Long distance and toilet facilities

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by blakey1152, 4 Jul 2019.

  1. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Never heard of that publication before, - nor have I heard of interviews from a comic that are quoted in a serious discussion.
     
  2. Facing Back

    Facing Back Member

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    This happened to me on the central line some time ago. It was a late train - 23:00 as I recall - so a number of the passengers may have consumed some liquid - and a very slow derailment at wrongly set points was not welcome. In the end the driver opened one of the doors between carriages and people relieved themselves that way. It was slightly more difficult for the women as the driver needed to be there for safety reasons. We were there for a few hours before detraining from the front and walking to the next station.

    I never did ask whether I could get my ticket refunded.
     
  3. Parallel

    Parallel Established Member

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    I’ve seen on journey check before where GWR trains from Great Malvern or Cardiff to Brighton, Great Malvern to Weymouth and Bristol Parkway to Penzance have had no working toilets!!! I would imagine (or hope, rather) extended stops were made at some stations en-route.

    It is not rare for GWR 158s to run around with two (out of three) toilets locked out of use.
     
  4. Chrism20

    Chrism20 Established Member

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    Tuesday clearly wasn’t a good day for them toiletwise. I was on the 1346 Euston to Crewe which is not formed from any of the above and both toilets were out as well. Toilet stop was made at Rugby.
     
  5. trainophile

    trainophile Established Member

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    It’s not that simple, particularly for ladies. If 25 get out and dash to a 2-cubicle facility ten minutes might be nowhere near enough. If you’re queuing and desperate you’re not going to get back on the train just because time’s up.

    I would at least take my handbag (I use the word generically to cover all forms of personal baggage) as it would be a nightmare to become stranded without phone, money etc. if the train left without you.
     
  6. 1e10

    1e10 Member

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    As someone who suffers from IBS and got stuck on a tube train for 70 minutes last year, I can tell you it’s not nice! We were sandwiched in a tunnel and were unable to move as a one under had occurred ahead of us and there were already several trains in the tunnel behind us. Fortunately for me the driver of the service that day was extremely helpful, allowing a few of us to sit in the cab whilst we waited to get moving.

    It’s certainly put me off using the tube, I haven’t used it since. I actively avoid travel via London now. I wouldn’t board a train knowing it had no working toilets.

    I’m not convinced the TOCs do all they can to ensure the toilets are in working order. XC particularly seem prone to toilets locking out of order or running dry of toilet paper, even on Sundays with particular turns that see the unit off depot for just seven hours.

    I did email them about the lack of paper. They sent me some canned response about it being better to run the train than to cancel it. I just carry my own tissue now.
     
  7. duffield

    duffield Member

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    One thing that seems obvious to me is that retention tank toilets should have an 'emergency dump onto track' facility, for use only when the train is stranded with no working toilets due to all the tanks being full.
     
  8. broadgage

    broadgage Established Member

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    I have previously suggested exactly this.
    Retention toilets are a considerable step forward when they work, but dumping on the track in an emergency is preferable to the alternatives.
    Cancel the train.
    Run it without toilets and make extra toilet stops, thereby perhaps delaying other services.
    Run without toilets and risk customers being reduced to soiling themselves, and the train.

    The odd and regrettable overflowing of the tank seems preferable to the above.

    Better still would be to design with enough toilets to meet demand and to maintain them properly. Including filling the water tanks and emptying the waste tanks.
    The modern trend however is to eliminate toilets where possible, and to reduce numbers when they cant be eliminated.
     
  9. RLBH

    RLBH Member

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    A standard BR intercity coach had two toilets. A modern design, just one. BR 'cross-country' three-car regional express DMUs had four toilets. Class 170s doing similar work have two.

    Do modern people use the toilet half as much as people did fifty years ago? I highly doubt it.
     
  10. quantinghome

    quantinghome Member

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    Modern low fibre diets...
     
  11. Rhydgaled

    Rhydgaled Established Member

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    I had assumed (perhaps naively) that the reduction in toilets on mark 3 coaches from two to one (and mark 4s only having one per coach from new) was due to there being insufficient space under the floors to fit more than one CET (Controlled Emission Toilet) tank per carriage. That doesn't however explain why Northern's new class 331s only have one toilet, even on a 4-car set (although I could be wrong on that since I'm going off a single document found on the internet which may be out of date). Is the one CET tank per carriage thing an actual limit or is it just cost-cutting / cramming in more seats?
     
  12. RLBH

    RLBH Member

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    Mark 3 sleepers have had CETs from new, I believe - and have two toilets. Both at the same end, because the underframe only has space for the tank at one end, but then they were in Mark 1 and Mark 2 stock anyway.

    Even if you can only have one per carriage on a modern train because of all the miniaturised equipment we now feel the need to cart about, surely we can at least have one on every carriage.
     
  13. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    One thing that would help (and I think I saw it somewhere - Germany?) would be to install urinals as well as sit-down toilets, in the same cubicle if desired. A waterless urinal puts no liquid into the tank other than the actual urine, and so it would fill up far more slowly if everyone able to use it instead of the seated toilet does so.
     
  14. 3rd rail land

    3rd rail land Member

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    I would imagine using a urinal on a moving train would be an interesting experience. Not one I would wish to try out!
     
  15. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Er, exactly the same as using the throne for the same purpose?
     
  16. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    And a class 195 doing similar work has just one.
     
  17. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    Modern vacuum flush toilets don't really draw that much water in with a single flush though do they? The saving of tank space from this sounds pretty minimal.
     
  18. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Not a huge amount, but every little helps, as it were.
     
  19. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    I think one tank per vehicle is a limit in specific cases (such as the mark 3 coach). It isn't a limit in the general case - the class 350/4s all have vehicles which contain two toilet tanks. I'm sure there are several other examples - 444?
     
  20. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Mk3s of course all have the same gubbins under the floor as they are standard coaches. EMUs have coaches which have the undercarriage near full and coaches with next to nothing on them, so it varies.
     
  21. mark-h

    mark-h Member

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    It should be possible for a vacuum system to have one tank serving more than one toilet (do the CS Mk5s have this?). Most aircraft only have one tank despite having lots of toilets located throughout.

    The main downside of having sharing a tank is that it would lock out both toilets if it is full or has an issue (blockage etc.) so waould not increase availability as much as having two independent systems.
     
  22. PartyOperator

    PartyOperator Member

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    Scrapping toilet charges at major stations is at least one positive thing that's been done. I'd often wait to pee on the train to avoid paying at the station, which is ridiculous in view of the relative cost of operating loos in trains vs buildings.
     
  23. SaveECRewards

    SaveECRewards Member

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    The mk 4 coaches did have two toilets per carriage in standard until GNER's Mallard refurb. I think in standard only the coach with the accessible toilet had one and I think first class only ever had one. The main difference was the toilets were both at the same end of the carriage whereas the mk 3 had one each end.

    The reason given at the time was more space for luggage as the Mallard refurb removed some of the luggage space in the carriage as one of the aims was to increase capacity.

    I was worried at the time this would cause problems with queues but it doesn't seem to be an issue as long as most are in service.
     
  24. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Surely the key thing would be not to drain the sinks into the toilet tanks at all. Drain them onto the ballast instead.
     
  25. Rhydgaled

    Rhydgaled Established Member

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    Interesting, I didn't realise the mark 3 sleepers had CETs. I agree completely with your last sentence, there should be a toilet in each and every carriage (for long-distance trains at least).

    Interesting observation, so there is room for multiple tanks under a single vehicle on some modern units at least.

    Did they have seperate tanks for each toilet or a single CET tank shared between the two loos as I assume is the case on the mark 3 sleepers?

    An interesting point; does any train with CETs currently drain the sinks onto the track?

    Indeed Network Rail's removal of charges is a good thing. Toilet charges are one of the things I hate; smaller stations still charge though (Fishguard & Goodwick for example and perhaps Inverness although the former is a council public toilet not a facility provided by the railway companies).
     
  26. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    I seem to remember reading that the Night Star sleeping cars were built with this arrangement, but I don't know if anything else was.
     
  27. SaveECRewards

    SaveECRewards Member

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    Good question, I don't know the answer but it's possible that the reason they were next to each other rather than one end of each carriage is so they could share a tank.
     
  28. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    Quite a lot of rolling stock with a vacuum toilet is still built with the sink discharging onto the track. You can see the water trailing out over the bogies on some electrostars!
     
  29. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    I never noticed that. Is it still built like that though, given a lot of the Electrostars are getting on a bit ?

    I wonder whether this is the case with the vacuum toilets being installed on Northern DMU's.
     
  30. Alfie1014

    Alfie1014 Member

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    I initially thought the same too, but it has-resulted in a massive increase in unsocial activities in them including blockage of toilets (including urinals) with drug paraphernalia which results in closures for the public. I do wonder if some sort of middle ground with some sort of charging and more visible attendants might be needed long term?
     

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