How easy is it to get on the wrong train?

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by PeterY, 19 Apr 2015.

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  1. PeterY

    PeterY Member

    2 Apr 2013
    After reading several posts where honest mistakes have been made by passengers getting on a wrong train and not knowing or realising the stopping patterns, ending up one or more stations along the line, than they intended.

    I know London Midland stopping patterns fairly well, so I don't have a problem. I know someone who made a mistake wanting to go to Apsley but next stop was Hemel Hempstead, they just caught the next train back.

    For me, using Thameslink from St Pancras northwards with a Zone 1 to 6travelcard. I have to be really careful the train actually stops at West Hampstead and not non stop to St Albans, the platform indicators aren't that clear on the platform.

    Should someone travel further than they intend because they've genuinely boarded a train by mistake that doesn't stop at the station they wish to alight, there's 2 options IMO

    1)Be honest with gate line staff and buy a return ticket. (Assuming there's no RPI to dish out a Penalty fare)
    2)Take a risk and just travel back to intended stop without a ticket and hope there's no, on train ticket inspections.
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  3. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

    28 Aug 2011
    It's very easy if you aren't familiar with an area or a station.

    If anyone does find themselves in this situation, I would highly advise going with option 1 above. Option 2 carries the risk of a bad day getting even worse, while with option 1 there is every chance that the gateline/on-board staff will let you travel back for free.
  4. Fiyero

    Fiyero Member

    29 Aug 2010
    I have got the wrong train before when I had to change at Romsey (Which I am not familiar with). I knew not many South West Trains services went from there so I got on one but it was going the wrong way so I had to go to Salisbury then come back on the same train. The Guard was very nice about it.

    Not the same but when taking a group of Beaver Scouts (6-7 year olds) to Portchester they were all too afraid to press the door button to get off and the adults were too far back so we carried on to Cosham, went over the bridge and came back again. Now we ALWAYS make sure an adult gets to the door first.
  5. Failed Unit

    Failed Unit Established Member

    26 Jan 2009
    Central Belt
    I guess with how often it happens very frequently. From years ago I recall getting off the ex-London Kings Cross train at Market Rasen when an accouncement came over to people awaiting a family they they had got on the wrong train and were at York.

    Despite on train staff announcement (and PIS) splitting trains seem to cause problems. It may be passengers not paying attention as it normally says on the PIS this is coach x or y and coaches 1-4 for Dover and 5-8 for Ramsgate. Even on the older trains front 4 for Kings Lynn only which may be viewed as the 4 closest to the barrier by some?

    The other confusion is 2 trains on the same platform like in Edinburgh x.30 Glasgow Queen Street and x.33 Dunblane. It happens so frequently that Scotrail keep the rear train locked until the front one has gone now.
  6. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

    27 Apr 2011
    Cambridge is a good one for causing confusion (and it's quite amusing to see people get in a blind panic about being on the correct train).

    8 car train from Kings Cross arrives at the station. Front 4 cars continue to Kings Lynn, the rear 4 go back to Kings Cross.

    Kings Lynn/Cross - a recipe for confusion.

    Norwich with trains to London Liverpool Street and Liverpool Lime Street also causes panic!
  7. Camden

    Camden Established Member

    30 Dec 2014
    So renaming it Liverpool London Road would be a bad idea?
  8. Bevan Price

    Bevan Price Established Member

    22 Apr 2010
    Probably - but it would nearly be accurate - London Road (Liverpool) is less than 100 yards from one exit from Lime Street station......
  9. trentside

    trentside Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

    14 Aug 2010
    The back cab
    Familiarity also breeds complacency sometimes - just because your train nearly always goes from the same platform, you can't assume it's yours. I've seen it happen on a few occasions where people have boarded the wrong train as platforms have been switched well in advance but they've not bothered to check or listen to announcements.
  10. table38

    table38 Established Member

    12 Oct 2010
    Some idiot here managed to not only get on the wrong train, but on the wrong tube line as well :)
  11. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

    12 Sep 2013
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    You can get NRE to allow you to double back through Hemel Hempstead on an Apsley ticket. I believe NRE is correct and it is valid.

    It's more of a problem in the peak when several trains stop at Apsley but skip Hemel and Berkhamsted.

    As for your options, really you only have one option: go and speak to someone to buy a return ticket back. If you seem genuine then chances are you'll be allowed to travel back without paying, but you shouldn't just chance it.
  12. causton

    causton Established Member

    4 Aug 2010
    Somewhere between WY372 and MV7
    Selling tickets from Watford Jn to Apsley, it will offer via HML so I can confirm it is valid - never sent anyone that way though cause you never know what might happen to them at HML!
  13. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

    9 Aug 2009
    I've managed to get on the wrong train a couple of times even though I was very familiar with the station and services!

    Once, at Reading I got into the wrong train of two that were in the platform, thinking I was on the Gatwick train whereas I was in the stopping train to Guildford/Gomshall. Luckily this only delayed my arrival at the airport, and I had plenty of time in hand, so it wasn't a disaster.

    Another time I leapt on to a train at Paddington to return home to Reading, only to find it was firsts top Didcot. It appears I made the classic Reading commuter mistake of not checking the screens properly!

    On both of these occasions I wasn't paying attention properly, and I fully accept that it's much easier to make a mistake at an unfamiliar station! Yet I;m very pleased to say that neither incident led to any financial penalty.
  14. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Member

    12 Sep 2011
    Have done it twice in my lifetime. Once many years ago I was running for a train from Manchester Victoria to Rochdale but got in the wrong half and found myself in the portion that was detached and then terminated at Shaw. Second time was last year. Waiting at York for a southbound EC. Kept an eye on the live departure boards and my train was shown as running to time and at the correct time an EC 125 pulled in. No announcements but departure board showing it as my train so I boarded and went to find my seat. Somewhat surprised there was no reservation label. Sat down and as we departed the on train announcement revealed to be a different train to the one that was shown on the screens. I was not the only one who had got on the wrong train as several others had done exactly the same. No RPI came round so didn't have to argue my case as to why I was not on my booked train.
  15. matt_world2004

    matt_world2004 Established Member

    5 Nov 2014
    I have done it several times at Paddington got on a train at platform 14 because the display board for platform 13 (without a train in the platform) mentions that the train is stopping at Hayes and Harlington .The first stop from platform 14 has been slough.
  16. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

    6 Aug 2009
    Very easy. Particularly if trains aren't where they usually are!
  17. EM2

    EM2 Established Member

    16 Nov 2008
    Northfleet, Kent
    I can honestly say that in 45 years, I cannot remember ever doing it.
  18. londonbridge

    londonbridge Member

    30 Jun 2010
    Was coming home from work in Kingston, train was delayed and came in three minutes before the next one was due, I boarded it having managed to miss all the announcements that it would be running non-stop to Waterloo and anyone wanting Clapham Junction should wait for the one behind.
  19. joke2711

    joke2711 Member

    7 Oct 2013
    In my much younger days a friend and I once got on the wrong train at Shrewsbury on a Saturday Night!

    Had been heading to Shrewsbury from Chester to watch the football and game was called off en-route. We bought an additional ticket to Wem and went and visited some friends. The Wem train was on the same platform at the arriving Chester train so on the way back we wrongly believed that the train on the same platform as the arriving train from Wem would be Chester bound.

    It was only after 10 minutes of departing did a passenger look at our football shirts and enquired whether this was the train to Aberystwyth. After having a joke we realised that we were in with a problem as another passenger informed us that the next train back was Monday Morning!

    We found the guard who after some bemusement dropped us off at a signal box and the signalman held the last train to Shrewsbury so we could board.

    We got back to Shrewsbury just in time for the last train to Chester ....
    Never again!!
  20. WillPS

    WillPS Established Member

    18 Nov 2008
    I managed to do it once, not so long ago.

    For those unfamiliar, Norwich - Liverpool and Liverpool - Norwich services mostly arrive and depart on the same side of Sheffield station, within a few mins of eachother.

    Liverpool bound services usually use platform 2, Norwich services platform 5.

    When I arrived, the board suggested my Norwich bound service was a few mins late and due on Platform 8 - not unheard of. Just before its scheduled departure time the departure board changed to show it as "on time" and changing to platform 5 - I looked over and saw an EMT 158 in platform 5 and legged it over the bridge, got on just as the doors closed feeling pretty pleased with myself.

    Then I saw the train pass Grindleford and suddenly it dawned on me what I had done.
  21. TheGrew

    TheGrew Member

    31 Jul 2012
    I remember doing this once when I was in school in Winchester returning home to Eastleigh. I accidentally got on the Weymouth service (first stop Southampton Airport Parkway) because the usual 442 was substituted for slam door stock which would have typically be used on my service to Portsmouth Harbour. Didn't realise until I buzzed through Eastleigh on the fasts ;)
  22. Flamingo

    Flamingo Established Member

    26 Apr 2010
    Once I got on a train at Bristol Temple Meads to Cardiff. As I was not working it I get out book, settle back on the cushions and start reading. When the train came to a stop I glanced out the window, to see I was in Bath! Embarrassed dive off the train, and phone-call to say I'd be home late!

    Another occasion I was working a train to the West Country from Paddington. There was a platform swap, and I had lots of people coming up to me asking was this the Taunton train, to which I said yes. It was only after departure that I found out they were looking for the train to Taunton via Swindon and Bristol Temple Meads, and were not actually travelling to Taunton...
  23. 35B

    35B Member

    19 Dec 2011
    Congratulations! I've twice made the same mistake at Victoria. When I lived in Bromley, all trains stopped at Bromley South. Unfortunately, the 1835 didn't - non stop to Chatham. Fortunately for me, the Connex staff (it was a while ago!) were considerate and didn't charge.

    As a teenager, I also fell foul of the slightly odd platform numbering at Glasgow Queen Street, and caught a Dyce train instead of the Edinburgh I'd intended. Again, I was glad of a considerate guard.
  24. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

    26 Nov 2009
    I've caught the wrong train twice in my life. Both times were returning home from school in Bradford, heading for Sowerby Bridge station - at the time there were three trains an hour in the right direction with the Blackpool not stopping at Sowerby Bridge or Mytholmoyd. In my defence the displays weren't as clear as they are now.
    However the two occasions were on subsequent days when I was 13 :oops:.
  25. CharlieSpotted

    CharlieSpotted Member

    21 May 2014
    Birmingham New Street (especially in it's current form) can be very confusing if you're not used to it or not paying attention.

    Just before Christmas I was on the Birmingham - Wolverhampton stopper, arrived at WVH (end of the line) at which point a young lady looked up from her book, took her earphones out and asked "Are we in London already?"

    Poor thing.
  26. BlueFox

    BlueFox Member

    20 May 2013
    I can only remember getting the wrong train once.

    I was travelling from Nuneaton to Portsmouth, with a replacement bus service between Nuneaton and Coventry.
    The bus was late getting to Coventry, so I had to hurry. I glanced at the departure board to see which platform I needed, then hurried over the bridge to find a Virgin XC HST already there.
    It was the right kind of train, on the right platform, at the right time, so the thought didn't enter my head that it might be the wrong train. I got on and the train left immediately.

    But I was on the wrong train. I'd got on a delayed train that was going to Bournemouth, and my Portsmouth train was just behind it.

    Although I was going in the right direction, I had a Virgin Value ticket that wasn't valid on the train I was on so wanted to change onto the right one as soon as possible. I checked the National Rail WAP site on my phone and could see that both trains stopped at Leamington Spa so I changed trains there.
  27. Statto

    Statto Established Member

    8 Feb 2011
    At home or at the pub
    Couple of years ago on a Sunday got to Liverpool Lime Street intending to get the train to Huyton, however points problem at Edge Hill trains were running late, so boarded the train only to find once departed the train was non stop Liverpool to Wigan so it can catch up time at the other end & depart back to Liverpool, & a couple of other passengers made the same error, fortunately the guard let me & others travel to there intended station at no extra charge.:oops: Problem at Lime Street no CIS on the platforms only at the entrance to the platforms, plus as with the network, with all the health & safety/security ecc announcements you switch off & miss the important one being train destination & calling[if any] stations.

    About a month before that i was on a Wigan-Lime Street stopper, got delayed at Thatto Heath the delay was that much that the train ended up non-stop to Lime Street, not much of a problem for me as that was where i was going, however some might not have heard the announcements & ended up being:oops:.
  28. wellwhatitis

    wellwhatitis Member

    12 Jul 2014

    So that will be everyone then!

    The main problem is the A/B overlap when they use a 6 car for Shrewsbury which goes over into the A where the Euston is. endless folk get on the back of the Shrewsbury thinking its the Euston which is nestled right up behind it, they just see a continuous bank of identical LM coaches...

    Another one I am becoming really familiar with is discovering folk half way down the train somewhere around Rugby who think Wolverton is the same as Wolverhampton. The thing that always astounds me is how many completely inappropriate stops the train has already made that didn't alert them?
  29. 168lover

    168lover Member

    2 Aug 2013
    Chiltern Mailine Land
    once on a train at Marylebone, first stop Wycombe. A group of people asked me if it stopped at Wembley, I told them probably best to get the wemley train which was behind us!
  30. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

    27 Feb 2011
    Wow that was nice of the guard.

    I was once at Euston and I'd seen which platform the train was due on. Loads of people were getting off a train do I boarded it.

    The lights went off. I thought it odd. I went to use the loo. Someone knocked on the door.

    Soon it dawned on me. I was on the ECS to the sidings. Fortunately I was able to get off in time but not by much. The train in wanted as on the other issue of the platform. I think it had left by then.

    I recently almost got on a train to Alton because it was still in the platform at Woking around the time my Portsmouth Harbour train should be. I think the Basingstoke train had been late and I was rushing to platform 4, as they don't hold trains for passengers very often.

    I have gone through wrong way on the jubilee line before too. Possibly the northern line too.

    I once missed my stop at East Croydon because I was so engrossed in what I was doing and I was so use to hear announcements. Something this particular Thameslink service didn't make.
  31. LateThanNever

    LateThanNever Established Member

    18 Jul 2013
    I agree the A/B division is is often difficult. Why don't they just put platform signs to properly divide the trains? There seem to be enough Platform staff.
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