How packed can a train be? Beach Break Live

Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
12 Dec 2009
Messages
634
Location
Carmarthen
Two carriage 150 comes into Llanelli today at 16.19 and I actually cannot board the train as it has so many passengers on board. It was not possible to get on because the doorways were totally blocked with rucksacks and other baggage that the party goers to Pembrey Country park had with them. Should this have been allowed to happen?
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

tsr

Established Member
Joined
15 Nov 2011
Messages
7,393
Location
Between the parallel lines
"They are not crammed in, they cram themselves in."
Except in Japan... but anyway...

I have been on Southern services that have been so crammed that (and I am in no way exaggerating) I have walked the whole length of the train and literally just squeezed myself in at the last set of doors before they closed. This is not a unique scenario and one that I have been exposed to, like many London train users, many times before. This is generally with an average amount of luggage onboard. The greatest amount of luggage I've really ever seen has to be the occasion when the stuff was overflowing way down the aisles and packing the overhead racks on a Eurostar last summer, to the point that there were suitcases on tables and I was nearly tripping over the stuff quite regularly when going to the buffet (I have no idea how so much got into our carriage, but there you are).

As for luggage, one can only assume that the train crew and station staff didn't deem it to be too much of a hazard, or else it would have been removed. I suppose the luggage may in theory have been over the relatively generous per-person limit, but if it was, I doubt a charge was made, which wouldn't help safety anyway.

If an evacuation has to be made then I presume those people will just have clambered over the stuff or pushed it out of the doors in front of them.
 

Greenback

Emeritus Moderator
Joined
9 Aug 2009
Messages
15,370
Location
Llanelli
If it was not possible to get on the train, then presumably no one could get off either? If the OP is referring to the 1600 from Swansea, it's very, very rare that there is no one for Llanelli on it.

So were they stuck on the train until Burry Port, or were they prevented from geting on in Swansea?!
 

John55

Member
Joined
24 Jun 2011
Messages
800
Location
South East
Two carriage 150 comes into Llanelli today at 16.19 and I actually cannot board the train as it has so many passengers on board. It was not possible to get on because the doorways were totally blocked with rucksacks and other baggage that the party goers to Pembrey Country park had with them. Should this have been allowed to happen?
"I actually cannot board the train as it has so many passengers on board"

"It was not possible to get on because the doorways were totally blocked with rucksacks and other baggage."

Out of curiosity which one was it? If the former do you expect the train crew to stop people getting on earlier so there is room for you? Perhaps you should complain to ATW for failing to provide enough accommodation during special events.
 
Joined
12 Dec 2009
Messages
634
Location
Carmarthen
If it was not possible to get on the train, then presumably no one could get off either? If the OP is referring to the 1600 from Swansea, it's very, very rare that there is no one for Llanelli on it.

So were they stuck on the train until Burry Port, or were they prevented from geting on in Swansea?!
It all happened so fast I'm not sure how many got off, or attempted to, I was just looking at all the available doors and it looked impossible to clamber on (had a 9yr old with me too). We waited for the next one (16.59) which was a 3 car 175 but no where near as busy although all seats were taken, which I guess would be normal considering the time of day. It did look though as if far more of the revellers had used the previous service.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
"I actually cannot board the train as it has so many passengers on board"

"It was not possible to get on because the doorways were totally blocked with rucksacks and other baggage."

Out of curiosity which one was it? If the former do you expect the train crew to stop people getting on earlier so there is room for you? Perhaps you should complain to ATW for failing to provide enough accommodation during special events.
Both. Arriva would have known about this event and possibly made an attempt at extra services, as Beach Break Live is in its second or third year and there are crowd control stewards at Burry Port station meaning a large amount of party goers are expected to arrive by train
 

Cherry_Picker

Established Member
Joined
18 Apr 2011
Messages
2,689
Location
Birmingham
"They are not crammed in, they cram themselves in."
Wise words from the ATOC Marketing department in conjunction with the DfT.
Often it's true though. I've lost count of the amount of times I have seen people cram themselves onto a train that was reported full and standing because it gets to London five or ten minutes before the semi fast immediately behind it. I can sympathise with it in the peaks when people have places to be at specific times of day, but it happens in the off peaks with people who are travelling for leisure too.
When passengers refuse to use the extra capacity which is clearly on offer then what can a TOC do?
 

Greenback

Emeritus Moderator
Joined
9 Aug 2009
Messages
15,370
Location
Llanelli
It all happened so fast I'm not sure how many got off, or attempted to, I was just looking at all the available doors and it looked impossible to clamber on (had a 9yr old with me too). We waited for the next one (16.59) which was a 3 car 175 but no where near as busy although all seats were taken, which I guess would be normal considering the time of day. It did look though as if far more of the revellers had used the previous service.
The 1600 service is a good connection off the Padidngton train at Swansea. It may also have been well filled with people not actually going to Beach Break, but travelling down to Pembrokeshire (it always seem to be quite popular on Thursday and Fridays with weekenders).

The 1640 off Swansea is a much nicer service. Although it does have a connection at Cardiff from London, it never seems to attract the same number of long distance passengers as the Swansea - Pembroke Dock services.

The 1705 from Swansea, which now goes to Fishguard, was busier than usual today, but there wasn't a great deal of luggage on the train. I expected it to be much worse to be honest, but it seems the crowds traveleld earlier!
 

BestWestern

Established Member
Joined
6 Feb 2011
Messages
6,736
Unfortunately there is very little that train crew are able to do when trains are this seriously overcrowded. No, it probably isn't as safe as things would be in an ideal world, but a Guard cannot reasonably be expected to run up and down the platform at every stop battling in vain to try and stop people boarding. Many rail users will aggressively barge their way onto even the most crowded of trains, and chasing them from door to door until they give up just makes the inevitable delays even worse. Add in the fact that you cannot close power doors with people obstructing them, and you can see that we really are fighting an impossible fight in these situations! Luggage in doorways is not ideal, but again it is very tricky to police each and every passenger who tries to board, more so if you're dealing with large crowds boarding at once location.
 

swj99

Member
Joined
7 Nov 2011
Messages
751
IIRC there is no legal limit on the number of passengers on a train.
Interesting that this thread should come up. This evening I was just remembering my first car back in about 1987, a 2 door Mk1 Ford Escort.
For a laugh at college one day, we decided to see how many people would fit it it. We managed 9. This was with one person on the rear parcel shelf, 5 in the back seat, 2 in the front passenger seat and me in the drivers seat. Obviously if I had driven it like this on a road and been seen by police, I'd have quite rightly been stopped and charged with something. As it was, the overloading broke one of the rear suspension leaf springs (cost me £30 to have it fixed).

A car has a maximum design weight, but doesn't a train also have one ?
 

BestWestern

Established Member
Joined
6 Feb 2011
Messages
6,736
Interesting that this thread should come up....

....A car has a maximum design weight, but doesn't a train also have one ?
Yes, it would. But it would be substantially more than you could reach with even a full load of people on board. I understand that there are recorded 'crush loading' capacity figures, but of course even those numbers are probably far exceeded on some of the busiest services. If you can shut the doors, you're not overloaded!
 

reb0118

Established Member
Fares Advisor
Joined
28 Jan 2010
Messages
2,890
Location
Bo'ness, West Lothian
Unfortunately there is very little that train crew are able to do when trains are this seriously overcrowded. No, it probably isn't as safe as things would be in an ideal world, but a Guard cannot reasonably be expected to run up and down the platform at every stop battling in vain to try and stop people boarding. Many rail users will aggressively barge their way onto even the most crowded of trains, and chasing them from door to door until they give up just makes the inevitable delays even worse. Add in the fact that you cannot close power doors with people obstructing them, and you can see that we really are fighting an impossible fight in these situations! Luggage in doorways is not ideal, but again it is very tricky to police each and every passenger who tries to board, more so if you're dealing with large crowds boarding at once location.
I am a luggage nazi & proud of it!

Every door on a train is a potential escape route in an emergency. The vestibule areas are like the "lungs" of a train - they provide an essential breathing space. Having uncluttered aisles allows the staff & passengers to freely move up & down the train. Having passengers hanging about the vestibule areas looks unprofessional as it looks so untidy and portrays a negative image. Even when a train is busy I normally find that most of the luggage racks are empty - people are just lazy giving it "oh my case does not fit up there" &c. What right do they have in blocking other peoples escape routes?

The TOCs don't make it easy though - when was the last time they involved traincrew in the design of a train? i.e. the very people who work on them day in day out. Bring back the guards van!!

Rant over! However remember - "if it not safe don't do it"
 

Attachments

Last edited:

BestWestern

Established Member
Joined
6 Feb 2011
Messages
6,736
I am a luggage nazi & proud of it!

Every door on a train is a potential escape route in an emergency. The vestibule areas are like the "lungs" of a train - they provide an essential breathing space. Having uncluttered aisles allows the staff & passengers to freely move up & down the train. Having passengers hanging about the vestibule areas p*ss*s me right off as it looks so untidy and portrays a negative image. Even when a train is busy I normally find that most of the luggage racks are empty - people are just lazy giving it "oh my case does not fit up there" &c. What right do they have in blocking other peoples escape routes?

The TOCs don't make it easy though - when was the last time they involved traincrew in the design of a train? i.e. the very people who work on them day in day out. Bring back the guards van!!

Rant over! However remember - "if it not safe don't do it"
;) !!

I will always do my utmost to resolve any 'dangerous' luggage issues - cycles wedged in doorways is one of my favourites - by when the situation gets extreme I will accept defeat and let them put their suitcases etc in whatever spot they are able to wedge them, it simply causes to much delay aggro to go policing every doorway at every stop. I also tend to work on the basic principle that if you have people stood all the way down every aisle and in every doorway, an evacuation is not going to be orderly or pretty, and anything in the way is likely to be kicked out of the door rather quickly!

In an ideal world of course, none of this would happen, and standees in vestibules wouldn't be allowed. But until there is an enormous order for extra rolling stock, you just gotta' make the best of what you've got it seems. I would agree entirely with your thoughts on the Guard's van! :D
 

reb0118

Established Member
Fares Advisor
Joined
28 Jan 2010
Messages
2,890
Location
Bo'ness, West Lothian
Sometimes even I have to do a Nelson - "I see no cases"

My first train tomorrow has a guard's van with a lovely big cage - it could do with a lick of paint though.

Cheers.
 

Pugwash

Member
Joined
17 Nov 2011
Messages
282
;) !!

I will always do my utmost to resolve any 'dangerous' luggage issues - cycles wedged in doorways is one of my favourites - by when the situation gets extreme I will accept defeat and let them put their suitcases etc in whatever spot they are able to wedge them, it simply causes to much delay aggro to go policing every doorway at every stop. I also tend to work on the basic principle that if you have people stood all the way down every aisle and in every doorway, an evacuation is not going to be orderly or pretty, and anything in the way is likely to be kicked out of the door rather quickly!

In an ideal world of course, none of this would happen, and standees in vestibules wouldn't be allowed. But until there is an enormous order for extra rolling stock, you just gotta' make the best of what you've got it seems. I would agree entirely with your thoughts on the Guard's van! :D
bringing back the guards van is an excellent idea, it could even be fitted with folding seats along the side to accomodate seating if required. It means trains can be used much more flexibly for cycles and dedicated places for wheel chairs etc.

Also this would free up space to allow flip up seats in the vestibules.
 

Howardh

Established Member
Joined
17 May 2011
Messages
5,973
What happens with one of these packed trains when a person in a wheelchair wants to get on? Clearly the able-bodied can fight for a spot, but someone disabled can't. So how would they get on? Guard come down and turf half-a-dozen off to make space? Or do they get left behind (ie. discriminated against)?
 

ainsworth74

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Global Moderator
Joined
16 Nov 2009
Messages
22,490
Location
Redcar
Guard come down and turf half-a-dozen off to make space? Or do they get left behind (ie. discriminated against)?
Surely if they did turf off half a dozen people to allow one wheelchair user on that would be discrimination against the able bodied people? After all they were removed from the train because they didn't have a disability requiring the use of wheelchair?
 

reb0118

Established Member
Fares Advisor
Joined
28 Jan 2010
Messages
2,890
Location
Bo'ness, West Lothian
bringing back the guards van is an excellent idea, it could even be fitted with folding seats along the side to accommodate seating if required. It means trains can be used much more flexibly for cycles and dedicated places for wheel chairs etc.
Good point. In Denmark on their Copenhagen - Helsingor locals it seems the middle car (of three) is almost all fold up seats along the sides. Ideal for cycles, prams, & bulky luggage. However, upon observation, some Danes can be be as daft as us by cramming themselves & their associated chattels into an already busy first car when the middle was almost empty.

Also this would free up space to allow flip up seats in the vestibules.
No! These seats are the invention of the devil. If they have to exist at all then at least they should be able to be locked in the "up" position by the traincrew. I can understand the use of these seats at the extreme ends of the train for the use of trolley catering staff and (at any vestibule) possibly by elderly/infirm passengers awaiting to alight under the supervision of the guard.

Seats in the vestibules are a bad idea because they encourage passengers just to sit there as they are the first seats that they see. This happens even when the train is very lightly loaded and as we all know passengers have an aversion to sitting beside a stranger these days. Certain passengers will quite happily sit "platform side" and expect others joining to use another door or climb over them - causing delay and inconvenience to others. Not having seats in the vestibules readily available may go some way to encourage these passengers to move into the body of the train.

My real "hatred" for these seats is due to one incident,many years ago now, where a passenger was using one platform side with a small rucknor style bag underneath - the strap of which was hanging lose. An elderly woman with sight problems managed to catch her foot through the strap loop as she was alighting an fell rather heavily onto the platform - broken bones ensued - not good when you are over 80! :cry:
 

BestWestern

Established Member
Joined
6 Feb 2011
Messages
6,736
Surely if they did turf off half a dozen people to allow one wheelchair user on that would be discrimination against the able bodied people? After all they were removed from the train because they didn't have a disability requiring the use of wheelchair?
If the passenger has not pre-booked then it should be 'first come, first served' just as it would be with anybody else, although most Guards would probably try their best to get them on. However, if they really couldn't get on then a call to control is always helpful to try and ensure there is space made available on the next service.
 

317666

Established Member
Joined
4 Sep 2009
Messages
1,542
Location
Ely
In Germany, double-decker Regional trains have the bottom deck of one coach like this:


Perhaps, particularly on shorter-distance runs that are frequently crowded with luggage, there could be an entire coach just with sideways fold-up seating with priority for luggage, bicycles and the like. It could be clearly labelled as a luggage coach or something like that, although getting passengers to actually use it is another matter entirely...
 

LE Greys

Established Member
Joined
6 Mar 2010
Messages
5,389
Location
Hitchin
;) !!

I will always do my utmost to resolve any 'dangerous' luggage issues - cycles wedged in doorways is one of my favourites - by when the situation gets extreme I will accept defeat and let them put their suitcases etc in whatever spot they are able to wedge them, it simply causes to much delay aggro to go policing every doorway at every stop. I also tend to work on the basic principle that if you have people stood all the way down every aisle and in every doorway, an evacuation is not going to be orderly or pretty, and anything in the way is likely to be kicked out of the door rather quickly!

In an ideal world of course, none of this would happen, and standees in vestibules wouldn't be allowed. But until there is an enormous order for extra rolling stock, you just gotta' make the best of what you've got it seems. I would agree entirely with your thoughts on the Guard's van! :D
Me, too. The number of times I have seen spaces in luggage racks on EC HSTs, yet cases are piled up in the vestibules, completely blocking the doors. Having put my trunk in the van (where it is usually the only one) I will do my level best to sort it all out on my first visit to the buffet. Turning cases on their sides and squeezing a few more in would be very useful. After all, people can't really object, can they? ;) They hand them over to baggage handlers at airports all the time.

Why don't all East Coast stations, which are almost all staffed, have big signs up saying LUGGAGE VAN AVAILABLE, PLEASE ASK STAFF FOR DETAILS? Even better would be someone going up and down the platforms with a trolley to collect all the big cases and bikes, get them labelled and put them safely in the van. There must be plenty of old mail trolleys available, although it would increase dwell times.
 

CC 72100

Established Member
Joined
23 Jan 2012
Messages
3,620
Why don't all East Coast stations, which are almost all staffed, have big signs up saying LUGGAGE VAN AVAILABLE, PLEASE ASK STAFF FOR DETAILS? Even better would be someone going up and down the platforms with a trolley to collect all the big cases and bikes, get them labelled and put them safely in the van. There must be plenty of old mail trolleys available, although it would increase dwell times.
Luggage in vestibules is a problem on many FGW services from Pad to Penzance and the return. However, on one busy day (due to the cancellation of the service in front) the TM offered everyone travelling to the terminus the option of putting their luggage in the power car and guards van. I don't know how many people used this, but it certianly seems something that could be more publicised on services with lots of big luggage to avoid it building up in the vestibules if the passengers are travelling to stations with reasonable dwell times (saying that, they manage it with bikes at every station so providing there was sufficient room there is no reason why it would have to be for people on the train right from the start/ right to the end).
 

Mutant Lemming

Established Member
Joined
8 Aug 2011
Messages
3,194
Location
London
If we were to use the train to take cattle to market would we be stopped from doing so because -

(a. Cattle aren't allowed on passenger trains

(b. The overcrowded conditions would be in breach of the Transportation of Livestock regulatons.
 

Pugwash

Member
Joined
17 Nov 2011
Messages
282
In Germany, double-decker Regional trains have the bottom deck of one coach like this:


Perhaps, particularly on shorter-distance runs that are frequently crowded with luggage, there could be an entire coach just with sideways fold-up seating with priority for luggage, bicycles and the like. It could be clearly labelled as a luggage coach or something like that, although getting passengers to actually use it is another matter entirely...
What a fantastic solution. Would definately work on the GEML.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
In Germany, double-decker Regional trains have the bottom deck of one coach like this:


Perhaps, particularly on shorter-distance runs that are frequently crowded with luggage, there could be an entire coach just with sideways fold-up seating with priority for luggage, bicycles and the like. It could be clearly labelled as a luggage coach or something like that, although getting passengers to actually use it is another matter entirely...
What a fantastic solution. Would definately work on the GEML.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top