No replacement bus available from ScotRail (11/9/21)

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philthetube

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There is an argument for companies with pcv qualified staff, not,necessarily train drivers, to pay for their licences to be maintained.

Then come to arrangement with local bus companies to effectively hire self drive in cases of disruption.

Hurdles to be got over but possible

When I was on the underground there were quite a few ex bus drivers who would have been happy to take out a bus occasionally, especially if a bung was involved.
 
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There is an argument for companies with pcv qualified staff, not,necessarily train drivers, to pay for their licences to be maintained.

Then come to arrangement with local bus companies to effectively hire self drive in cases of disruption.

Hurdles to be got over but possible

When I was on the underground there were quite a few ex bus drivers who would have been happy to take out a bus occasionally, especially if a bung was involved.
I suppose that would solve the problem of what to do with Scotland's train drivers on Sundays this year.
 

notadriver

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I’m not sure most why train drivers would want to volunteer to drive buses on their day off unless it was a hobby ?
 

wobman

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I’m not sure most why train drivers would want to volunteer to drive buses on their day off unless it was a hobby ?
There's so many implications that could come from this if it ever happened, can't see any volunteers for it personally.
 

Llanigraham

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You'd be amazed what some drivers will do for overtime !

We used to have a signaller at my Box who drove coaches on his days off, however he was told (in no uncertain terms) that he had to allow a 12 hour rest period between his last driving job and his next shift in the Box if he wanted to continue doing it. I am sure the same would apply to any drivers or guards doing the same thing, so that could cause problems if this was implemented (it won't be!!)
 

philthetube

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I was largely thinking about other staff to drivers, backroom and ticket office who could help out, whether or not currently on duty when the need arises.

As far as drivers go, they would obviously need to comply with their hours.
 

Deafdoggie

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I was largely thinking about other staff to drivers, backroom and ticket office who could help out, whether or not currently on duty when the need arises.

As far as drivers go, they would obviously need to comply with their hours.
Anyone driving a coach would need to conform to coach drivers hours, including periods of "other work" Driving hours are difficult for those that only drive, fitting the hours in around other duties is nigh on impossible
 

notadriver

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Anyone driving a coach would need to conform to coach drivers hours, including periods of "other work" Driving hours are difficult for those that only drive, fitting the hours in around other duties is nigh on impossible

Maybe rail replacement services could be operated under domestic rules or exemptions put in place as with hgv drivers hours.
 

Mcr Warrior

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Where's it possible to get to by rail in Scotland on Sundays just now, presumably using non Scotrail services only.
 

Mcr Warrior

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So (other than a late night Saturday Scotrail service) somewhere like Falkirk Grahamston might just see the up and down LNER "Highland Chieftain" calling on a Sunday just now, and that would be about that.
 

ER158715

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How long do you think it would take to train staff and get them passed for coach driving? The country is struggling enough to get HGV drivers tested so adding more to the backlog of examiners work is just plain daft. Besides, I’m sure most railway staff wouldn’t want to do it.
 

6Gman

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I think there are a whole host of issues with this idea of the railway (and its staff) leaping into bus action whenever there's disruption.

1. Cost. Even a fairly bog-standard 5 year old coach is going to be around £120k (and that's non-PSVAR). Multiply that up by the number you'd need.
2. Maintenance. Who does this? And coaches really, really don't like sitting around for weeks and then suddenly needing to be used.
3. When the wires come down (or whatever) the station staff are needed on the station to advise passengers and Control (busily trying to get things back to where they need to be) won't be thrilled when the drivers disappear to drive coaches!

It's just not practical.
 

philthetube

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There's so many implications that could come from this if it ever happened, can't see any volunteers for it personally.
You may be surprised, coach driving is one of those jobs which people enjoy doing part tiem.
Anyone driving a coach would need to conform to coach drivers hours, including periods of "other work" Driving hours are difficult for those that only drive, fitting the hours in around other duties is nigh on impossible
True, however any already on duty would have no issues, and bus hours are genrally easier to comply with, many requirements would need not need to be run oncoach regs.
How long do you think it would take to train staff and get them passed for coach driving? The country is struggling enough to get HGV drivers tested so adding more to the backlog of examiners work is just plain daft. Besides, I’m sure most railway staff wouldn’t want to do it.
Passing people out was never mentioned, I said staff who have licences.
I think there are a whole host of issues with this idea of the railway (and its staff) leaping into bus action whenever there's disruption.

1. Cost. Even a fairly bog-standard 5 year old coach is going to be around £120k (and that's non-PSVAR). Multiply that up by the number you'd need.
2. Maintenance. Who does this? And coaches really, really don't like sitting around for weeks and then suddenly needing to be used.
3. When the wires come down (or whatever) the station staff are needed on the station to advise passengers and Control (busily trying to get things back to where they need to be) won't be thrilled when the drivers disappear to drive coaches!

It's just not practical.
I never mentioned vehicles, the problem is often the lack of drivers, not buses,

As I said, many hurdles, but it should be looked at.
 

wobman

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You may be surprised, coach driving is one of those jobs which people enjoy doing part tiem.

True, however any already on duty would have no issues, and bus hours are genrally easier to comply with, many requirements would need not need to be run oncoach regs.

Passing people out was never mentioned, I said staff who have licences.

I never mentioned vehicles, the problem is often the lack of drivers, not buses,

As I said, many hurdles, but it should be looked at.
The safety department would have a heart attack if traincrew started driving buses, the paperwork would be huge and nobody would want to put their name to it
 

skyhigh

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I never mentioned vehicles, the problem is often the lack of drivers, not buses,
There is a pretty severe shortage of PSVAR coaches. The idea that the railway would be able to have large numbers of them dotted about the country as an eventuality is impractical in the extreme.
 

MotCO

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If I recall, there was a fleet of standby buses set up in case the Jubilee Line, newly extended, failed on Millennium Night or when the Dome was open. I'm not sure they were ever used. The drivers were to be drawn from Thorpes and Blue Triangle, I think.
 

philthetube

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The safety department would have a heart attack if traincrew started driving buses, the paperwork would be huge and nobody would want to put their name to it
there are instances of train crew driving buses as part timers, however normal practice is that they must work within, train driving hours regs as well as bus ones. The responsibility is on the driver.
There is a pretty severe shortage of PSVAR coaches. The idea that the railway would be able to have large numbers of them dotted about the country as an eventuality is impractical in the extreme.
true, but there are plenty of buses sat in depots in the evening and at weekends when they seem to be needed most often.
 

Chris_SSBN05

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there are instances of train crew driving buses as part timers, however normal practice is that they must work within, train driving hours regs as well as bus ones. The responsibility is on the driver.

true, but there are plenty of buses sat in depots in the evening and at weekends when they seem to be needed most often.
So what you're saying is that at least one driver who is designated 'spare' on that particular day should be in posession of a coach/bus driving license and know every possible route that he/she might have to theoretically drive on said day....not sure how familiar you are with any route that takes the North Clyde line but that's quite a lot of routes need replacment buses, so now you need about 6-7 spare drivers all whom would need a coach/bus license whilst still having enough spare train drivers for contingency on the network. Sorry but it's not feasible in that situation.
 

YorkshireBear

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It's completely possible and practical for the railway to embark on a long term project to train bus drivers and have hot standbys of compliant coaches around the country ready to spring into action. Would probably take 10-15 years to complete.

The cost? Astronomical. Not just upfront capital but ongoing driver wages.

Is it worth it? Absolutely not. Money better spent improving reliability of existing railway and improving communication around disruption.
 

Aaron1

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Surely if this happens it is up to the train company to get the passengers home? Or pay for alternative travel arrangements/hotel if needed.
 

ANDREW_D_WEBB

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If I recall, there was a fleet of standby buses set up in case the Jubilee Line, newly extended, failed on Millennium Night or when the Dome was open. I'm not sure they were ever used. The drivers were to be drawn from Thorpes and Blue Triangle, I think.
They were on standby from 31/12/99 until about September 2000 when it was decided the Jubilee was reliable. IIRC the plan had been to have them for the whole year, but sense prevailed.

Thorpe had a fleet of Nationals (ex LT), whilst Blue Triangle had a selection of Lynx. Both shared a yard near the Dome.

They were used at least once. One Sunday in July 2000 the Dome was free after 16:00 in order to get enough visitors to be able to do a fire evacuation test. Once the alarm sounded the Dome shut for the night and the buses were scrambled to clear the crowds, even though the Jubilee Line was running
 

Wolfie

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Not as far fetched as you'd think actually. Around 12-13 years ago when First were running Scotrail a certain manager at a large station knew that me and another member of staff had PCV licences and they had the idea that a couple of buses could be kept in the car park in case of disruption, whereabout we were to fire up the buses. Who was to replace us in our jobs I'm not sure but it never got of they drawing board surprisingly .
I trust that they were going to pay you appropriately for your additional services....
 

43096

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I think there are a whole host of issues with this idea of the railway (and its staff) leaping into bus action whenever there's disruption.

1. Cost. Even a fairly bog-standard 5 year old coach is going to be around £120k (and that's non-PSVAR). Multiply that up by the number you'd need.
2. Maintenance. Who does this? And coaches really, really don't like sitting around for weeks and then suddenly needing to be used.
3. When the wires come down (or whatever) the station staff are needed on the station to advise passengers and Control (busily trying to get things back to where they need to be) won't be thrilled when the drivers disappear to drive coaches!

It's just not practical.
Then add in all the other risks of insurance, competence assessment, licencing etc etc.
 

Deafdoggie

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So what you're saying is that at least one driver who is designated 'spare' on that particular day should be in posession of a coach/bus driving license and know every possible route that he/she might have to theoretically drive on said day....not sure how familiar you are with any route that takes the North Clyde line but that's quite a lot of routes need replacment buses, so now you need about 6-7 spare drivers all whom would need a coach/bus license whilst still having enough spare train drivers for contingency on the network. Sorry but it's not feasible in that situation.
Bus and coach drivers don't need route knowledge. They are a hardy bunch and can find their way...often. That's the one thing going in favour of the idea. The lack of vehicles and cost are the main disadvantages.
 

Wolfie

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Bus and coach drivers don't need route knowledge. They are a hardy bunch and can find their way...often. That's the one thing going in favour of the idea. The lack of vehicles and cost are the main disadvantages.
I've been on rail replacement services where the passengers have had to give the driver directions as he hasn't had a scoobie. Not great.
 

Deafdoggie

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You may be surprised, coach driving is one of those jobs which people enjoy doing part tiem.

True, however any already on duty would have no issues, and bus hours are genrally easier to comply with, many requirements would need not need to be run oncoach regs.

Passing people out was never mentioned, I said staff who have licences.

I never mentioned vehicles, the problem is often the lack of drivers, not buses,

As I said, many hurdles, but it should be looked at.
Bus rules are slightly more generous, but not all that much. It would then depend on the route being short enough and registered in advance as a bus route to be on bus driving hours rather than coach.
 

DelayRepay

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2. Maintenance. Who does this? And coaches really, really don't like sitting around for weeks and then suddenly needing to be used.
Think outside the box. If the train drivers and guards are going to drive the buses, then surely the train fitters can do the maintenance. And if there aren't enough fitters then maybe we can train up the station cleaners and catering crews to help out?
 
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