Payment for rail replacement taxis

Drsatan

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Good evening,

Last Saturday, I arrived at Southampton Central to find out the last train of the day to my destination had been cancelled. The station staff put me in a taxi. They wrote what I assume was an IOU to the taxi driver before I got in.

However, I've read stories about passengers awaiting rail replacement taxis at stations for a long time. This is because usually the TOC has an account with only a few taxi firms near the station and none of their cars were available at the time.

Does the way in which taxi drivers are paid for rail replacement journeys vary between TOCs?
 
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vikingdriver

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Good evening,

Last Saturday, I arrived at Southampton Central to find out the last train of the day to my destination had been cancelled. The station staff put me in a taxi. They wrote what I assume was an IOU to the taxi driver before I got in.

However, I've read stories about passengers awaiting rail replacement taxis at stations for a long time. This is because usually the TOC has an account with only a few taxi firms near the station and none of their cars were available at the time.

Does the way in which taxi drivers are paid for rail replacement journeys vary between TOCs?
Ours are booked through a third party so you normally end up with a rank of empty waiting taxis outside the station and a long wait for the third party to source a taxi from elsewhere.

When I first started, we wrote out a chit and took it out to the rank, and off the passenger went pretty much straight away.
 

southern442

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I was on a train a few years back that hit a fallen tree at Hurst Green, and myself, my mum and siblings were the last ones off out of everyone - it took ages for them to find a cab company that would take us back to where we had come from (the distance was a little on the far end I would suspect). Perhaps that is also a factor?

Incidentally it was quite an interesting wait, we chatted with the driver and guard (who even gave us his packet of crisps), and by the time our cab arrived, they had turned the power off for the line to allow the tree to be removed, so we walked through the dark train to alight through the cab door, which was quite a cool thing.
 

Gloster

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Not entirely relevant, but... At least twenty years ago there were serious problems on the Bath-Westbury section one evening. I shared a taxi from Bath and listening to the chatter it was clear that, as the driver later confirmed, empty taxis were being sent from Bath to Trowbridge and Westbury, while at the same time empty taxis were being sent from Trowbridge and Westbury to Bath.
 

yorkie

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Not entirely relevant, but... At least twenty years ago there were serious problems on the Bath-Westbury section one evening. I shared a taxi from Bath and listening to the chatter it was clear that, as the driver later confirmed, empty taxis were being sent from Bath to Trowbridge and Westbury, while at the same time empty taxis were being sent from Trowbridge and Westbury to Bath.
This is bonkers yet is entirely consistent with what I would expect from the rail industry.
 

johntea

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A few years ago I had a rather sour incident at Wakefield Westgate as East Coast were heavily delayed in arriving so were in theory supposed to offer a taxi from outside the station, but the drivers refused to take me as apparently they were rather behind in the payments to the taxi company! In the end I just had to jump in one and pay out of my own pocket then moan to EC, who in fairness quickly resolved the issue with a refund of the fare plus some complimentary travel vouchers

It is odd how the experience of a replacement taxi can vary, sometimes the TOC will shove you like sardines in taxis and do a strict trip to the destination station, but if you get a 'personal' taxi the driver often seems happy enough to take you wherever you want!
 

Llandudno

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A good few years ago I had a business meeting in Great Yarmouth on an icy cold February day.

I was returning to Chesterfield and my EMR train from Norwich to Nottingham was delayed by about 15 minutes and missed the then, last train to Chesterfield, despite the guard on my train phoning ahead to see if they would hold the last Chesterfield train.

On arrival at Nottingham the station manager, suggested I catch a train to Derby and wait just short of two hours at Derby for the late night London train to Chesterfield. As you can imagine I was not best pleased, I said to the station manager than the amount of delay repay I could claim would probably cover the cost of the taxi. The manager was still not convinced, I then asked what would happen if I was a single lady travelling home, would you expect het to wait at Derby station for nearly 2 hours at 1am in the morning?
The Manager thought about it and said I would have booked her a taxi, then the manager realised what she had just told me and said I will get you a taxi!

A taxi duly arrived after about 15 minutes, even though there were numerous hackney cabs in the station. I probably need up getting home about an hour late and didn’t bother to claim delay repay in the end!
 

riceuten

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The worst I ever saw of this was at Huntingdon once where the lines were down towards London and nothing was moving. There was a GNER train in the platform which had disgorged a couple of hundred passengers.

WAGN passengers - of which I was one - were offered a taxi to their destination
GNER passengers had to wait an hour for a fleet of buses sourced from Peterborough.
 

Taunton

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This is bonkers yet is entirely consistent with what I would expect from the rail industry.
Back in the days of loose-coupled freights it was a regular blunder to have trainloads of empty wagons, of the same type, sent in opposite directions and pass each other. It got its own name, "cross haulage of empties".
 

DarloRich

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Good evening,

Last Saturday, I arrived at Southampton Central to find out the last train of the day to my destination had been cancelled. The station staff put me in a taxi. They wrote what I assume was an IOU to the taxi driver before I got in.

However, I've read stories about passengers awaiting rail replacement taxis at stations for a long time. This is because usually the TOC has an account with only a few taxi firms near the station and none of their cars were available at the time.

Does the way in which taxi drivers are paid for rail replacement journeys vary between TOCs?

I have paid for them myself several times and claimed the cost back later!
 

Steddenm

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A couple of years ago there had been a fatality on GWR affecting services to South Wales. I was travelling to Fishguard Harbour to connect with a Stena ferry to Rosslaire Europort and I would have missed the connection at Neath.

The guard on the train contacted their control and gave them my mobile number. A few minutes later i got a call from GWR in Swindon and they told me to alight there and a member of GWR staff would meet me.

At Swindon a member of staff from Control did indeed meet me and they said they had ordered me a taxi to take me from Swindon through to Fishguard Harbour.

He then escorted me to the upstairs car park level and there was the taxi. He gave the driver a chit of some sort and off we went down the M4 towards West Wales. I made the ferry with 15 minutes to spare. Stena were advised I was on my way and they kept the check in open for as long as they could.

The following day GWR control called me and asked me if I'd made the ferry and asked me to send a copy of my ticket to them. I did and they refunded the entire ticket (including ferry - it wasn't a SailRail) back to me and sent me a RTV as a gesture of goodwill.

The taxi driver was also a very friendly guy who even stopped at M4 services for me.
 

Taunton

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Does anyone ever tip the drivers of the rail replacement taxis, as they might for a normal taxi trip, especially late at night etc?

This might influence how readily they turn out for such jobs.
 

Llandudno

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Does anyone ever tip the drivers of the rail replacement taxis, as they might for a normal taxi trip, especially late at night etc?

This might influence how readily they turn out for such jobs.
Depends where they drop me off?

At the station no, at a pub or home then yes!
 
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In 2010 we went on holiday to Hoy and booked tickets from Newcastle to Thurso.
On the outward journey we were delayed at Prestonpans by problems with a North Berwick train. So we arrived at Waverley 3mins after the last Inverness train that connected with a Thurso train where we would spend the night.
Being peak summer Saturday others from England were in the same situation going on the Kyle line. Althrough those going to Shetland via the Aberdeen night ferry could get a later train., did they?
All was arranged at Waverley after contact with York for taxi's. Interesting journey to Inverness via Fife and a change at Perth.
At Inverness taxi's were ready. Fortunately ours did not have to go via Lairg, but did go to Wick first. At Thurso I saw the cabbie had £234 on his clock before returning to Inverness!!
With such cost, would York Control ever agree to delay the Waverley- Inverness train by 10mins when there are a considerable number of passengers?
 

Haywain

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would York Control ever agree to delay the Waverley- Inverness train
Delaying a Scotrail train is not something that York Control would have any say in. But it is never the simple decision that it might appear - holding that one train could ultimately cause significant knock on delays elsewhere as trains lose their booked paths, and that could cause significant costs to be incurred, negating those saved by holding the train to start with.
 

tiptoptaff

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This is bonkers yet is entirely consistent with what I would expect from the rail industry.
I don't think that's anything to do with the rail industry. They'll have just told the taxi provider they need x amount of taxis in a given location, it's down to their dispatch office to organise that, not the railway control centre
 

Right Away

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Although it may seem illogical sending taxis a long distance for work, the delay in receiving payment (up to 4 weeks if at the start of the accounting period) often means that only a handful of taxi companies are in a position to accept railway account work. The larger companies with fleets of vehicles are in a better position to take on work with deferred payment compared to the smaller independent operators who may be nearer but unable to take the financial hit whilst waiting for the payment to clear. Cash in hand fares compared to a wait for railway work payment can see the smaller local companies declining such work.
 
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Caleb2010

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When the disabled toilet was out of order on a classic hst at Inverness one day last year I was put in a taxi - all the way to Edinburgh- the taxi meter at Waverley said £293.00!

ScotRail staff in Inverness were quite insistent that I be conveyed all the way to Edinburgh, though it would have been cheaper to take me to a station well before to connect with a train that had a working accessible toilet!

Aside to this, I am unable to use the bridge at Aviemore and the walking route isn’t suitable for my chair so a taxi is provided literally to take me from platform 1 to platform 2, where the car park is! despite the taxi rank at Aviemore having a stream of cabs, one comes from Inverness to make the 3 minute transfer from one side of the station to the other!
 

Dai Corner

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When the disabled toilet was out of order on a classic hst at Inverness one day last year I was put in a taxi - all the way to Edinburgh- the taxi meter at Waverley said £293.00!

ScotRail staff in Inverness were quite insistent that I be conveyed all the way to Edinburgh, though it would have been cheaper to take me to a station well before to connect with a train that had a working accessible toilet!
I hope the taxi driver knew where all the disabled toilets along your route were.

Aside to this, I am unable to use the bridge at Aviemore and the walking route isn’t suitable for my chair so a taxi is provided literally to take me from platform 1 to platform 2, where the car park is! despite the taxi rank at Aviemore having a stream of cabs, one comes from Inverness to make the 3 minute transfer from one side of the station to the other!
There was a similar arrangement at Newport after the new Platform 4 was opened until step-free access was completed a few months later. I don't think the taxis had any dead mileage though.
 

DorkingMain

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In 2010 we went on holiday to Hoy and booked tickets from Newcastle to Thurso.
On the outward journey we were delayed at Prestonpans by problems with a North Berwick train. So we arrived at Waverley 3mins after the last Inverness train that connected with a Thurso train where we would spend the night.
Being peak summer Saturday others from England were in the same situation going on the Kyle line. Althrough those going to Shetland via the Aberdeen night ferry could get a later train., did they?
All was arranged at Waverley after contact with York for taxi's. Interesting journey to Inverness via Fife and a change at Perth.
At Inverness taxi's were ready. Fortunately ours did not have to go via Lairg, but did go to Wick first. At Thurso I saw the cabbie had £234 on his clock before returning to Inverness!!
With such cost, would York Control ever agree to delay the Waverley- Inverness train by 10mins when there are a considerable number of passengers?
Attributed delay minutes are worth several thousand each. A £290 taxi is a drop in the ocean.

Same reason that TOC control are often keen not to hold trains for connections and just put people in taxis.
 
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SussexLad

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I've had a few taxis on train operators. One time I did it myself and XC refused to refund the fare. Fortunately I had split it with other passengers so birminggam to Surrey only cost £90. It was a missed last connection / cancelled train that I was on.

Other times when traveling with my girlfriend weve had rail replacement taxis due to wheelchair accessibility issues. Most notably guildford to redhill very recently.
 

Bensonby

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A couple of years ago there had been a fatality on GWR affecting services to South Wales. I was travelling to Fishguard Harbour to connect with a Stena ferry to Rosslaire Europort and I would have missed the connection at Neath.

The guard on the train contacted their control and gave them my mobile number. A few minutes later i got a call from GWR in Swindon and they told me to alight there and a member of GWR staff would meet me.

At Swindon a member of staff from Control did indeed meet me and they said they had ordered me a taxi to take me from Swindon through to Fishguard Harbour.

He then escorted me to the upstairs car park level and there was the taxi. He gave the driver a chit of some sort and off we went down the M4 towards West Wales. I made the ferry with 15 minutes to spare. Stena were advised I was on my way and they kept the check in open for as long as they could.

The following day GWR control called me and asked me if I'd made the ferry and asked me to send a copy of my ticket to them. I did and they refunded the entire ticket (including ferry - it wasn't a SailRail) back to me and sent me a RTV as a gesture of goodwill.

The taxi driver was also a very friendly guy who even stopped at M4 services for me.
That’s great customer service. Things invariably go wrong sometimes and I always think it the mark of a company is how they respond once something goes wrong.
 

Mojo

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I don't think that's anything to do with the rail industry. They'll have just told the taxi provider they need x amount of taxis in a given location, it's down to their dispatch office to organise that, not the railway control centre
The inconsistency is that some Tocs/locations will allow their staff (or at least a senior member of staff on duty) to issue a chitty to the customer which allows them to take any waiting taxi from the rank outside the station to the destination listed on the form; the taxi driver then writing the price on the form and submitting it to the Toc (or their agent) for reimbursement. Whereas other Tocs/locations will insist that their control room organise taxis, which may or may not arrive within a reasonable timeframe and may potentially be travelling a long distance to get to the customer.
 

biko

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Last year on holiday, I travelled from London to Aviemore with the last connection of the day (the 15:00 I believe it was), but due to problems in Leeds, the incoming train was late so our train left London already 30 minutes late and we missed the connecting train in Edinburgh. Around Berwick, I went to the train manager and he added me to a list of multiple passengers who would miss a connection and called some staff in Edinburgh. He clearly explained where to go on the station and arriving there, staff was welcoming us and explaining we would need to wait there for some time and they would notify us when the taxi was ready. About 10 minutes later, we were brought to a taxi rank where a few taxis were waiting and because nobody else was heading that far, we got our own taxi. The driver brought us to our actual destination instead of the station and we did even arrive earlier than we would have by train!

I presume the staff was arranging the payment when we were waiting in the lounge. It was quite a hefty sum, if I recall correctly about £250, which was just as expensive as all tickets for my whole roundtrip through the UK!
 

SynthD

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The inconsistency is that some Tocs/locations will allow their staff (or at least a senior member of staff on duty) to issue a chitty to the customer which allows them to take any waiting taxi from the rank outside the station to the destination listed on the form; the taxi driver then writing the price on the form and submitting it to the Toc (or their agent) for reimbursement. Whereas other Tocs/locations will insist that their control room organise taxis, which may or may not arrive within a reasonable timeframe and may potentially be travelling a long distance to get to the customer.
Do you know which TOCs are more helpful for this, or what's the right way for a customer to ask for that chitty?
 

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