Passengers abandon train at Lewisham with 3rd rails still live.

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by theironroad, 2 Mar 2018.

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  1. swills

    swills Established Member

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    But even then, had the guard been caught, then no doubt he would have been for the high jump, but he was lucky and was not, and also no one got hit by a train going the other way ;)
     
  2. theageofthetra

    theageofthetra Established Member

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    If the train was packed heating is not an issue either. The mostly empty New Forest train is a different matter.
     
  3. Kettledrum

    Kettledrum Member

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    Given the train was so close to the platform, did the signalers and control have any discretion e.g. using rule 20.6?
    Either in terms of an emergency evacuation from the drivers cab, or to get the train into Lewisham station?

    Was any discretion asked for?
     
  4. Skymonster

    Skymonster Member

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    The lack of empathy and humility staff across the network seem to have shown paying customers in this case is simply staggering. This incident just fills me with utter contempt for those who work on the railway and yet defend what happened. Despite being a privatised industry, this incident merely seems to reinforce the idea that the railways still behaves like a nationalised industry, in which employees seem to think they can still get away with not doing what's right 'because it's more than my job's worth' or because the rulebook doesn't permit it. When the proverbial brown stuff hits the fan, people should be doing what is necessary to make things right not replying on those crutches.

    It boils down to two things. Communication with your customers, and using your initiative. Neither seem to have happened. We have an industry waylaid by a rule book that stifles staff from doing what's right for passengers. It wouldn't happen in true private industry, because if it did then ultimately the business would start to collapse. But of course those in the railway can go home at the end of the day with warm fuzzy feelings because they know come what may and however their industry treats passengers, the railway will still be here tomorrow.

    Some of the more rediculous things suggested that happe on this topic, that a true customer-focused business would not countenance include:
    • Train drivers not using the PA - crazy, they're customers not self-loading cargo. Keep them informed. PA broken - train driver needs to get off their ass and go back to the coaches to tell passengers what's happening. Set mandatory intervals for drivers talking to customers, and if they won't do it fire them.
    • Control not talking to train crews. What's GSMR for? We solved the problem of 'control' talking to aircraft anywhere in the world in the airline industry 20 years ago. Why is it so difficult for railways over a few miles? If they won't talk, find replacement employees who will.
    • Signallers not knowing how to use GSMR general broadcast. Teach them. And if they can't master it, fire them or move them to a job they can manage.
    • DO NOT TRAVEL - simply preposterous at any time of day other than first thing because some people will already have started their journey or already be at work. They have no choice but to travel.
    • Station staff lacking PTS. Train them - don't care if it costs, because it's worth it to avoid these sorts of problems (or it would be if the railway was a business that could fail with enough adverse publicity). Do it after normal working hours if needs be. Make it a condition of new station staff contracts, and if they can't meet the medical requirements don't hire them.
    • Accusing customers of trespassing if they detrain. Appaling. So I pay you to use your services, you fail to deliver, and then you try to persecute me for walking away from your business. Madness. If you'd have sorted the problem before your customers got edgy, or at least kept them fully informed, the problem probably wouldn't have arisen.
    It really saddens me that the railways still seem to be run for the convenience / in the interests of the industry and the staff, rather than the customers who effectively pay the wages of those who work within it. Until this attitude changes, there will be little improvement. This incident - and the reaction of railway staff responding to this topic - seems to point to the idea that the railway still behaves like it is always right, and the customer is always wrong. It's about time it started finding reasons to do the right thing for customers, rather than hide behind excuses.
     
  5. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    How long were people trapped on the trains for, how crowded were they and how much information were they given? Personally if I was on a crowded train which stopped with no information and no bog for 30 mins I would start getting edgy.
     
  6. sefton

    sefton Member

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    From their actions this time, if they do then their plans need revising.
     
  7. theageofthetra

    theageofthetra Established Member

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    Thanks for clarification. That is probably the most important bit of information we have seen so far- the train which initially broke down was departing Lewisham p4 down to Blackheath and failed- its on the level and that would make sense. I just couldn't understand how that 376 would have failed on a steep downhill slope (unless brakes had locked on)

    So the next most important piece of information is - was the first self evacuation from this first failed train departing p4 ?

    If so that explains everything- that would have prevented an emergency permissive move of that 376 on Tanners being made.
     
  8. ANorthernGuard

    ANorthernGuard Established Member

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    And you have absolutely no idea how Railway Staffs hands are tied. You fill me and probably the majority of TrainCrew who frequent these forums with contempt for....You! Because of your p**s Poor attitude.
     
  9. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    You'd have a job getting hit by a train going the other way if you get out on the nearside.
     
  10. swills

    swills Established Member

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    No, I think it was the one behind the 'failure' ti start with. Driver made an Emergency Call to the Signal Centre.
     
  11. Kettledrum

    Kettledrum Member

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    I empathize with much of what you are saying in your post, but would add the following:

    The "rule book" is there for a reason and should have provision for dealing with emergencies. What happened here was the system failure including PA systems, isolation systems, DOO operation, inadequate training etc.....and the failure of GOLD command to recognize that they were dealing with a situation that required an emergency response.

    There is lots of really important learning from this incident, and that's why the independent investigation is so important.
     
  12. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    Yes 100%

    I find it equally horrifying that someone would choose to egress onto a live running line, with 750v DC, in the snow and ice, and in the dark, just because they need to use the loo. The only reason I would egress onto the track is if I felt that there is a risk to life. The safest place is in the train. Conditions may be horrendous, uncomfortable and generally unpleasant but its the safest place.

    What if this was a normal sunny day and you needed the loo and the toilet was out of order. Would you still egress onto the track ? Just as others have created stupid scenarios... What if you were in the middle of nowhere on an overnight sleeper without a working loo Would you egress ? What about in the middle of the peak coming down Spa Road into London Bridge and you get stopped on a signal. No working toilet. Do you egress ? I don't think there is any scenario that justifies me egress onto the track because I needed the loo.

    I agree.
     
  13. theageofthetra

    theageofthetra Established Member

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    I agree with every single point you make except that some trains are so crowded (as in the Lewisham incident) that it is impossible for the driver to walk through the train. The PA/GSMR is a vital piece of safety equipment and requires mandatory emergency battery back up .[/QUOTE]
     
  14. burneside

    burneside Member

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    After of being stuck on a train for three hours in what felt like a sub-zero temperature, I can tell you that lack of heat was most definitely an issue, regardless of how many people were on the train.
     
  15. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Arguably less of an issue in the New Forest case, as people could walk or jog up and down the train to keep warm. In the commuter train they could barely move. People lose heat very quickly when stationary; they will mostly have dressed for being indoors or moving.
     
  16. Antman

    Antman Established Member

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    I don't work in the railway industry so I've no axe to grind but to pick up on a few points.

    As I understand it the PA was inoperable because of the lack of power.

    Advising people not to travel was the only sensible thing to do given the weather conditions.

    I think it's only some people on here that have been throwing the trespass allegation around.
     
  17. theageofthetra

    theageofthetra Established Member

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    Fair comment and thanks for your insight- I am really surprised that number of people packed into that space didn't create enough heat to make it tolerable
     
  18. theageofthetra

    theageofthetra Established Member

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    If that is the case and if the failed train had cleared the end of P4 sufficiently the lack of a decision to make an emergency permissive move into P4 of that 376 unit should be a key part of the enquiry.
     
  19. Kettledrum

    Kettledrum Member

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    Sadly not - the first news reports of the problem clearly show South Eastern's immediate reaction was to shift the blame onto passengers and accuse the passengers of trespass.
     
  20. amcluesent

    amcluesent Member

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    So true
     
  21. Kettledrum

    Kettledrum Member

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    Sorry to request clarification, but am I understanding this correctly:
    The failed train had just departed Lewisham.....and was stranded?
    Another train was stuck at a red signal just outside Lewisham and was not allowed into the vacant platform, because the failed train had not cleared the signal?

    So, in an emergency situation, why wasn't the train at the red signal allowed into the platform, the passengers de-trained, and then that unit used to rescue the stranded train that had failed?
     
  22. swills

    swills Established Member

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    As far as I can gather, the train behind was stuck for about 30 to 40 mins behind the failure, the train ahead did move a bit, and I assume it was though would allow the rear train to draw forward, but stopped again, so alhtough it had only been at a stand for about 30 / 40 mins, a passenger decided to get off, resulting in the inevitable Emergency Call to the Signaller, and being an Emergency Call stopping all other trains in the area, once you have someone wandering around on an open rail situation, things can only get worse, as the next will be an Emergency Isolation, that of course will make all trains dark and cold, and possibly make others jump ship from other trains, so seemingly the actions of one person...........
     
  23. swills

    swills Established Member

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    That may well have been the plan once the first train declared himself a failure, but it never got that far it seems
     
  24. burneside

    burneside Member

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    The driver of my train informed passengers that the train ahead had cleared the platform but not the signal sector hence we were still being held at the red signal, it didn't seem to make sense that our train was not allowed onto the vacant platform.
     
  25. Kettledrum

    Kettledrum Member

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    I think that was the wrong call by the signallers. The safest place for trains in these situations is at a station in the platform. That way there is no chance of passengers evacuating directly onto a live rail. Arguably the most dangerous place is just outside an empty platform within eyesight, as passengers will get more stressed and angry and there is an increased risk of a dangerous self evacuation.
     
  26. swills

    swills Established Member

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    It must have still been within the limits of the overlap to the signal, had the driver been told to move into the station, without the first train declaring a failure, and assistance authorised, then had the Signaller simply said, pass the signal at Danger (At Danger for a reason), and pull into the station, he would have had two in a section, and taken off the panel and Drugs screened etc, and suspended pending investigation, this would have left the signalbox one less staff to deal with what was going on ! I do not know what was wrong with the 1st train, or if it could have got going in the next 10 mins or so, but there are 2 things, there is no way the Signaller was allowed to pass the signal at Danger, until failure declared and arrangements agreed by all parties and the second, once the person left the train and the REC went out, it was going to turn into a long job

    Imagine being told to pass signal at red, (unauthorised) and then the train slipped past the next signal, due to ice or similar, there was the chance it could have collided with the rear of the train in advance, if it was in the overlap, it was close to the signal still, that is why it stayed where it was.
     
  27. theironroad

    theironroad Established Member

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    Some quite staggering generalisations and insults to railway staff there.

    Well as apparently I lack empathy and humility and should probably be fired I'll just doff my cap to you and say that you, the customer are always right. We'll all just forget that railways are complex networks to run and to be run safely there has to be a set of rules in place.

    It's your nirvana of private enterprise and the the franchises desire to profit maximise and enhance shareholder value that is leading to a relentless drive to cut costs and reduce staffing across the railway.

    I'm the first to admit when the railway gets things wrong but railways aren't supermarkets or restaurants.

    But hey Sir or Madam, you are right, so I'll leave it there.
     
  28. swills

    swills Established Member

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    I am a Signaller, and I would NOT have told the train to pass the signal with the other one within yards of the next signal !
     
  29. theironroad

    theironroad Established Member

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    There is a short area after the signal called the 'overlap' which until the track circuit shows as clear in the signalling centre won't allow the signal to the o clear to a less restrictive aspect, hence while the train had cleared the platform the signal was still red and the driver couldn't move. rear
     
  30. amcluesent

    amcluesent Member

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    Why not, when you could justify as Emergency permissive working to facilitate a safe evacuation and the train entering the station would have proceeded at caution?
     
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