Rail users told to sit on floor 'for safety'

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bengolding

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Clearly a lack of news led to Friday's Evening Standard to report this drabble from an over zealous Virgin TM:

3 errors:
- This would have been the 10:48 from Liverpool toEuston.
- The cable theft did not happen in Cheshire but in Warwickshire.
- Pendolinos are not the fastest trains in the UK!

http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topi...=467053&version=1&template_id=38&parent_id=20

Shocked passengers were told to sit on the floor for their own safety as their train sped from London at up to 125mph (200kph).
The 10.48 Pendolino from Euston to Liverpool was more crowded than usual with 600 passengers on board. Dozens were standing in the aisles when the train manager told them they would be travelling fast to make up for lost time and those standing should sit on the floor for “health and safety reasons”.
Passenger Tony Bethel, 48, said: “They said that the train was diverted, then that it would go the usual route. When they told us to sit on the floor, it was the last straw.”
Pendolinos, the fastest trains in the UK, have a tilting mechanism which allows them to travel around bends on the track without slowing down. Virgin Trains services suffered delays and overcrowding because of the theft of signal cables in the Cheshire area.
A spokesman yesterday denied that passengers had been put in danger. He said: “There was absolutely no safety issue involved. We are investigating reports that an instruction was given for passengers to sit on the floor.”
A senior source said the manager may have been a “little over enthusiastic” with his instruction.
 
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rail-britain

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I remember hearing a similar announcement on a busy service
"In the interests of comfort and safety, passengers without a seat may prefer sitting on the floor between stations"
That was about 2006 just after the Class 390 were introduced on all routes
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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A spokesman yesterday denied that passengers had been put in danger. He said: “There was absolutely no safety issue involved. We are investigating reports that an instruction was given for passengers to sit on the floor.”
A senior source said the manager may have been a “little over enthusiastic” with his instruction.
If, for an example, an accident had occurred, would it be better if those passengers who travel where no seats are available or reserved, to be in a standing position or in a floor-sitting position at that time. Have any tests to that effect ever been carried out in test-centre facilities?
 

MidnightFlyer

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If, for an example, an accident had occurred, would it be better if those passengers who travel where no seats are available or reserved, to be in a standing position or in a floor-sitting position at that time. Have any tests to that effect ever been carried out in test-centre facilities?
I suspect standing up and wedged solid. I believe that is the reason so many survived the Cannon St crash (that's according to the relevant investigations etc).
 
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rail-britain

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If, for an example, an accident had occurred, would it be better if those passengers who travel where no seats are available or reserved, to be in a standing position or in a floor-sitting position at that time. Have any tests to that effect ever been carried out in test-centre facilities?
A lot of factors to take into account (impact, roll, deviation, etc)
I am quite sure tests will have taken place and this will determine the positioning of structures and equipment, as well as the material they are constructed from
With a rapid deceleration I doubt it will make any difference whether standing or sitting
 

rail-britain

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Someone died in a 15mph collision. How? (The report does not elaborate).
From memory didn't this person have a pre-existing medical condition and died as an indirect result
It had been proven had the accident not happened they would still be alive
The report clearly does not state they died from their injuries, so presumably they were alive at the scene and after the accident
 

GB

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Yes, but still, 15mph is quite extraordinary. Someone died in a 15mph collision. How? (The report does not elaborate).
15mph in those days is actually quite alot given the mass involved and poor design and would be more than enough to allow someone to lose balance and hit their head.
 

millemille

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Yes, but still, 15mph is quite extraordinary. Someone died in a 15mph collision. How? (The report does not elaborate).
No anti-climber on the inter-vehicle buffer positions meant that the carriages rode up over each other. The poor structural integrity of the 400's design, their age leading to degradation due to corrosion of the already poor structural strength and the fact that many of the doors were already open meant that the carriages were effectively decapitated as each coach rode up and over the preceding one with the resultant injuries and death to those inside.

http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?q=ca...art=0&ndsp=25&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0&tx=106&ty=76
 

Peter Mugridge

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But there was a virtually identical buffer stop collision at the same sort of speed with the same type of stock at Victoria only a couple of years earlier in which far less damage was done, so there could well have been another factor in play at Cannon Street.

Obvious possibilities include whether the stock was straight on at Victoria or on a slight curve at Cannon Street and whether or not the bodyshells were in poorer condition at Cannon Street ( remembering that by then the EPBs were on the way out ).

Does anyone know the exact reasons for the different consequences?
 

ChrisCooper

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But there was a virtually identical buffer stop collision at the same sort of speed with the same type of stock at Victoria only a couple of years earlier in which far less damage was done, so there could well have been another factor in play at Cannon Street.

Obvious possibilities include whether the stock was straight on at Victoria or on a slight curve at Cannon Street and whether or not the bodyshells were in poorer condition at Cannon Street ( remembering that by then the EPBs were on the way out ).

Does anyone know the exact reasons for the different consequences?
Was it the same stock though? The stock at Cannon Street was SR stock, not BR Mk1s, the latter which brought great improvements in crashworthness and safety in general (something sadly forgotten). Had it been actual Mk1s at Cannon Street the chances are it would have been much less serious, infact Mk1s have been involved in low speed buffer stop collisions before and since that have not been fatal.

One problem with any collision though is that humans can be very fragile. A bang to the head or chest can easily be fatal, particularly if combined with underlying conditions. Just a fall from standing and hitting a hard surface can kill. Hitting something "sharp" just makes things worse.
 

exile

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15mph is the speed one would attain when falling from 8 feet up a ladder. Could easily kill you.
 

TUC

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There's a more fundamental point here. Just what is it in a member of train staff's attitude that makes them think its OK to tell adults to sit on the floor?
 

ralphchadkirk

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There's a more fundamental point here. Just what is it in a member of train staff's attitude that makes them think its OK to tell adults to sit on the floor?
Probably 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.
If the TM truly believed that it was safer for people to sit on the floor rather than stand, then anyone who disobeys such an instruction is in breach of bylaws. Of course "good cause" could be taken to mean that someone can disobey a instruction which is plainly silly, but I doubt that would be the interpretation taken.
 

TUC

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Probably byelaw 12(2):

If the TM truly believed that it was safer for people to sit on the floor rather than stand, then anyone who disobeys such an instruction is in breach of bylaws. Of course "good cause" could be taken to mean that someone can disobey a instruction which is plainly silly, but I doubt that would be the interpretation taken.
But to work in reality that still has to be based on reasonable judgement by the train staff member. Most train staff will have seen plenty of crowded trains. If no one else has asked passengers to sit on the floor in other crowded trains. common sense should cause the staff member in this case to know it isn't necessary.
 

Hydro

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Not all trains tilt, however. This may have been what the TM took into consideration when making the (possibly overzealous) announcement.
 

bluenoxid

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There's a more fundamental point here. Just what is it in a member of train staff's attitude that makes them think its OK to tell adults to sit on the floor?
People say the stupidest of things with good intentions. The road to hell is paved with them.
 

bluenoxid

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But you assume that train staff have a modicm of common sense.
Do I? Not wanting to slate any staff in another industry, this has come from somewhere and the logic is there.

Intelligence and common sense do not equal the same thing.
 

Schnellzug

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So what was the reasoning for this? "We're going to go faster than authorised round the curves, so hold on to your hats!!"? perhaps Management ought to have taken a slightly harder look than they did, if that was actually the case.
 

asylumxl

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I imagine the train was just going to run to linespeed, as I would assume it would usually run slower with a good amount of padding in the timetable to allow this.

I don't think it's all that stupid. Commuters are generally stupid and obnoxious. Half of them think they are at the peak of physical health, when in reality they run for the train bright red, huffing and puffing, drenched in sweat. They have no balance and fall all over the place when the train goes over the slightest bump or when the train rounds a bend. I fear for myself when they take the lid off their morning coffee...
 
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