On the wrong train

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Alan White, 18 Apr 2015.

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  1. Alan White

    Alan White Member

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    Yesterday I travelled on the 08:02 Reading-Kemble service via Didcot and Swindon. As we were approaching Kemble I gathered my things and stood by a door ready to leave. Standing by the opposite door was a lady who asked me if this train went to Didcot :o.

    I explained as best as I could - it was obvious that her first language wasn't English - that she was heading in the wrong direction and she should get off here, cross the bridge and wait for the next train back. Fortunately at that time of day it would only be half an hour's wait. I didn't see get off so I've no idea what happened to her.

    I presumed she'd boarded at Swindon and I wondered if the unusual platform use for Cheltenham Spa trains caused her confusion. I myself, when booking the journey, was puzzled why it stopped at Swindon's platform 3 rather than the usual 4. Leaving Swindon I saw the answer: there's no connection between platform 4 and the Cheltenham line. This bidirectional usage may have confused her: most platform 3 trains go to London and if one's sense of direction isn't good...

    Aside from the delay to her journey, the other question is how she'd be treated from a fares point of view as she presumably didn't have a ticket from Swindon to Kemble or beyond.
     
  2. TheEdge

    TheEdge Established Member

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    It depends. In by the book theory she should be sold the full return from Swindon to Kemble. Some would take pity and give her a note to go back on the next train, some might sell he the single back.
     
  3. dcd

    dcd Member

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    Similar occurrence recently on the train from Waterloo to Winchester. Foreign lady got on at Clapham Junction - at about Woking she asked when the train would get to Vauxhall. First stop after Clapham was Basingstoke where she got off and presumably went back to Clapham. Expensive mistake if she was charged for the trip.
     
  4. Billy Hicks

    Billy Hicks Member

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    Hopefully they'd take pity. This happened to me once in Rome, when I got hopelessly lost in the huge central station, misheard an announcement and boarded a train to Cassino when I was meant to go to Ciampino - both trains leaving at exactly the same time, to the minute!

    On the way back an inspector saw my Rome travelcard and told me it wasn't valid in this part of Italy, but when I told him my mixup he simply laughed and allowed me to travel, which was a relief.
     
  5. 47802

    47802 Established Member

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    I wouldn't be too impressed if I was asked to pay, Its only happened to me once I was catching a GN service to Peterborough but there was also a Kings Lynn service departing at a similar time possibly a couple of min's later, I just looked at the departure time and not the destination and ended up on the Kings Lynn train first stop Royston so I had to get the next train back to Hitchin, In the event nobody checked the tickets on the train anyway.
     
    Last edited: 18 Apr 2015
  6. johntea

    johntea Member

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    Generally most guards seem fine with letting it slide, as long as a ticket is produced for the actual intended destination :lol:
     
  7. 1e10

    1e10 Member

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    I've seen on two occasions now where somebody has boarded an XC service at Birmingham New Street intending to get to International and instead ending up at Cheltenham Spa. On both occasions the XC guard has been understanding and hasn't charged the extra fare.
     
  8. MichaelAMW

    MichaelAMW Member

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    This is one area where protection of the passenger did not survive privatisation. From the Ticket Examiners' Handbook 1989:

    Travel beyond destination.

    "G 3.1 Provided a satisfactory explanation is forthcoming and you are satisfied that there is not attempt to avoid payment, passengers inadvertently carried past the point where they have left the train may be allowed to return to the intended destination by the next train; otherwise you should ask them to pay excess.
    G 3.2 Endorse the ticket as shown in Section C, clause 3.3.5.

    Endorsements on Tickets

    C 3.3 The principal endorsements to be made on the backs of tickets are:-
    .
    .
    .
    C 3.3.5. Circumstances: Inadvertently carried past destination or changing point.
    Endorsements: Overcarried - "Valid only on .... to ...."

    I would have thought that the same common sense would have applied to being on the wrong train, although it's not quite the same situation. My own opinion is that the idea of "In by the book theory she should be sold the full return" absolutely stinks to high Heaven. I'm well aware that S. 25 of the NRCOC requires you to check your train, but saying that a passenger has to take some responsibility for their travel, i.e. they can't just blame the TOC, is not the same as being punitive when they make a mistake. As others have said, and indeed I have observed, guards are generally pretty helpful with these situations, including endorsing tickets for return travel. By chance I saw this yesterday and the guard, with a bit of a grin, pointed out that a 20-min journey extended to 3 hours was punishment enough!
     
    Last edited: 18 Apr 2015
  9. Failed Unit

    Failed Unit Established Member

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    Happens surprisingly frequently on portion workings, as people realise after the split.
     
  10. LowLevel

    LowLevel Established Member

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    We're briefed to send them back with an endorsed ticket unless it looks really dodgy.
     
  11. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    The worst one I had was someone trying to do Kings Cross to Cambridge. They had gone from Charing Cross and were on a train non stop (after Waterloo east) to Tonbridge. They were Chinese i think and were not charged.
     
  12. muz379

    muz379 Established Member

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    In theory should sell a ticket for the journey they have made in addition to the ticket they have .

    In reality assuming it seems like a genuine case and its not someone you see all the time making the same "mistake" I dont charge them for a ticket for the journey they have made on my train . I usually let control know so they can inform the guard of the service back to their starting point but always tell people to approach the guard on the platform and explain the situation before getting on the train .


    The most recent case I had was a young oriental couple who had boarded a southport bound merseyrail 142 at Manchester airport and when checking tickets after Salford crescent I found they had tickets to Edinburgh and they thought this was the train to take them there .I believe that the unit for the Edinburgh was late on its inbound working so turned around at pic rather than going to man airp . They must have been told to get on the southport into pic but obviouly "change at picadilly" had got lost in translation .

    I pity anyone who has to travel all that way on a 142 if it would even make it .

    I didnt charge them for a Man pic to wigan ticket . I just told them to stay on till wigan and cross over to n'western there and get the staff to point them in the right direction .
     
  13. londonbridge

    londonbridge Member

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    I've posted this one before, a group of us had been up to Sunderland for the match, got to York on the way back to London and two Scottish lads in Man City colours got on and said they had reservations for two of our seats. Assuming GNER had double booked we found them some seats, conversation struck up and when asked where theywere heading one of them replied "Dundee"! They got off at Doncaster but we didn't tell them they couldn't get any further North than Newcastle that late in the day.
     
  14. johnnychips

    johnnychips Established Member

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    Wasn't there a famous one a few years ago confusing Torquay and Turkey?
     
  15. DanTrainMan185

    DanTrainMan185 Established Member

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    Roma Termini is an absolute beast of a station! With twenty nine platforms, it is easy to get lost!

    I've once had someone trying to get from Bristol to Bridgwater end up on a train heading towards Cardiff. I believe he had fallen victim to the arrangement of platforms at Temple Meads, where two numbered platforms share the same whole platform (i.e. 3+4, 5+6, 7+8, 9+10, 11+12), and I think a Taunton stopper and a Cardiff service were both sharing the same platform face, and they both depart within a minute apart (xx:53 Taunton, xx:54 Cardiff).
     
  16. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    I was on the 1754 from Birmingham New Street to Euston today which departed from platform 6A. Some passengers got on thinking it was the train for Preston which departed from platform 6B.

    Thankfully the guard made an announcement and they realised their error before we set off.
     
  17. aylesbury

    aylesbury Member

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    A group of us were travelling Reading to Bristol in the seventies and due to late running and no changing of train describers on platform ended up on a train to Cardiff.We only discovered this when we went through the Severn Tunnel and arrived in Cardiff along with a great many other annoyed passengers.We ended up going to Bristol on an excursion from the valleys that was going to Weston ,standing surrounded by many happy welsh people who burst into song many times did not see a ticket inspector!
     
  18. bunnahabhain

    bunnahabhain Established Member

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    I tend to find it happens most often because people look at the information boards, and see that their train leaves from platform 13, and then despite the train arriving a good 15 minutes before the one they want to catch and being advertised as going to a completely different place...they get on anyway...and sit there and pay no heed to the stations the train calls at along the way until the Guard reaches them and advises them they're on the wrong train and they've got a 3hr delay to get back to their origin and then the journey to their destination ontop of that.

    You also occasionally see people who are completely oblivious to the need to change trains as well and are quite happy to sit on the train through a major junction where you sit for a few minutes and lots of folk change...and then look shocked and surprised when you remember their faces and remember they were meant to get off.

    Normals eh?
     
  19. Essexman

    Essexman Member

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    I felt sorry for an American couple who wrongly boarded the Manchester bound Cross Country Voyager I was on at Birmingham New Street last week, thinking it was the Holyhead train. It was only because someone was in 'their seats' that it came to light and fortunately just in time for them to get off before we departed New Street (but only because we'd been held a couple of minutes). They'd missed the Holyhead train and quite possibly their ferry to Ireland. Again probably down to confusing platform numbers.
     
  20. Parallel

    Parallel Established Member

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    People getting on the wrong train happens all the time at Bath Spa, only two platforms, platform 2 used for all services to London Paddington, Portsmouth, Weymouth & London Waterloo.

    Quite often you see tourists getting on the Portsmouth/Weymouth train as they frequently run late and depart from Bath around the time the Paddington train's meant to. Luckily, the first stop is only about 10 minutes down the line, so it's relatively easy to go back on yourself.

    I did once witness a businessman who jumped on the Waterloo via. Salisbury train who actually wanted the much faster Paddington train a few minutes later. Unfortunately he only realised when he asked the guard what time he'd be getting into London... Oops!
     
    Last edited: 19 Apr 2015
  21. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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    That was in one of the later Adrian Mole books, possibly The Cappuccino Years. Whether it was inspired by true-life events, I'm not sure. I imagine it's possible at Paddington!
     
  22. TEW

    TEW Established Member

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    It always surprises me the number of people who turn up at Guildford from Gatwick Airport having managed to catch the Reading rather than London train. AFAIK it's the only train of the hour from the platform it departs from at Gatwick which doesn't go to London. If I have time I'll endorse their tickets and send them on the next train up to Waterloo.
     
  23. talltim

    talltim Established Member

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    The three times when I've caught the wrong train, I've always asked told the guard and asked for a return for my new journey. They've always refused my payment and endorsed my ticket.
     
  24. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Assuming these weren't Advances, is Wigan not a Permitted Route for Manchester-Edinburgh anyway?
     
  25. LowLevel

    LowLevel Established Member

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    I had one not long ago on a train to Liverpool - German chap. He showed me a Stansted to Manchester Stations ticket at Stockport which I thought was a bit odd as I didn't recall seeing him before but given the train had originated in Norwich wasn't necessarily unusual.

    It wasn't till I kicked out at Lime Street with him still happily sat there it transpired he'd shown the wrong portion and wanted to travel to London, and having arrived in the country previously at Stansted assumed Liverpool Street meant London, which he'd mixed up for Liverpool Lime Street (a common issue, but usually at the other end of the route).

    I took him to the Virgin desk at Lime Street and they passed him down to Euston without any issues.
     
  26. Alan White

    Alan White Member

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    As the thread starter I must say I'm very encouraged by the positive responses given by those who are obviously in the industry. It's good to know that someone who makes a mistake - especially a tourist, as many of the examples seem to be - will be treated favourably and helpfully.
     
  27. 332 > 444

    332 > 444 Member

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    I've only done this in Paris last October and that was cos the inspector pointed me in that direction!

    When working my train the other day, had a lady show me her ticket Heathrow Rail to Southall (not via London) so i said this train ain't stopping there, she asked "is this not the 21:27?" "nah luv this was the 21:18 out of the airports was 9 minutes later!" I didn't charge her as she obviously didn't want London but damn them airport workers should know the difference between trains, we all laughed and i carried on my business.

    Day before though was the 2nd last train out to London and a poor oriental girl got on my train thinking it was going the other direction, and as the last train left London before we would arrive i couldn't send her directly back and had to advise her to take the underground back to the airport.
     
  28. bunnahabhain

    bunnahabhain Established Member

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    So far I've chalked up Hazel Grove, Chinley, Romiley and Marple with Special Stopping Orders for people who boarded the wrong train, all of them for Manchester Airport!
     
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