Passengers refused onto Virgin Train at Glasgow Central [GLC]

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Optimo

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With yesterday's derailment, appreciate there was disruption all over the place. But wondered at the logic, and moreover, appropriateness of staff at Glasgow Central Virgin - Euston yesterday afternoon. They were refusing passengers access to the service (14:36), claiming 'it was too busy', despite there being available seats.

I had an off-peak std return, with no seat reservation. Upon arriving at the platform with 8mins before departure, one of the Virgin cust svc reps said I couldn't board the train because I didn't have a seat reservation. I asked if the ticket was not valid, and he said it was, but because it was so busy he coudn't let me on. He said they'd cancelled other services, and this one was very busy. I said that I'd happily sit in the seats by the toilet, or in vestibule end. He quoted "it's all health and safety", and wouldn't allow me on it, but said the next one in an hour would likely have space, and if I hung around at the platform I'd get on it.

4 other passengers were also refused while I sat there, and the train had not yet departed. I assume there were some refusals before I turned up.

Another rep spoke to me apologetically, and I asked if it was a passenger train derailment, or what was happening to footy fans getting to Wembley etc. Small talk. He then said "Are you on your own? Come on, let's get you on it". I said I was happy to sit by the toilets etc., and he said "don't worry, you'll find a seat".

I went on the train and though I only walked through the first 3 carriages, I was easily able to find 'Available' seats, and there was generally a decent amount of room. Have certainly been on busier trains.

Was happy to get on the train, but felt bad for all the other customers refused onto the service. Would the staff have been considering that the service was going to get busy as it progressed, with an extra stop at Crewe?

But what's the sense in refusing valid customers onto the train at it's starting point, in case customers further down the line can't get on? Isn't it tough cheddar for people joining mid-journey, and people who want to get on at the start should be able to do so if there is capacity when they wish to join?

Was a bit bizarre tbh, though for me I was happy I had no baggage and didn't lose the plot like one other chap... Just trying to better understand how things work on the railways for future.
 
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Schnellzug

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I've heard that the Health & Safety executive actually roll their eyes in despair every time some jobsworth uses "it's all health and safety" as an excuse for just being bloody-minded.
 

aformeruser

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If you were Virgin and you had hundreds of passengers at Crewe, many of which are already delayed due to the number of Liverpool-London cancellations and all available crews were working services, what would you do in the situation?

One option for getting passengers out of Glasgow but leaving space available south of Warrington would be to divert Glasgow-London passengers who have just turned up without reservations via Manchester and Stoke but it would be very difficult to implement unless you made them board TPE services at Glasgow.
 

Aictos

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Small point though, it's GLC for Glasgow Central not GLA ;)

Still if there are available seats then they ought to be available if the train leaves Glasgow full and standing then Virgin can easily advise passengers via Twitter, CIS systems, Journey Check to use alternative services where possible.
 

tom1649

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If you were Virgin and you had hundreds of passengers at Crewe, many of which are already delayed due to the number of Liverpool-London cancellations and all available crews were working services, what would you do in the situation?

One option for getting passengers out of Glasgow but leaving space available south of Warrington would be to divert Glasgow-London passengers who have just turned up without reservations via Manchester and Stoke but it would be very difficult to implement unless you made them board TPE services at Glasgow.
Perhaps instead of saying 'it's all health and safety' the member of staff should have explained the situation at Crewe. Perhaps (at least some) passengers would then have understood the situation. I could of course be missing something and situation may well have been explained over the station tannoy.

An alternative would have been to label a couple of coaches as "Passengers for stations to Crewe only". This space then being available to the large numbers joining at Crewe.
 

68000

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How can a TOC refuse you entry on a train if you have a valid ticket and there is space? Is this an archaic clause in the T&Cs?
 

aformeruser

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How can a TOC refuse you entry on a train if you have a valid ticket and there is space? Is this an archaic clause in the T&Cs?
Conversely if the available seats are reserved later on, can the TOC throw off a passenger when the reservation becomes active?
 

Deerfold

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If you were Virgin and you had hundreds of passengers at Crewe, many of which are already delayed due to the number of Liverpool-London cancellations and all available crews were working services, what would you do in the situation?

One option for getting passengers out of Glasgow but leaving space available south of Warrington would be to divert Glasgow-London passengers who have just turned up without reservations via Manchester and Stoke but it would be very difficult to implement unless you made them board TPE services at Glasgow.
Presumably anyone denied access to the train would be entitled to compensation from Virgin as they'd be delayed by an hour.

However presumably the staff processing this would see the train ran to time - I wonder if there could be some *very* irate travellers...
 

Eagle

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How can a TOC refuse you entry on a train if you have a valid ticket and there is space? Is this an archaic clause in the T&Cs?
Byelaw 12(2):
An authorised person may, in an emergency or in other circumstances in which he believes he should act in the interests of safety, issue instructions to any person on the railway. No person shall, without good cause, disobey such instructions.
Basically saying if some member of staff thinks it's unsafe then his/her opinion rules (even if, in this case, it's ill-informed).
 

Wath Yard

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If you were Virgin and you had hundreds of passengers at Crewe, many of which are already delayed due to the number of Liverpool-London cancellations and all available crews were working services, what would you do in the situation?
Certainly not prevent someone getting on at Glasgow when seats are available. It is 3 hours from Glasgow - Crewe and if Crewe was full of passengers the best way of transporting them isn't to keep them on the platform for 3 hours waiting for a train from Glasgow.
 

ushawk

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If trains further South are cancelled, then seats should be kept free to get passengers on down there, especially as they may have already been delayed by say an hour, Virgin isnt going to want to delay them even longer.

Might not of been Crewe as of course you have the North Wales/Manchester services - maybe Wigan or Warrington
 

Wath Yard

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If trains further South are cancelled, then seats should be kept free to get passengers on down there, especially as they may have already been delayed by say an hour, Virgin isnt going to want to delay them even longer.
I would love to see that argument used at Woking at 08:00 on a Monday.

'Sorry Sir, you can't board this train as someone may want to get on at Wimbledon'.
 

tsr

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Byelaw 12(2):


Basically saying if some member of staff thinks it's unsafe then his/her opinion rules (even if, in this case, it's ill-informed).
However, it says that you mustn't disobey the staff "without good cause". How is this defined? Would "good cause" cover the fact that the train wasn't full and the "safety" reasoning was probably misguided? I'm pretty sure if you said "OK, well, I'm getting on anyway" and did so, there wouldn't be reasonable grounds for them to get you off again.
 

ralphchadkirk

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I disagree TSR. The byelaw clearly states that the staff member only has to believe there is a risk to safety - there doesn't have to actually be a risk to safety.


Sent from my iPhone 4 using Tapatalk
 

Optimo

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Would they have let you on were you in possession of a First Class ticket?
Don't know, they said they'd declassified part of First Class to make more room for standard passengers.

Can understand their thinking of leaving room on the train for passengers further down the line I guess, but if that's going to be the case, they shouldn't let all those people without reservations on the bank holiday/Xmas Eve services when people are standing/sitting in vestibule ends from the initial departure station (I'm sure we've all been on those).

Was just some situation I'd never experienced and wondered if this is a new 'thing' for the railways, to ensure everyone has a seat.
 

Wath Yard

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Was just some situation I'd never experienced and wondered if this is a new 'thing' for the railways, to ensure everyone has a seat.
That would mean that no passengers would ever be able to board a service except at the penultimate station just in case a sporting event/concert/rave/whatever ended and there was a mad rush for the train. It would also mean no rush hour trains ever ran into London, so my guess is no it isn't a new 'thing' to ensure everybody gets a seat.

As you were actually on the train, it would be helpful if you could say whether there were hundreds of people waiting to get on at Wigan/Warrington/Crewe, rather than people just suggesting there may have been.
 

Optimo

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As you were actually on the train, it would be helpful if you could say whether there were hundreds of people waiting to get on at Wigan/Warrington/Crewe, rather than people just suggesting there may have been.
Hi no there weren't great swathes of people getting on. By the time we departed Wigan, it looked like most seats in my standard carriage were occupied, though there was no one standing, and no one sitting in vestibule ends that I saw. I looked at Crewe to see if the platform was busy as we pulled in, it wasn't.
 

Eagle

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Hi no there weren't great swathes of people getting on. By the time we departed Wigan, it looked like most seats in my standard carriage were occupied. I looked at Crewe to see if the platform was busy as we pulled in, it wasn't.
Not surprising, as the blockage was long cleared by that point (you would have passed Crewe nonstop at about 17.38).
 

MarkyMarkD

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I'm amazed that anybody thinks it makes sense to run a train carrying empty seats and standing space, for the hundreds of miles between Glasgow and Crewe, on the off-chance that by the time it gets there hours later, there might be lots of passengers waiting!

It's always going to make sense to make full use of the seats between Glasgow and Crewe and the Crewe passengers can take their chances or travel via alternative routes if possible.
 

Eagle

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I'm amazed that anybody thinks it makes sense to run a train carrying empty seats and standing space, for the hundreds of miles between Glasgow and Crewe, on the off-chance that by the time it gets there hours later, there might be lots of passengers waiting!

It's always going to make sense to make full use of the seats between Glasgow and Crewe and the Crewe passengers can take their chances or travel via alternative routes if possible.
The train in question didn't stop at Crewe.
 

aformeruser

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The train in question didn't stop at Crewe.
From what Optimo has said it sounds like the service made an non-timetabled call at Crewe. If the train didn't stop at Crewe it would have gone around the station, not through it so Optimo wouldn't have been able to see how many passengers were waiting.


Incidentally, there's a broken down train at Wigan currently causing disruption to Glasgow-London services.
 

Optimo

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From what Optimo has said it sounds like the service made an non-timetabled call at Crewe. If the train didn't stop at Crewe it would have gone around the station, not through it so Optimo wouldn't have been able to see how many passengers were waiting.


Incidentally, there's a broken down train at Wigan currently causing disruption to Glasgow-London services.
Yes, they announced an unscheduled stop at Crewe to collect passengers due to the distruption. When we stopped at Crewe to collect them, it didn't appear like there were masses of people waiting to get on (at least as far as I saw from my window), or off, for that matter.
 

Eagle

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From what Optimo has said it sounds like the service made an non-timetabled call at Crewe. If the train didn't stop at Crewe it would have gone around the station, not through it so Optimo wouldn't have been able to see how many passengers were waiting.
You sure about that? This service was booked to use the Up Fast Line, which passes right in between platforms 5 and 6, from where you can see pretty much all of the platforms.


EDIT: Although in this case it seems it did stop at Crewe, you're still wrong in saying that fast services always pass around the station (in fact they rarely do, they usually use the UFL and DFL).
 
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