London Midland problems

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by IanPooleTrains, 11 Nov 2011.

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  1. IanPooleTrains

    IanPooleTrains Established Member

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    To be honest, I know they are my local TOC but I have just got to the end of my tether with them :-x

    Their staff have got to be some of the worst around, how anyone can justify:

    1) guards verbally abusing passengers
    2) guards not doing their jobs properly

    is beyond me!

    Also, how a TOC can justify:

    1) not running a train for a fully viable reason
    2) terminating trains for no reason

    is beyond me as well

    All pleas to get this sorted out seem to have fallen on deaf ears, all hope seems to have gone so I have one question and one question only:

    Should I be a typical British person and just sit back with my thumb up my ass, watching what we all know is going to happen?
     
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  3. BestWestern

    BestWestern Established Member

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    Oh dear! :(

    Could you elaborate? What is it that the Guards do or don't that irritates you?
     
  4. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    What exactly are your specific concerns? Rather than saying "guards not doing their jobs properly"...

    Have you complained to London Midland? They are very proactive indeed about customer feedback in my experience. Their Commercial Director (you can find his name quite easily) is quite well-respected in the industry, and he has overall responsibility for Customer Relations, amongst other things.
     
  5. IanPooleTrains

    IanPooleTrains Established Member

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    I have mentioned this in the past but on most routes now, all guards seem to do is sit back on their rear end in the cab at the back of the train either just watching the scenary go by or reading the latest tabloid publication, the only time they 'leave' their little hole is to get out and open the doors

    No ticket checks, nothing
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I have complained in the past, especially on the point with the guards and the guard that verbally abused me (I will not be going into detail) and on both occasions, I had no reply back and I found out that the guard in question still has their job
     
  6. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    I would add that as a follower of London Midland's Twitter feed, they seem to take great pains to cancel trains only when necessary and to inform passengers properly. You may have a different perspective as a regular passenger, though, getting information on the ground.
     
  7. scotsman

    scotsman Established Member

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    I'm intrigued. Could you define 'abusing passengers' and 'not doing their jobs properly' ?
     
  8. IanPooleTrains

    IanPooleTrains Established Member

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    I have a very different perspective AE

    Today, we had at least five different reasons why trains were late, cancelled, delayed ranging from a signalling fault to no train crew to rolling stock not available and mostly on the same train!

    Then you have the fact that we had three trains at Hednesford this evening, all were delayed by the same amount of train but the one we come on gets terminated short but the other two are allowed to carry on, surely that cannot be right can it
     
  9. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    I find it difficult to believe London Midland simply refused to reply, twice. TOC franchises specify that all written correspondence pertaining to complaints must be answered within a certain time (usually a calendar month or thereabouts).

    It's disappointing if they have simply ignored you though.

    Have you tried contacting Passenger Focus about your concerns? They are the next step.
     
  10. IanPooleTrains

    IanPooleTrains Established Member

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    I'll be honest and say no
     
  11. OxtedL

    OxtedL Established Member Quizmaster

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    Guards not always carrying out ticket checks and trains needing to be terminated early or cancelled are all generic things that can happen all throughout the railway network. There is often a good reason which may not be immediately apparent. Without specifics, your post is utterly meaningless.

    The other accusation in your post is also utterly meaningless without some kind of description, which you seem unwilling to give (also probably for a good reason).

    I therefore conclude that this thread is pointless.

    I note that clarification on some of your assertions has suddenly materialised in one of your posts and now suggest to you that it's just one of those things that we all face from time to time, alas.
     
    Last edited: 11 Nov 2011
  12. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    There will always be a good reason, as it will affect their performance figures and they do have to pay a penalty if they cancel a train. The reason may not always be given or may not sound justifiable to you (or may be vague because the incident can't be reported in detail) but there will always be one.

    The delays at Hednesford were due to signalling difficulties, that would come under Network Rail's responsibility. Turning trains around may have to be done to provide a service in the opposite direction and/or because there may be further issues with the line ahead.
     
  13. Tomonthetrain

    Tomonthetrain Established Member

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    Tbh on the snow hill lines I've only seen a couple of guards sitting in their cabs but the rest are quite often found doing their revenue duties etc.
     
  14. Crossover

    Crossover Established Member

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    I can't say that all LM staff are useless - I think every TOC will have weaker members of staff but on the whole I have found LM to be quite good.

    Only the other week on the WMDR meet, the guard we had on the Chase Line was very good and up and down the train (well, the 170 part anyway) for most of the journey that we were on it.

    As for different reasons for the train being cancelled...maybe it is that initially staff aren't quite sure what has happened in some cases
     
  15. causton

    causton Established Member

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    For some *coughFirstCapitalConnectcough* TOCs, the passengers with their smartphones out have more info from Twitter and the National Rail websites than the driver does!
     
  16. scotsman

    scotsman Established Member

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    From @LondonMidland in the last 15 minutes

     
  17. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Scotsman, I was just about to post that! Darn.
     
  18. IanPooleTrains

    IanPooleTrains Established Member

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    Okay then, allow me to go into further detail if my slightly tired brain can allow that

    Let's take today if we can, yes, we all know that there was a problem in the Wolverhampton area, somewhere in Wolves, I don't know where it was exactly. Today alone we had most of the Wolves to Walsall trains cancelled at Walsall either due to one of the following reasons according to the announcements and people at the ticket booth:

    1) a signalling failure
    2) an earlier signalling failure
    3) no staff available
    4) no stock available

    There was one instance with one of the trains that four different announcements were put out, confusing people even more with what was going on and the lady at the ticket booth was not helping things when people were trying to find out what was going on, nor were the two gentlement in the yellow vests, it seemed like no one had a clue with what was actually going on IMO

    Then the abuse from staff; do you think it is acceptable that a member of staff should choose to ridicule the way you look, ridicule your choice in lifestyle and make comments that you might find offensive? Would you turn around and say to someone that they are sad, they are pathetic or just stand by idolly and shake your head because they have taken a photograph of the train?

    As for the guards in general, the job of a guard is defined as the following:

    I can tell you for a fact that guards do not check tickets from London Euston to Northampton, on any part of the Snow Hill lines, on any part of The Chase Line out of Birmingham nor the Birmingham - Liverpool line

    The only routes that I have seen checks take place is The Abbey Line and the Cross City Line

    Whenever you ask them questions, they just seemed to look like the proverbial deer caught in the headlights and generally do not have a clue. You ask anyone from Virgin/Cross Country or even Arriva, they seem to have a 'logical' answer but LM staff just seem to not have a single clue as to what is going on
     
  19. Crossover

    Crossover Established Member

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    To be fair, all those 4 kind of lead into one another as a signalling problem (starting earlier potentially) means the stock hasn't got to its rightful place and therefore nor have the staff, therefore you have a train cancelled due to no stock or staff available due to a siagnalling failure (could be a knock on hours later even though the problem is still ongoing)

    I can categorically say you are wrong on quite a few of these points. Never done the Abbey line so I wouldn't know but I have had checks between MK and Euston on LM stoppers before (on one occasion they kicked some fare evaders off at one of the stations en-route), we were checked on the Snow Hill lines on at least a couple of occasions a couple of weeks ago on the WMDR meet and I have been checked on the Birmingham - Liverpool services.
    We also had the ticket inspector (I don't think he was on door duties this day) on the Chase Line service we took both out of and back into Birmingham - he also seemed pretty friendly too :)
     
  20. embers25

    embers25 Established Member

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    The times I've used the Chase Line they've always checked and even got off and switched units when necessary. I normally see ticket checks between all stations on the Euston-Crewe trains and the guards are very friendly. I have to admit it does seem common(in my limited LM experience) for trains to be delayed/cancelled due to no crew but thats probably down to Birmingham being overcongested. Saying that Southern and SWT don't seem have that issue as much and Clapham is pretty congested. You may have some valid points but your sweeping statements are just not true and detract away from what may be perfectly valid complaints about several services.
     
  21. Robinson

    Robinson Member

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    Surprised that you cite Snow Hill lines as an example of poor ticket checks; from my limited LM experience the Stratford-upon-Avon services I travelled on probably had the most frequent ticket checks!
     
  22. Tomonthetrain

    Tomonthetrain Established Member

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    So Based on that theory I haven't seen guards doing revenue then? Or for that matter selling me tickets for trips later in the day on Snow Hill services? Eh? Most guards I've had have been willing to leave their cabs between stations on that line...Even on all stations runs on a 150/0!
     
  23. BestWestern

    BestWestern Established Member

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    I feel duty bound to take issue with that quote; the 'main task' I have is to ensure that my train and passengers are safe. Revenue duties are secondary [that doesn't excuse me from ever doing it at all however...!].
     
  24. causton

    causton Established Member

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    I have had my ticket checked every time I was on a London Midland train, except on the Great Escape ticket where one or 2 trains I wasn't checked on. Goodbye your theory of "guards do not check tickets from London Euston to Northampton" ;)

    Then again, I have been checked on the Abbey Line, which is reportedly never checked either... perhaps I'm a guard magnet :(
     
  25. Crossover

    Crossover Established Member

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    They are still at it now - good on them!!!
     
  26. scotsman

    scotsman Established Member

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    He is still at it - it's predominately a one-man operation...who has a big enough job as it is!
     
  27. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Didn't he win an award early this year for the twitter feed? Certainly well deserved (assuming he actually did and it isn't my memory playing tricks). It shame some other TOCs don't have a dedicated enough member of staff to run something like this.
     
  28. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    We had regular checks on these lines on the WMDR/Great Escape meet a couple of weeks ago.

    As for the definition of the main jobs of a guard, that appears to be taken from a job website. I would disagree with many claims on that website, and it is certainly not authoritative. The main aspects of a guards job will always be safety. Some guards are non-commercial and would never check or sell tickets, although I accept that does not apply in these cases, it does demonstrate that the site isn't particularly reliable. Some of the claims on that site are slightly inaccurate, some are misleading, and some are downright completely wrong.
     
  29. Mike395

    Mike395 Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I've been checked on the Chase time several times recently (in fact, I cant think when I havent been checked on it!) - at one point I've had a ticket sold to me even in the 6 minutes between Rugeley Town (unstaffed station which I was staying near) and Rugeley Trent Valley!
     
  30. IanPooleTrains

    IanPooleTrains Established Member

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    Maybe you got lucky but 9/10, they never do
     
  31. chris89

    chris89 Established Member

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    Can't say on the other lines but on the Snow Hill ones (Kiddy to B'ham) only about 1 or 2 times my ticket hasn't been checked and one of those was due to someone doing something which meant him being taken to the rear cab of the 150/1 and had the Guard it seem yelling at him.

    Between Wolvo & Stafford sometimes checked but hit & miss.

    Today overal has been a disaster for LM especially as mentioned before at Wolverhampton due to the Points/ Signal failure, the mixxed messages or lack of is annoying as i know :/

    Chris
     
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