Is there a right to free water on long distance trains?

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by leytongabriel, 4 Mar 2019.

  1. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Erm, you are a customer and you can choose to use a product or not. If the fares are 'astronomical, delays frequent and water, just like elsewhere is sold to those that want it, doesn't suit you, then grow up and make alternative arrangements. The fix is in your own hands, - it's not for every other passenger to be forced to subsidise your inability to take responsibility. That is your 'right' as an ordinary customer in the 21st century.
     
  2. Llama

    Llama Established Member

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    Certainly not part of a routine procedure on Northern. Whether it is ever done as part of a heavy exam, after many months in service just being filled from a hosepipe, I don't know. But if I was to take a guess it would be no.
     
  3. LowLevel

    LowLevel Established Member

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    I have to work on long distance services with no drinking water supply and I'm also diagrammed on to local services for very long periods. I buy my own water bottle and refill it when I can. Sometimes I'm on these trains for up to 7 hours so I buy large 1.5 or 2 litre bottles and fill them up in the mess room then carry them around with me.

    On Intercity services with first class staff tend to just drink the bottled water given to first class passengers (that's permitted at our TOC, don't know about elsewhere). Hot drinking water is generally available. Cold, generally not.

    The hot water supply is direct from the tank into a boiler. There's no filling kettles up from a tap.
     
  4. DavidGrain

    DavidGrain Member

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    The standard advice for train passengers as I have read on notices on the stations is to take a bottle of water with you. Back in June, I was on a Virgin train which was delayed 153 minutes because of a points problem. (yes I got 100% delay repay and Network Rail got me a free taxi home at 2.00am). Our stewardess in first class had changed into her 'walking out' uniform' ready to go off duty but changed back and worked with the other catering staff distributing water and food free all down the train.
     
  5. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    If it's not drinking water I suppose threshold no need as don't the toilet waters tanks have an element of bleach added to the water anyway, hence why it's labelled not suitable for drinking.
     
  6. Llama

    Llama Established Member

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    Bleach? There's just a dirty hosepipe stuck on the filler until it overflows, each time they get tanked.
     
  7. Tom B

    Tom B Established Member

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    The toilet water tanks will be subject to a very different cleaning/maintenance/testing regime to a potable drinking water tank.
    You may very well be able to drink it and not become ill, but there will be no paperwork etc in place to allow the TOC to declare it as being for drinking.
     
  8. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Then if a train can run with or without water, some TOCs would only bother when it suits them. To whom might that be 'extremely counterproductive'?
     
  9. sprunt

    sprunt Member

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    It doesn't promise you that there'll be a roof on the carriage but there are reasonable expectations about the conditions you'll encounter on your journey. You'll notice (or you would have noticed had you not been busy being outraged) that i didn't advocate that there should be FREE water, only that it's not an unreasonable topic for discussion.
     
  10. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    The existence of a roof, - and doors, windows and a floor are there as health and safety legislation effectively mandates it. Most TOCs advise passengers to carry water, especially when temperature are high, - lest the trrain should be delayed unexpectedly. On longer journeys, drinks including water can usually be purchased from a buffet, on board shop or trolley, so those who hadn't heeded the advice about bringing their own bottle of water, (which would almost certainly be free), will not die of dehydration. Generally, when there are serious delays, emergency supplies of bottled water are distributed at no cost to the recipients.
     
  11. Merle Haggard

    Merle Haggard Member

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    I value this forum as a source of information about all aspects of railways. I try to resist reading threads that are tangential to railways because, in my view, such matters are better covered in news media websites and I find myself that they are rather tiresome, there's much more interesting things to do..
    However, sometimes I am intrigued by the logical arguments employed and find a comment irresistible
    In this thread, the OP used 'Human Rights' to demand free water on trains.
    Is it fair to say that Human Rights should apply for 24 hours a day, seven days a week; not just on trains?
    This would seem to be logical.
    I personally spend a great deal of time travelling on trains, but much more at home (I sleep).
    Is it my Human Right to have free water at home?
    If it applies on trains, then it must also apply at home, so YES.
    I have two sources of drinking water at home i) bottled ii) tap
    For me to have free water as a Human Right when I'm not on a train but at home i) means that, on my weekly shop, I should demand that the supermarket does not charge for that element of the bill related to the cost of bottled water.
    For ii) my water supply is metered; so I should return my water bill to the water company explaining that, of the bill for 9 cu m of water, about 3 gallons was drinking water and the charge should be reduced?
    Is this conclusion ludicrous? If so, where is the sophistry in my argument?
    Now, I'll go back to railway subjects.
     
  12. dubscottie

    dubscottie Member

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    At venues like that it is not a money making thing but a safety one.

    Caps are removed not because people might throw the caps, but because a full capped bottle is like a brick when thrown.

    A bottle minus its cap when thrown will collapse and make a few people wet at worse.

    Most venues now have drinking fountains as all the other water (flushing toilets, watering a pitch and even handwashing in toilets) comes from recovered rain water stored in tanks.
     
  13. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    That is good but it doesn't help you when your travelling home on the train and the companies ask you to always carry a water bottle with you. One could of course buy one afterwards but then one is wasting platsic. I am partly playing devil's advocate here when I say this. It won't always be so hot at night.

    Some venues have a policy of no water bottles, let alone caps being removed. I did once say I needed a water bottle for medical reasons and they let me in with it. However I don't think someone would throw bottles at a B B King blues concert.

    I wonder if music venues would allow people to bring in reusable water bottles? Probably not. I've never attempted this though. I wouldn't want to have to throw away my reusable bottleI. I've tended to being in nothing in more recent years and travel on the train to the large venue with no water bottle at all. This is of course aginast the advice of the train companies asking people to travel with a water bottle.
     
  14. trainophile

    trainophile Established Member

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    It’s only like having to throw away your water at airport security, you just buy more on the other side.

    Going to the toilet is a human right too, but it’s not something Merseyrail trouble themselves about.
     
  15. BigCj34

    BigCj34 Member

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    A tank of potable water would be a good addition for a longer distance train to use less plastic, though it would be a little trickier carrying such a tank unless a few cold water urns are carried on. Even then however, that's going to take up space!
     
  16. ExRes

    ExRes Established Member

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    Genuine question which I realise may already have been covered in the previous posts, if you travel by coach are you supplied with free water by the coach operator? it won't ever concern me because I get nauseous even thinking about being on a coach, but I see no difference in 'responsibilities'
     
  17. JohnB57

    JohnB57 Member

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    It sounds very simple, but in fact it is a massive problem.

    Ignoring the space constraints, the standards for the conveyance and storage of drinking water are very tight. Until recently, I worked in plastic extrusion, specifically hoses and tubes. I have been involved in a number of projects within marine and camping where potable water was required to be stored in a tank and pumped to outlets. Every element involved in the storage and conveyance has to be manufactured using anti-microbial materials wherever there is contact. Even then, microbial growth will occur so tanks have to be regularly drained and cleaned before refilling, possibly daily. And you can't just refill from a tap as this would also carry risk, so refill points would require specialist infrastructure.

    Bottom line is that at the scale required on a train fleet, it would be very costly, time consuming and, however careful operators were, would still carry an unacceptably high risk of microbial growth and contamination.
     
    Last edited: 5 Nov 2019
  18. SquireBev

    SquireBev Member

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    Not on National Express coaches at least. There's obviously a water supply for the onboard toilet, but it's definitely not drinking water. Bottled water is a non-starter as unless it's automatically provided with every seat, there are no staff on board besides the driver, so who would you ask?

    I do seem to have a vague memory of seeing a drinking fountain on a non-National Express coach, but I could be mistaken. Thinking about it now, the prospect of trying to align one's mouth with the stream of water while the coach lurches its way around the outskirts of Sheffield seems a bit impractical anyway.
     
  19. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    Unless I am thirsty I don't tend to take any bottles of water with me to the airport and I don't always buy them the otherside either.
     
  20. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    All this rubbish about what is a 'human right'. Nobody here has said anything about stopping passengers drinking water, (or going to the toilet for that matter). What is at issue is whether providing fresh potable water free of charge is an obligation of a train operator, - or anybody else with the exception of a pub/restaurant that sells alcohol. It has been established that creating a safe drinking water supply on an in-service train is not a trivial undertaking, and the consequences of mandating that it is provided irrespective of the difficulties would have a negative effect on the provision of a service. Specifically: there would be extended turn-round times, reduced passenger space, costly hardware changes to the train, additional maintenance operations, more liquids spilt on the floors of coaches and a higher probability of train cancellation*.
    The solution, already partially achieved, advise passengers to bring water they might require with them. If every station had a drinking water fountain/filler tap, they would have no excuse for not having access to free water, which would have to be carried just a few metres onto the train. There would be no difficult logistics of loading a large volume of potable water onto the train as each passenger would be able to carry their own requirements.

    * The TOC would not wish to be prosecuted for abusing a 'Human Right', so the train would need to be taken out of service. Those here complaining that they don't get what they want should be careful of what they wish for.
     
  21. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    Playing devil's advocate here. Currently the advice is to carry a bottle of water with you on the train. Now is that because many stations have no drinking fountains or because it's better to have water with you on the train regardless of how many drinking fountains exist?

    Given they can't leave toliets open at stations when they are unmanned, I can't see them putting up drinking fountains that are available when stations are unmanned. That's before you even get to stations that are never manned and don't have loos any more as a result, assuming they even once did. As an aside some stations did have loos but now don't. Christs Hospital being one such example I believe.
     
  22. sprunt

    sprunt Member

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    No they didn't. One person, not the OP, mentioned the topic of human rights once. Since then, the only people to mention human rights have been the people complaining about people mentioning human rights.
     
  23. MPotter

    MPotter On Moderation

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    Why can't they leave water fountains on at stations when they are unmanned? Why can't they at least leave a disabled toilet open at an unmanned station? That would make sense.
     
  24. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    I can only assume potential risk of vandalism is considered far too great
     
  25. trainophile

    trainophile Established Member

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    Don’t most stations have CCTV? If not perhaps they should, it might deter vandalism.
     
  26. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    I take your point but for whatever reason they aren't open. Saying that Brookwood once had its disabled loo open on a Sunday. I suspected it was an oversight.

    Some disabled loos are also located behind other doors, so may be off waiting rooms or booking halls.

    It would be possible to locate the water fountains outside of course.
     

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