Passing platform revenue blocks in order to board a train you might otherwise miss

infobleep

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If there is a revenue block on, on a platform, can they make you miss a train just to check your ticket? Espeiclsly if the train you arrived in on is late and the train you wish to catch is about to leave? What if the next train isn't for another 30 minutes?

This didn't happen today but what did occur was even more bizarre if you ask me.

Today a parent and their child did not stop at a ticket block on platform 1, at Guildford Station because they thought they would miss their train, the 8:07 to Waterloo. At the point they arrived it should have already left. A member of staff chased after them and said to the parent that they could see the signal aspect was red and the train wasn't going to depart.

How ludicrous to ask passengers to check signal aspects? Imagine South Western Railway asking passengers to do this at somewhere like Waterloo.

The train the passengers had arrived on, the 8:01 from Havant, is an official connection but was delayed. The minimum connection time at Guildford is 5 minutes. The 8:01 has been delayed every day since the new year and rightly or wrongly the man responded saying they should concentrate on running their trains on time. Clearly its not their job but its not the job of passengers to check signal aspects. The revenue staff did at least get to check the ticket and it was valid.

In the mean time, a train from the Cobham line, that held up our departure, was pulling into platform 3. Ironically I doubt there was any revenue block on that platform and passengers could have just got off the train; joined another train and travelled to another station without barriers, ticketless.

Towards the end of the discussion between the parent and revenue inspector, a load of children rushed onto the train. Clearly also off the 8:01 arrival. They didn't bother checking their tickets but maybe the signal aspect had turned green and the train was about to leave or they felt there was too many of them to check in such a short time.

Now whilst the parent and child could have got an earlier train, in order to make the connection and not have to run, from some stations it would need them to leave almost 30 minutes earlier. Had they missed the 8:07, they would have had an almost 30 minute wait for the next train. If they were going to the Bookham or stations on the Epsom line then the next train wouldn't be until 8:58, as there is no 8:28. That's a long time to wait. At least delay repay would be due, costing SWR more money.

I'm not against revenue blocks but they need to be done sensibly.
 
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Fawkes Cat

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If there is a revenue block on, on a platform, can they make you miss a train just to check your ticket? Espeiclsly if the train you arrived in on is late and the train you wish to catch is about to leave? What if the next train isn't for another 30 minutes?
From first principles, I am inclined to say that
- railways are private property
- it is open to the railway (as the owner / occupier / whatever of that private property) to allow people onto that property or any part of that property at the railway's unfettered discretion, and they have the same unfettered discretion to refuse access
- so if the railway (acting through its officers or servants) wants to stop people accessing a given area of the station (maybe a platform) it's open to the railway to do so (maybe by putting a revenue block in place), and to allow access only if the railway sees fit (maybe because they only let through people with valid tickets).

And it strikes me that the railway's right to restrict access, check tickets and so on is almost certainly in the byelaws anyway.

So, what if a revenue block causes someone to miss a train? Presumably they have the same remedies as anyone else whose journeys have been delayed - which in practical terms means claiming delay repay.
 

CheapAndNerdy

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So, what if a revenue block causes someone to miss a train? Presumably they have the same remedies as anyone else whose journeys have been delayed - which in practical terms means claiming delay repay.
There are added difficulties though:
  • Identifying which organization to claim from. Is it the TOC whose train you missed, or the TOC whose passengers where being checked at the time? Or maybe another organization altogether?
  • Are revenue blocks recorded centrally? When a claim is submitted will the assessor have access to this information so that the refund will be issued in a timely manner?
 

talltim

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I’ve seen people miss trains plenty of times at Chesterfield because of revenue blocks. They are done in the subway between platform 1 and platforms 2/3. People wanting to get to platform 2 or three have to fight their way through a trainload of people bunched up in the subways and stairs.
 

Haywain

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There are added difficulties though:
  • Identifying which organization to claim from. Is it the TOC whose train you missed, or the TOC whose passengers where being checked at the time? Or maybe another organization altogether?
Really? A 30 second ticket is not going to be the cause of a missed connection. Claim from the company who operated the delayed train.
 

SouthStand

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Sounds about right. Why challenge the hoodlums with no intention of paying when you can inconvenience "easy targets" like a parent and child :|
 

WelshBluebird

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Really? A 30 second ticket is not going to be the cause of a missed connection. Claim from the company who operated the delayed train.
I mean I have certainly made a connection by just a few seconds on more than one occasion and I'm sure I'm not the only person. So yes they can be the cause.
 

transmanche

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Really? A 30 second ticket is not going to be the cause of a missed connection.
If a large number of passengers have just alighted from an 8/10/12-car train, that ticket check is going to take a fair bit longer than 30 seconds...
 

kingston

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From first principles, I am inclined to say that
- railways are private property
- it is open to the railway (as the owner / occupier / whatever of that private property) to allow people onto that property or any part of that property at the railway's unfettered discretion, and they have the same unfettered discretion to refuse access
- so if the railway (acting through its officers or servants) wants to stop people accessing a given area of the station (maybe a platform) it's open to the railway to do so (maybe by putting a revenue block in place), and to allow access only if the railway sees fit (maybe because they only let through people with valid tickets).

And it strikes me that the railway's right to restrict access, check tickets and so on is almost certainly in the byelaws anyway.

So, what if a revenue block causes someone to miss a train? Presumably they have the same remedies as anyone else whose journeys have been delayed - which in practical terms means claiming delay repay.
This whole private property notion must be tempered by the fact we enter into a contract to travel and therefore have a right to enter the station and board trains in the fulfilment of that contract.

A passenger with a valid ticket is unfortunately significantly more likely to have problems exercising their rights and obtaining the service paid for than they are being punished by some obscure byelaw, so as the old saying goes it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.
 

sheff1

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From first principles, I am inclined to say that
- railways are private property
- it is open to the railway (as the owner / occupier / whatever of that private property) to allow people onto that property or any part of that property at the railway's unfettered discretion, and they have the same unfettered discretion to refuse access
- so if the railway (acting through its officers or servants) wants to stop people accessing a given area of the station (maybe a platform) it's open to the railway to do so (maybe by putting a revenue block in place), and to allow access only if the railway sees fit (maybe because they only let through people with valid tickets).
That argument, or something very similar, was put forward when EMT were refused permission to install ticket gates at Sheffield some years ago. They then tried manual blocks and an almighty kerfuffle ensued and politicians from both the Labour and then Coalition governments promised funding for a new bridge. No new bridge has materialised and I can't remember the last time there was a revenue block (and one would certainly make the local news). Make of that what you will.
 

infobleep

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So does anyone on here check signal aspects to see if a train is about to depart before boarding a train?

If a train should have left and is on the platform, would this make you more likely to check the signal aspect, before your on the train?

I do check signal aspets but only if I'm on a train that hasn't left, with no reason yet to be given. I wouldn't do it before I was on the train as I'd be thinking I might as well board it and then find out.

However I'm not sure I'd run past a ticket check to board a train. I wouldn't be too happy if a missed a train as a result though. Especially if there are other platforms not receiving ticket checks and trains from the same line I'm using, are arriving on said platforms.

I do appreciate why revenue blocks are needed but I do feel they shouldn't solely focus on the same platform locations every time,

For example I was once at an unmand train station with two exits from an island platform. Revenue staff were at one of the exits but not the other. Anyone wanting to avoid the staff could have just use the unmanned exit. I used it myself as it made sense for the place I was heading too. No one tried to stop me.

I remember a ticket block at Reading on platforms 4A and 4B, prior to the rebuilding works. It was rather chaotic and busy. That's less likely to be the case at Guildford I'd have thought.
 

Meerkat

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I remember a ticket block at Reading on platforms 4A and 4B, prior to the rebuilding works. It was rather chaotic and busy. That's less likely to be the case at Guildford I'd have thought.
Guildford is far too small for the volumes of people trying to get off busy trains!!
 

Failed Unit

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That, of course, would depend on the layout of the station and how the block has been arranged.
Welwyn Garden City can take more than 5 minutes to get past the block when they do them in the peak. Considering the minimum connection is 5 minutes it would cost you a connection. (Although next time you would make sure you did it at Hatfield).
 

[.n]

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That, of course, would depend on the layout of the station and how the block has been arranged.
Brockenhurst is a prime example of a poorly designed blocade, that causes significant delays to customers, and yes I've often seen people missing trains because of this. A little more thought in the design of the blocade would cause fewer problems (and IMO probably catch more people, as the more savvy ones just jump back on the train and on to the next stop!)
 

island

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So does anyone on here check signal aspects to see if a train is about to depart before boarding a train?

If a train should have left and is on the platform, would this make you more likely to check the signal aspect, before your on the train?

I do check signal aspets but only if I'm on a train that hasn't left, with no reason yet to be given. I wouldn't do it before I was on the train as I'd be thinking I might as well board it and then find out.
I will occasionally check for the off indicator if I’m walking alongside a train that is or ought to be leaving momentarily, to know whether I have time to walk further down the platform for a seat.
 

stut

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Welwyn Garden City can take more than 5 minutes to get past the block when they do them in the peak. Considering the minimum connection is 5 minutes it would cost you a connection. (Although next time you would make sure you did it at Hatfield).
Same further up the line at Biggleswade, with a similar issue that the bridge is a right of way (and I've had to argue my way past revenue blocks on the bridge before now).

When half a full-and-standing 12-car 387 disgorges at Biggleswade, it takes long enough with that narrow staircase without ticket checks.
 

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