shout at them and point blank refuse to do so.
 

Craig

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yorkie said:
I've read reports of "aggressive staff" on Heathrow Connect. I've not yet used the service so I was wondering if anyone here has, and what their perception is?

CJB on [url said:
news://uk.railway]The[/url] actual tone is from an aggressive male - what happened to the sexy
female announcements on the London Underground and National Rail
Southern / SWT services?
Can anyone else share their experiences?
I've only used it once. Didn't have any problems with the staff, but they were quite abrupt and seemed quite hostile towards the passengers.

I think I have a recording of the announcements somewhere, I'll see if I can dig it out later.
 

Julian G

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hc is actually (filter) up

they better let people with Z1-6 travelcards go to Heathrow Airport during the Piccadilly Line Blockade.
 

Harold

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The one time I traveled on heathrow connect, a member of staff had a right go at me for photographing the 360 at paddington, also when i go the service from Ealing Broadway, the ticket inspector hurried me to show my travelcard

I don't think these certain members of staff on the heathrow connect understand the word "manners"
 

Mojo

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All this talking about it here, and on UKr makes me want to go on the service just to wind the staff up :D
 

Julian G

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recently they have put up new stop signs like this one below


are they blind or what :shock:
they always stop at (2/3) and not at the special sign that was put up.

next time i see a HC driver stopping at the (2/3) sign i will ask him why is he stopping ath (2/3) sign and not the special HC sign which is there
 

Simming

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1288gaje said:
next time i see a HC driver stopping at the (2/3) sign i will ask him why is he stopping ath (2/3) sign and not the special HC sign which is there
to which i would reply if i was the driver, go forth and multiply. there is no railway byelaw saying that they have to stop at the sign is there, its just a handy marker.
 

yorkie

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Simming said:
to which i would reply if i was the driver, go forth and multiply. there is no railway byelaw saying that they have to stop at the sign is there, its just a handy marker.
He's entitled to ask a polite question and get a polite response. I don't think being rude would help.
 

TheSlash

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Simming said:
1288gaje said:
next time i see a HC driver stopping at the (2/3) sign i will ask him why is he stopping ath (2/3) sign and not the special HC sign which is there
to which i would reply if i was the driver, go forth and multiply. there is no railway byelaw saying that they have to stop at the sign is there, its just a handy marker.
I think there is you know mate. I'm sure drivers can be quite severely disciplined for not stopping at the correct sign, it's seen as an over shoot.
 

Simming

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Surely An Overshoot would mean going off the end of the platform, if the trains still in the platform, abit not next to the sign, it cant be an overshoot?

VXC have there own signs all around, which i find pointless TBH, because whats wrong with the standard 2, 4, 6 signs that you find here and there.
 

yorkie

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Simming said:
VXC have there own signs all around, which i find pointless TBH, because whats wrong with the standard 2, 4, 6 signs that you find here and there.
Because a 6-car marker is for a 6-car conventional train. Voyagers are 4, 5, 8, 9 or 10 cars, and the doors at each end of the train are not at the extreme ends of the vehicles for obvious reasons.

At some stations it can mean the difference between obstructing a set of points behind the train, while at others not stopping correctly may just inconvenience passengers possibly causing higher dwell times.
 

Tomnick

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The driver will know the road though, and know whether his train is fully 'inside' the platform if he does stop before the 'official' stop marker for any reason - likewise, it's not officially counted as an overrun if the driver runs past the marker board. Interesting discussion elsewhere, from a while ago, here.
 

Sprinter

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Regarding Travelcards and the Piccadilly Line blockades, on the weekends the Piccadilly line is closed (with no through service from Central London), both Heathrow Express and Connect will accept Z1-6 Travelcards (ALL zones only) for travel to and from Heathrow.

If you hold a TRvalcard that does NOT cover all six zones, you need to buy a ticket entension.
 

Ben

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having listenned to the anoucment Craig i can say it doesnt seem that bad

although the gaps between anouncments is a bit intimidating
 
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