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

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Darandio

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But you need to know where the low bridges are, or you could be scoring a bit of an own-goal :'(

Well it would be handy, yes. But if they don't know where they are going i'd assume they haven't a clue where any bridge is never mind a low one.
 

D6130

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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.
All the ScotRail electric services that are covered by the 1986 Strathclyde DOO agreement - and have booked Sunday services in normal times - are running: Helensburgh Central-Edinburgh via Yoker and Bathgate, Balloch-Airdrie via Singer, Glasgow Central-Gourock/Wemyss Bay/Ayr/Ardrossan Harbour/Largs/Lanark and Dalmuir-Motherwell via the Hamilton Circle. They may, however, be subject to alteration/bustitution/cancellation due to engineering works.
 

43066

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

In London driving black cabs isn’t unknown for those qualified to do so, although on a per hour basis train driving is a lot more lucrative (I’m told).
 

Horizon22

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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?

And then maybe we could run these buses on a dedicated route on rails and attach them to other buses so we can carry more passengers...
 

MotCO

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There's no need to. That's why there are road signs.
But you would only find that out when you were approaching the bridge. My point was that low bridges may not be apparent when the driver was plotting the route, and the worse thing to happen would be if he did not notice the low bridge sign and have a bridge strike, closing the railway line.
 

Deafdoggie

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But you would only find that out when you were approaching the bridge. My point was that low bridges may not be apparent when the driver was plotting the route, and the worse thing to happen would be if he did not notice the low bridge sign and have a bridge strike, closing the railway line.
Serious reply: lots of coaches set off each day unware of full route details. It's the professional drivers that stop them hitting things. Most bus and coach journeys happen without hitting a thing.
Not serious reply: it doesn't matter in this case. They're driving as the railway line is already shut!
 

sannox

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All the ScotRail electric services that are covered by the 1986 Strathclyde DOO agreement - and have booked Sunday services in normal times - are running: Helensburgh Central-Edinburgh via Yoker and Bathgate, Balloch-Airdrie via Singer, Glasgow Central-Gourock/Wemyss Bay/Ayr/Ardrossan Harbour/Largs/Lanark and Dalmuir-Motherwell via the Hamilton Circle. They may, however, be subject to alteration/bustitution/cancellation due to engineering works.
I don't think all of the Strathclyde suburban services DOO are running - it's less than that. There is no Ardrossan or Wemyss Bay trains for example and no Cathcart Circle at all. Largs does occasionally run but isn't showing this weekend.
 

gnolife

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All the ScotRail electric services that are covered by the 1986 Strathclyde DOO agreement - and have booked Sunday services in normal times - are running: Helensburgh Central-Edinburgh via Yoker and Bathgate, Balloch-Airdrie via Singer, Glasgow Central-Gourock/Wemyss Bay/Ayr/Ardrossan Harbour/Largs/Lanark and Dalmuir-Motherwell via the Hamilton Circle. They may, however, be subject to alteration/bustitution/cancellation due to engineering works.
There are no services to Wemyss Bay, Ardrossan Harbour, Lanark, the Hamilton Circle, or stations between Clydebank and Jordanhill
 

alangla

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There are no services to Wemyss Bay, Ardrossan Harbour, Lanark, the Hamilton Circle, or stations between Clydebank and Jordanhill
Pretty sure the Argyle line has been closed in its entirety for the duration of the current action. Cathcart Circle seems to be the same.
 
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The Shearings coaches are being used - www.shearings.com.
The current Shearings is no connection to the previous Shearings. It is a franchise of various operators running their own vehicles with a common brand and livery.

The vehicles of the original Shearings/National Holidays fleet went to various dealers who been selling them onwards, in some cases converting them to PSVAR spec if the customers require it.
 

TUC

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And where were Scotrail going to magic these busses and drivers from a no notice? Or do you think they should have fleets of busses fully manned 24/7 strategically sited round the country just in case?
Unsympathetic 'what do you expect us to do about it?' attitudes do public transport much repetitional damage. The first question for any successful business has to be 'how do we make our customers feel looked after really well so thry want to use us again?'

The reality is that, in a choice between Scotrail and its customers who is in the better position to resolve the problem, the answer is Scotrail every time.
 

Falcon1200

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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.

When unplanned disruption prevents the booked service running, yes, in theory; But when hundreds if not thousands of passengers are affected arranging sufficient alternative transport is a massive, if not impossible task, as others have said here and elsewhere !
 

Aaron1

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So passengers need to go to greater expense to get home, I hope the train company will re-imsburse them for this extra cost!
 

Robertj21a

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So passengers need to go to greater expense to get home, I hope the train company will re-imsburse them for this extra cost!
There comes a point where the volume of affected passengers exceeds the local resources, regardless of the costs.
 

randyrippley

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There comes a point where the volume of affected passengers exceeds the local resources, regardless of the costs.
So improve the resources by training the staff to drive buses. It can't be much harder than driving a train. Though I appreciate having a clutch and steering wheel might confuse some, as might driving without signals.
 

RJ

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There's no need to. That's why there are road signs.
Unfortunately that's not how it works. People's minds work differently. Some people use road signs as intended. But some people can't do the level of arithmetic required to determine if the bus will fit under the bridge. Others don't read road signs if they think they are on the correct route. Others can't understand or read the signs and use their visual judgement as to whether or not the bus will fit. As a result for some people it's almost certainly only a matter of time until they hit a bridge. These skills are not tested for during the process of getting the licence so the system is set up to allow people without them to drive buses of any size.

Rail replacement bus driving has been my preferred line of work for 9 years and I am familiar with the labour market. Not so much on the coach side but certainly on the bus side. It varies - in suburban areas there are a fair few people who drive part time on weekdays who do it on weekends. There are also a lot of people in 9-5 office roles who have a PCV licence (and an interest in some cases) who'd gladly jump on a bus at short notice. I wouldn't recommend forcing it as part of a train driver or guard's job responsibilities. The skills required to do rail replacement properly aren't as trivial as people think.
 

Deafdoggie

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Unfortunately that's not how it works. People's minds work differently. Some people use road signs as intended. But some people can't do the level of arithmetic required to determine if the bus will fit under the bridge. Others don't read road signs if they think they are on the correct route. Others can't understand or read the signs and use their visual judgement as to whether or not the bus will fit. As a result for some people it's almost certainly only a matter of time until they hit a bridge. These skills are not tested for during the process of getting the licence so the system is set up to allow people without them to drive buses of any size.

Rail replacement bus driving has been my preferred line of work for 9 years and I am familiar with the labour market. Not so much on the coach side but certainly on the bus side. It varies - in suburban areas there are a fair few people who drive part time on weekdays who do it on weekends. There are also a lot of people in 9-5 office roles who have a PCV licence (and an interest in some cases) who'd gladly jump on a bus at short notice. I wouldn't recommend forcing it as part of a train driver or guard's job responsibilities. The skills required to do rail replacement properly aren't as trivial as people think.
It is very much part of the training and features in the theory & Hazard Perception tests. It's also on test routes where possible. It's also part of various CPC training modules. Anyone unable to work out if their vehicle fits under a signposted bridge should not hold a driving license for any category. It's a regular, several times a day, occurrence for lorry and coach drivers, it's a basic part of the job. It's a legal requirement of the licence.
 

Llanigraham

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It is very much part of the training and features in the theory & Hazard Perception tests. It's also on test routes where possible. It's also part of various CPC training modules. Anyone unable to work out if their vehicle fits under a signposted bridge should not hold a driving license for any category. It's a regular, several times a day, occurrence for lorry and coach drivers, it's a basic part of the job. It's a legal requirement of the licence.

And yet buses and lorries hit bridges every day!
 

skyhigh

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So improve the resources by training the staff to drive buses. It can't be much harder than driving a train. Though I appreciate having a clutch and steering wheel might confuse some, as might driving without signals.
But as previously mentioned, where do the buses come from? How do the staff get to the buses? How do the trains start running again when crew are all away driving buses?
 
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But as previously mentioned, where do the buses come from? How do the staff get to the buses? How do the trains start running again when crew are all away driving buses?
And will the staff go on strike if they aren't offer a considerable pay rise for accepting this pie in the sky idea?
 

O L Leigh

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Unsympathetic 'what do you expect us to do about it?' attitudes do public transport much repetitional damage. The first question for any successful business has to be 'how do we make our customers feel looked after really well so they want to use us again?'

And this sort of emotive tub-thumping doesn't precisely move the situation forward. As has been explained exhaustively, the alternative is a flabby and expensive system of buses and drivers sat around doing nothing for the vast majority of the day; a virtual replication of the entire rail network that carries nothing and no-one. And for how long do you imagine that the costs of this can reasonably be sustained before taxpayers and fare-payers alike rise up and have the system thrown out?

No it's not an ideal situation when unforeseen disruption hits but, like it or not, buses and drivers cannot be magicked out of thin air.

The reality is that, in a choice between Scotrail and its customers who is in the better position to resolve the problem, the answer is Scotrail every time.

Given that the passenger's primary problem is "How do I get to my destination?" I would argue that, during unplanned disruption at least, you have it the wrong way round. The TOC has to try and move hundreds, possibly thousands, of people where the passenger just has to move themselves and whoever else is in their party. Many medium to large stations will have taxi ranks and in all but the remotest locations it wouldn't take long to rustle-up a minicab. Job done. Get a receipt and submit it, along with your train ticket, to customer services and claim your refund. Meanwhile the TOC controllers are still phoning around their RRB contractors to see how many vehicles and drivers they can provide along what timescale, and are trying to stitch some sort of replacement service together.

As for railstaff driving buses, I really don't think I need to add much to this thread. The issue is that disruption tends to suck in staff anyway, so removing them from platforms, ticket offices and control centres (that are frequently nowhere near the disruption anyway) would have a detrimental effect. Not only would it make service recovery harder but it would remove the immediate in-person help that passengers frequently are seeking at times like this.
 
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RJ

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It is very much part of the training and features in the theory & Hazard Perception tests. It's also on test routes where possible. It's also part of various CPC training modules. Anyone unable to work out if their vehicle fits under a signposted bridge should not hold a driving license for any category. It's a regular, several times a day, occurrence for lorry and coach drivers, it's a basic part of the job. It's a legal requirement of the licence.

There are no mental arithmetic tests though. And even if a question of the like does appear, the applicant can get it wrong and still pass the test based on overall score. I think there's a concern that if things like that are tested for, it will make access to work harder for a percentage of the population.

CPC training is 100% useless as a compulsory qualification because there is no syllabus whatsoever. I did a course the other week and two hours were spent showing us how to fill out a log card, which is a daily exercise for drivers at that company.

There have been instances where bus drivers have approached a bridge, stopped the bus, gotten out, looked at the (marked) bridge, then looked at the bus, got back in and crashed into the bridge. And I've known a few drivers say they won't drive under a 14'6" bridge without getting out and looking first when that is not necessary. Then I've seen buses wedged under petrol station canopies where they've clearly proceeded by visual check rather than by the marked height.

Unfortunately bridge strikes and width restriction breaches happen regularly - even on London area rail replacement.
 
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Dai Corner

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Many medium to large stations will have taxi ranks and in all but the remotest locations it wouldn't take long to rustle-up a minicab.
Unless it's Friday or Saturday night, or school run time for example.
 

Bletchleyite

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CPC training is 100% useless as a compulsory qualification because there is no syllabus whatsoever. I did a course the other week and two hours were spent showing us how to fill out a log card, which is a daily exercise for drivers at that company.

CPC sounded great to me - a way of weeding out unprofessional but not dangerous drivers e.g. the ones who are rude, unhelpful or do stuff like pull up 3' from the kerb because they just can't be bothered (they should all go and drive lorries instead, the goods won't complain, it pays more and there's a shortage) - but unfortunately it's a sham in how it actually was implemented and has not improved anything.
 
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