Police eject Passengers off train in Plymouth

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Requeststop

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A friend back in Cornwall mails me about severe overcrowding on the 10:00 Paddington – Penzance service on Friday with police involved in Plymouth ejecting passengers from the train. GWR seemed to have messed up big time and have promised to put on extra services on Monday. Plymouth Herald BBC Devon
1C77 departed 23L from Plymouth and was 34L in Penzance. The following train to Penzance 2C47 departed Plymouth 37L and arrived Penzance 60L. GWR blaming terminating services earlier from Glasgow and Cardiff being overfull. It'll be interesting to see what happens on Monday.
 
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Starmill

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Has anything in particular caused the crowding? A big event? Cancelled trains or reduced capacity? Or merely good weather and Easter Holiday getaways?
 

HarleyDavidson

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Not unusual to be heavily loaded on public holidays.

And if you think it's bad now with HSTs, wait until the AT300s or IEPs start running down there in 5 car formations or whatever they're going to run down there (as it seems to change almost on a weekly basis!).
 

Zoidberg

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This report from the BBC site at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-35903343

About 150 train passengers were told to leave an overcrowded train because of safety concerns.

British Transport Police helped Great Western Railway (GWR) staff with some passengers on the London Paddington to Penzance service who refused to leave at Plymouth.

GWR provided another train to Penzance later on Good Friday and said the service had been busier than usual.

It said it was looking at ways to prevent a similar situation on Monday.

A spokesman from GWR said the 10:00 GMT service was "very busy" when it left London Paddington and it "picked up more passengers" as it travelled towards Penzance.

"Two services arrived at Plymouth ahead of the London Paddington service and terminated there, which resulted in a lot of people waiting to board this train.

"The train manager said the situation was unsafe and asked people standing right by the doors to leave."

He said police assisted staff as some passengers did not want to leave.

GWR said a further six carriages were added to a two carriage train that departed about one hour later and took passengers into Cornwall.

So, how heavily loaded does a service have to be before being considered unsafe? What triggers it from being normally overcrowded to unsafe?
 
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HarleyDavidson

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This report from the BBC site at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-35903343



So, how crowded does a service have to be before being considered unsafe? What triggers it from being normally overcrowded to unsafe?

I know, gawd knows what the TMs would make of some of our services out of Waterloo in the evening, most are full & standing to at least Woking,Guildford or Farnborough.
 

Zoidberg

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I know, gawd knows what the TMs would make of some of our services out of Waterloo in the evening, most are full & standing to at least Woking,Guildford or Farnborough.

Indeed. There is mention of asking those standing right by doors to get off. Standing right by the doors is surely not that unusual.

Really interested to know what triggered the "unsafe" decision.
 

Flying Snail

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This report from the BBC site at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-35903343



So, how heavily loaded does a service have to be before being considered unsafe? What triggers it from being normally overcrowded to unsafe?

The guard has to get to specific vestibules at some westcountry stations to select the correct doors to open, if the train is too full to allow that then it cannot be operated safely.
 

Zoidberg

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The guard has to get to specific vestibules at some westcountry stations to select the correct doors to open, if the train is too full to allow that then it cannot be operated safely.

Thanks. Too much to expect the press to include such detail.
 

70014IronDuke

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The photos on the BBC website are hardly 'shocking' - in fact, the loadings shown would be almost expectable on a bank holiday.

It looks like the real problem is people lying down on the floor in the gangways. This, of course, would make movement through the train difficult for the guard.
 

HarleyDavidson

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So are you going to stand for what could possibly be a 5h 11m journey?

That's the Down Rivi, one of the busiest, most popular & yet fastest trains of the day to Penzance, the best option would be to do what it used to do and that's run non stop PAD-EXD as there's a train to Paignton just 3-4 minutes in front of it and that could then be looped at RDG for 1C77 to pass and it could then follow it.

But that's too simple.
 

70014IronDuke

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So are you going to stand for what could possibly be a 5h 11m journey?
...

but the report said it got bad only after Plymouth (or Exeter, I forget now).

So that is not 5h 11 mins of journey, is it? Nothing like. And if passengers thin out at stations west of Plymouth, as they will do, there will probably be seats available well before Penzance.

I'm not saying it's comfortable, but to read the BBC report, you'd think it was sardines in a tin, unable to breathe stuff. As someone else has commented, such loadings are the daily norm on many ex-SR services.
 

ScouserGirl

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A lot of the trains to the South West can be busy leaving Paddington, just unfortunately everyone wanted to travel at the same time, and I say good on the train manager saying it's not safe as he is responsible for everyone! but it didn't help schools didn't break up until Thursday so everyone travelled on the Friday!
 

Busaholic

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The real problem is that CrossCountry do not regard Penzance to Plymouth as their 'core' market, so leave FGW to take 'their' passengers to either entrain or after detraining at Plymouth. Add to that the Cardiff passengers, who again in Arriva West and Wales days had through services to Penzance, and the general growth in passenger numbers in Cornwall these last few years, especially from the branch lines, and you have a recipe for overcrowding which, I am told by a friend who regularly travels from Plymouth to St Erth in the evening rush hour, occurs most days and results quite often in a TM refusing to take any more passengers at Plymouth.
 

Master29

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Usually passenger number thin out by the time the train reaches Plymouth and the Cornish stations. This is usually true of 1C77 but may be slightly different on other services. This is just simply down to Easter and will be the same at any other bank holiday/ School holiday periods.

I`ve been on train where it has been very difficult if not impossible for a TM to operate safely. It`s often a problem at Plymouth as half the GWR HST`s terminate there and even fewer XC trains go into Cornwall, then you are left with a plethora of people around the platforms in Plymouth waiting to go to Cornwall.. On such days as this why not extend some of these services to PNZ. Busaholic hit`s the problem spot on.
Ironduke. Have you ever travelled on services into Devon and Cornwall during bank holidays. It very likely was as the article says.
 
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Class 170101

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Its not XC's core market. They only run around half a dozen services in total - all in marginal time.
 

PeterC

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I recall BR using some sort of boarding card system to avoid this problem at peak holiday times.
 
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I recall BR using some sort of boarding card system to avoid this problem at peak holiday times.

I remember BR used to run relief trains 10 - 15 minutes earlier than the normal service, at busy times thus removing the crush on platforms & trains during bank holidays in Cornwall.
Also the through holiday trains to / from Newquay gave more services to / from Cornwall Fridays evenings & Saturdays.
The new 5 coach trains on order - where is the logic?
 

Master29

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I remember relief trains to Cornwall around 35 years ago too; about the time the HST was introduced into the West of England..GWR has stated they will double up the 5 car AT300`s at peak times. Whether this included bank holidays remains to be seen.
 
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plymothian

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And here's the catch 22.

People are always complaining that trains are crowded and "dangerous" and "things must be done", yet when an employee decides to act on this, no one wants to get off and it's a 'disgrace'.
 

bramling

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Not unusual to be heavily loaded on public holidays.

And if you think it's bad now with HSTs, wait until the AT300s or IEPs start running down there in 5 car formations or whatever they're going to run down there (as it seems to change almost on a weekly basis!).

Took the words out of my mouth.

How long after these trains are introduced before we get a post on this very forum about along the lines of "passengers unable to board 5-car AT300".

This length of train is not suitable for Cornwall. If they run singly they will be frequently overcrowded, and if they run doubled up then we get wasted space in the form of middle cabs and more accessible toilets than strictly required, etc.

Let's hope they don't appear singly, but I'd place a bet that it will happen, along with inevitable overcrowding. Then we'll read plenty of reasons saying why it's "not possible" to double up.
 

Rapidash

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Eh, not particularly rare to have full and standing on Voyagers out of here toward Bristol, or out of Central in the afternoon on the Metro. The only surprise is people getting booted off.

Whoever thinks travelling around here at the busiest times of the year is going to be pleasant, is going to be surprised.....

The Grockal season has been starting earlier and finishing later for some time now. We used to have about 4 months reprieve, now it's about 2 and a half months.

Don't suppose I could ask visitors not to ram on the trains in the afternoon/evening peak? It's not pleasant for you, or us dopey lot headed home after work!
 

Bishopstone

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And here's the catch 22.

People are always complaining that trains are crowded and "dangerous" and "things must be done", yet when an employee decides to act on this, no one wants to get off and it's a 'disgrace'.

Exactly.

'This train is dangerously overcrowded!' = someone else should get off.

That said, I gather from another forum that a quota of Advance tickets are made available for these Friday evening/Saturday morning Bank Holiday trains to the West Country. As the purpose of Advance tickets is to fill otherwise spare seats, and there manifestly aren't spare seats on these trains, I suggest the Advance quotas be removed. Those who can't/won't pay walk-up fares can spread themselves around quieter trains - eg Friday morning or Saturday afternoon.
 

talltim

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but the report said it got bad only after Plymouth (or Exeter, I forget now).

So that is not 5h 11 mins of journey, is it? Nothing like. And if passengers thin out at stations west of Plymouth, as they will do, there will probably be seats available well before Penzance.

I'm not saying it's comfortable, but to read the BBC report, you'd think it was sardines in a tin, unable to breathe stuff. As someone else has commented, such loadings are the daily norm on many ex-SR services.

You don't know where those people got on. Some of them could have been on since Paddington, other boarding at Plymouth. Hence the 'possibly'
 

Phil.

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I recall BR using some sort of boarding card system to avoid this problem at peak holiday times.

"The number of passengers carried is limited to the seating capacity of the train".
These words used to appear in the header to the summer timetable for Friday afternoon and Saturdays up to about 16.00 for trains departing to the west from Paddington in B.R. days. If you bought a ticket to Exeter and west of you were required to have a seat reservation (free).
 

30907

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"The number of passengers carried is limited to the seating capacity of the train".
These words used to appear in the header to the summer timetable for Friday afternoon and Saturdays up to about 16.00 for trains departing to the west from Paddington in B.R. days. If you bought a ticket to Exeter and west of you were required to have a seat reservation (free).

True, but that only applied from Paddington (and Reading?), and I don't think there were huge numbers boarding at Plymouth off terminating NE-SW services (because there weren't many of those.
 

Phil.

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I know, gawd knows what the TMs would make of some of our services out of Waterloo in the evening, most are full & standing to at least Woking,Guildford or Farnborough.

That's about thirty to forty minutes. Now try standing for five plus hours.
 

Phil.

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True, but that only applied from Paddington (and Reading?), and I don't think there were huge numbers boarding at Plymouth off terminating NE-SW services (because there weren't many of those.

No, because those services in summer and on pre bank holiday Fridays went through to Penzance.
 
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