Passengers thanking Drivers

Pacerfan142

On Moderation
Joined
23 Apr 2022
Messages
21
Location
Stockport
How often does a Train Driver get thanked by passengers? Especially at terminals?

My experience is it's rare as hens teeth unlike bus drivers ?

It feels as though many passengers find it odd to thank a train driver ?
Well I would personally thank the driver, but the problem is the driver isn't within public view and we are not greeted by them as we board or alight the train, where as on a bus the driver is within public view and they greet us as we board and alight the bus.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

6Gman

Established Member
Joined
1 May 2012
Messages
7,555
Depends on the traction. I personally try to key off and run away as quickly as possible so I’m not mobbed by crowds of passengers trying to thank me
And press currency of the realm into your palm.

:D
 

_toommm_

Established Member
Joined
8 Jul 2017
Messages
5,117
Location
Yorkshire
I’ll thank the guard always when I get off as the stations I travel at frequently I’ll be passing them when I get off. If I’m at a terminus station like Piccadilly or the bays at Leeds if the driver is there I’ll thank them too. It’s their job of course but I like to be thanked in my job, so I extend that courtesy to the people who allow me to enjoy my hobby.
 
Joined
21 May 2014
Messages
534
I saw this happen for the first time in my probably 25 years of train travel the other day, when I was on a TfW train which arrived at New Street, and the driver opened the door into the vehicle for whatever reason... a queue of Welsh people (travelling together as a group I think) filed past the driver on the way out with a cheerful "Thank you driver!", "Cheers!" etc.

Which was nice.

Up until that point, it's really only something I had ever seen on buses.
 

exbrel

Member
Joined
24 Aug 2018
Messages
77
i always thank the guard when i'm getting off at my local station, as i have to pass them, whereas the driver is in the opposite direction. As for terminal arrivals by the time i get to the front of the train he's well away. I do remember one occasion at Liverpool st. i was trusted by shmbo to take my lad out, and we were waiting for our train, so i took him to the cab of a nearby loco, and the driver saw us standing looking so asked him to climb in, my lad did'nt stop talking about it for ages after. So it works both ways...
 

HantsExile

Member
Joined
22 Jun 2018
Messages
27
My local station is Winchester, and on the up platform the lift and stairs are right by the driver. From around now until mid-autumn the station staff place a bucket of water and a large brush at the platform end so that the driver can emerge and wash squashed insects off his windscreen. This gives the opportunity for at least a "Thanks, driver" (which always seems to be appreciated) and occasionally, if held at a red light, a brief and usually interesting conversation about current railway matters!
 

Pete_uk

Member
Joined
28 Jan 2017
Messages
936
Location
Stroud, Glos
" Thank you so much driver for such a nice journey. I don't know how you manage to keep such a long train balanced on those thin rails!"
 

357

Member
Joined
12 Nov 2018
Messages
476
Do regular passengers recognise Train Drivers?
Yes. In areas where drivers work a small number of shifts in their link and passengers normally get the same train.

I suspect Island Line and similar services also find the same.
 

Domeyhead

Member
Joined
10 Nov 2009
Messages
386
Location
The South
Signal checks or slow running are always a pain for regular users so when a driver (or guard) updates the passengers with what the problem is and how long a delay might be it's greatly appreciated, and I always make a point of thanking them for it. Not sure if it's TOC policy to keep passengers in the loop so it's nice to show appreciation.
 

Gathursty

Established Member
Joined
31 May 2011
Messages
2,356
Location
Wigan
I try to make an effort particularly if I'm going to my usual quiet halts around the country but if I'm not at the front of the train, it's hard for me to wave to the driver as the train has likely started to depart. The guards get a thanks as they are most visible from a passenger perspective.
 

ADIRU

Member
Joined
1 Dec 2016
Messages
7
I always try to thank the crew if possible. In a previous life, I used to stand and say goodbye to passengers disembarking from the aircraft that I was in command of and the majority of people couldn't be bothered to give much more than a grunt...
 

Matey

Member
Joined
18 Oct 2021
Messages
25
Location
Okehampton
I always show my gratitude to the driver ;)
I travelled quite a lot in the days of steam in the 50/60s and always attempted to thank the footplate crew, taking a closer look at the loco, if time allowed. This resulted in an invitation onto the footplate occasionally. Happy days, even at wayside stations there always seemed to be either some activity to watch whilst waiting, or the staff to chat to.

I think back in the day tipping the train driver was a thing. Not sure it wasnt actually a bribe to achieve an early arrival. Think it was mentioned in an accident report.
Back in the day, according to my 1903 GWR timetable, it was forbidden for the company's servants to accept tips/gratuities - on pain of instant dismissal!
 
Last edited:
Joined
25 Aug 2019
Messages
92
Location
Lancaster
Not a thank you to a driver, but an interaction I had with one abroad. I was waiting on a platform at Ettlingen Station, south-west Germany, wearing an American blues festival t-shirt, when a train arrived at the same platform. The driver leaned out of his window, and told me he'd recently come back from a holiday in the USA, and we had a brief conversation about holidaying over there, before he set off, giving me a wave, and with big smiles on both our faces. First time I'd ever spoken to a driver!
 
Joined
8 Oct 2020
Messages
17
Location
Hertfordshire
Between 2017 and 2019 when my usual choice of chariot home from the office was the 1606 KGX-NNG between KGX and SVG, I would travel in coach B at the front of the train so as to alight quickly at SVG to photograph the train (most often hauled by a class 90) and in the process would give a thumbs up to the driver. This usually encouraged the driver to wave back, especially as there seemed to be a handful of regular drivers on this run.

I was a bus driver between 1994 and 2011 in London and the Home Counties and always appreciated an acknowledgement or thanks. Sometimes these would extend to gifts of food and/or drink which were always very welcome on a 5½ hour half shift.
 

unlevel42

Member
Joined
5 May 2011
Messages
507
I always try to acknowledge people who work hard to provide a service.
In Sheffield many of the first year students begin to thank the bus drivers after only a few weeks.
Thanking/acknowledging/smiling etc.is infectious. Do it-you might get an extra biscuit.
Obviously harder with train drivers as they are at the end, but when I pass the cab at the terminus I always make a gesture(polite) even if I can't see them.
By habit I do the same with cars stopped at pedestrian crossings, but only if they have tinted windows. I wonder what they think?
 

Welshman

Established Member
Joined
11 Mar 2010
Messages
2,928
Recently, I had an advance ticket for a Northern service from Manchester Victoria to Halifax, and on arriving at Victoria earlier than I had expected, I asked the guard/conductor of an earlier train if I may board for my journey.
He seemed surprised to even be asked, and welcomed me aboard effusively.
On arrival at Halifax, I thanked him again as I passed him and wished him good day, and he seemed so pleased.
I suppose its a sad indictment of our times that staff meet so often with abuse, that a little friendliness and appreciation seems to make their day.
 

exbrel

Member
Joined
24 Aug 2018
Messages
77
if the strikes go ahead, there wont be any increase in drivers "thank you's"...
 

voyagerdude220

Established Member
Joined
13 Oct 2005
Messages
3,072
Recently, I had an advance ticket for a Northern service from Manchester Victoria to Halifax, and on arriving at Victoria earlier than I had expected, I asked the guard/conductor of an earlier train if I may board for my journey.
He seemed surprised to even be asked, and welcomed me aboard effusively.
On arrival at Halifax, I thanked him again as I passed him and wished him good day, and he seemed so pleased.
I suppose its a sad indictment of our times that staff meet so often with abuse, that a little friendliness and appreciation seems to make their day.
Well said!
Sadly I can 100% empathise with my colleagues you encountered. I'm not train crew, but know from experience how frustrating it can be to receive criticism from passengers when you've followed relevant procedures.
 

Evolution

Member
Joined
29 Jun 2016
Messages
147
Location
Manchester
I’ve been thanked a handful of times, but if you’re coming into this job for the customer gratitude you may be left high and dry. :D
 

LowLevel

Established Member
Joined
26 Oct 2013
Messages
6,229
The drivers should be thanking the passengers. And this is not provocation. It is an opinion
I make a point as a guard whilst standing at my door of saying hello to people boarding with a smile or a greeting, and also saying goodbye/cheers/thanks etc. I think it adds a personal touch. I always say something to every passenger/group when checking tickets too, even if it's just "hello" or "morning!". Some of the drivers do when leaning out of the window or standing in the cab doorway waiting to get out too.

I certainly don't disagree with you if they happen to be around the passengers, but I think it's probably a bit much to expect them to shut the desk down at every station on a suburban run :smile:

As I said earlier - I find it quite charming how many passengers wave goodbye when walking off the platform or shout thanks or similar - it just confirms my theory that the vast majority of people are lovely, even if not everyone has a good day, every day. Being friendly costs nothing.
 
Joined
24 Apr 2020
Messages
171
Location
Wolverhampton
Just before London Midland took over from Central Trains (a loooooong time ago) I remember waiting at Codsall station for a train to Birmingham New Street. As the train came to a standstill I saw that the driver's window was down so I went and asked him about the potential for new trainee conductor and driver jobs. He politely answered and I thanked him for his time. But on reflection, and now better educated in regards to the concentration levels required of the driver, I'm actually embarrassed that I potentially distracted him while performing his job.
 

D6130

Established Member
Joined
12 Jan 2021
Messages
2,920
Location
West Yorkshire/Tuscany
But on reflection, and now better educated in regards to the concentration levels required of the driver, I'm actually embarrassed that I potentially distracted him while performing his job.
TBH, as a retired driver, I doubt that that would have been a major distraction while the train was stationary.
 

rg177

Established Member
Joined
22 Dec 2013
Messages
3,005
Location
Sheffield
Was pleasantly surprised to have my Northern driver this morning jump on and give me a hearty good morning before he disappeared into the cab!
 

Top