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Should trains wait if there is a platform alteration?

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by George109, 6 Jun 2019.

  1. robert7111a

    robert7111a Established Member

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    My bold emphasis

    So clearly in your mind, the passengers don't matter one bit. Stuff em' you say <(<(

    Waiting for the next service in 30mins can be a big deal for some people especially when they've nearly killed themselves running up the stairs/escalators due to last-minute platform changes

    And then what if the next service is cancelled!?
     
  2. Mitchell Hurd

    Mitchell Hurd Member

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    Depending on the frequency / how busy the route affected is then yes, trains should wait. It's not the passengers fault of platform alterations, plus there might be physically disabled people requiring that train / others needing that service for more personal reasons such as funerals or last chances to see loved ones in hospital.
     
  3. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    Is that in the rules? And is it coded into the automatic claim handler? In my experience, GTR seem to auto-reject claims where the rules give them the slightest possibility to do so and arguing on appeal is a timewasting lottery.
     
  4. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    Very much location dependent. With DOO there is also a consideration that there is no dispatcher at all. I drive 700s through London Bridge and you don't always see a member of platform staff. By the time they realized it was probably too late to act.

    Exactly. I am very much concerned of the practicalities of getting in contact with the Driver if they are DOO.

    An ideal solution would be for the Signaller to call the Driver and ask them to wait but then you go down the path of who is liable for the resulting delay.
     
  5. bunnahabhain

    bunnahabhain Established Member

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    The only time I tend to hold a train is when I'm at the platform waiting to relieve the inbound crew and there is an alteration, then I walk with the last person to ensure everybody who would have boarded is able to board.
     
  6. al78

    al78 Established Member

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    The bit you responded too about waiting 30 minutes not being as bad as ... is merely an example of the fallacy of relative privation. It comes down to implying no-one should complain about anything if it is not the worst that could happen. It is popular amongst those who know they are in the wrong, but don't want to accept it.
     
  7. option

    option Member

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    Is it really a delay, or just good customer service?
    As in, will that service then be delayed enough at all the next stops to be recordable as a delay?
     
  8. 221129

    221129 Established Member

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    Yes probably.
     
  9. matt_world2004

    matt_world2004 Established Member

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    I was at Hayes and Harlington once when a train going towards Paddington pulled into the fast platform 2 unexpectedly. A load of passengers crossed the tracks by jumping off the platform to get to the platform 2 and 3 Island. By not waiting it is encouraging passengers to engage in risky behaviour to make their train.

    If the passengers know and understand its going to wait. They are more likely to move towards the train in an safe and orderly fashion
     
  10. sw15

    sw15 Member

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    Don’t get me (re)started on this topic. A few months ago, I posted a new thread on this issue that was soon deleted because it was less than complimentary to the railways. I invite a representative from SW trains to try to change platforms at Barnes when there is a last minute platform change. At Barnes station changing platforms either westbound or eastbound involves exiting the station, crossing a footbridge and re-entering the station via a side entrance (or vice-versa). I’m only a “leisure traveller” from this station i.e. I use it a few times per week rather than being a regular 5-day-a-week commuter, but in my experience there is a last-minute platform change announced about 50% of the time I use the station. Today it was in the opposite direction to my travel so I wasn’t affected but I observed at least 2 people who were too slow to make their intended train in time.

    To be fair to the SW guards they sometimes wait for the stragglers; and there are mitigating circumstances at Barnes i.e. a combination of fast & slow lines and a set of points just west of the station which must make the platform allocation a challenge when everything is not running to schedule. But one of these days there will be an accident on the stairs and I’m sure some a compensation lawyer will be keen to take on the case!
     
  11. LowLevel

    LowLevel Established Member

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    It's the same as people getting stuck behind crossing barriers for me. If I'm aware and I humanly can wait I will do because it's not the passengers fault and I don't really care about delay charges, and never have. I don't go out of my way to accrue them but they'd never be a primary factor in my decision making.

    Just clearing off encourages dangerous actions like people flinging themselves at the train or crossing the line.
     
  12. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    Everything over a minute is recordable as a delay.

    The problem with delays is that they spread. It may appear to be a good idea to hold a train and appear to be good customer service but what if that then causes the service to be cancelled later on ? I had a 3 minute delay this week that ended up getting the serviced cancelled.
     
  13. robert7111a

    robert7111a Established Member

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    I get your point but let's not lose sight of for whom is "the railway" run for?", or perhaps for whom should "the railway" be run for - the shareholders or the passengers?
     
  14. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    How does cancelling a train serve the passengers ? Ultimately the detriment is to them. This has nothing to do with shareholders. How does creating longer and longer delays help the passengers ?

    Should we aim for a train service that runs on time or should we keep delaying trains and keep cancelling trains ? Who is more important. The passengers on the train or the passengers on the platform ? Like DarloRich states. It depends on which passenger you are. What about delaying the train for the passenger but then stating that delays due to passengers are not liable for delay repay ?
     
  15. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    I had that at Barnes last Friday when a Waterloo bound stopper from Richmond was swapped at the last minute, and it isn't the easiest station to get between platforms.

    I also had a last minute platform swap at East Croydon on Saturday morning when a Bedford service was swapped from P3 to P1 at the last minute, with apologises from the platform staff
     
  16. robert7111a

    robert7111a Established Member

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    I didn't say cancelling a train serves passengers... Of course the detriment is to them

    But if a train is switched to a different platform at short notice, at least give the waiting passengers a chance to get on
     
  17. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Exactly.

    In the example given, an every 30 minute service and dozens of passengers at risk of missing it, no doubt it should wait.

    If it was every 5 minutes and only half a dozen passengers affected, then it's excusable for it to depart without them (though still annoying to those affected)
     
  18. Highlandspring

    Highlandspring Established Member

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    When to dispatch trains is nothing to do with the signaller, they have enough safety critical duties to do without getting involved in customer service matters..
     
  19. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    You know I love you guys and gals but...

    Your actions have consequences. A quick call would be nice :)

    But that is what frequently happens. The delay builds and causes knock on effects. People missing connections down the line are also a consequence. Who gets to decide which passengers are affected and who gets sacrificed ?

    In this specific case, the platform alteration was obvious. In others it isn't. How long do you wait ? Not forgetting that you are also impacting other services behind you, delaying other services too.

    How much dwell time should you give at each platform ? Increasing dwell times from an operational perspective just increases journey times. Again, not exactly beneficial to the passenger.

    It really isn't as simple as some want to believe.
     
  20. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    I guess it would get attributed to the cause of the platform change, such as a train broken down or waiting for a relief driver etc.
     
  21. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    But there needs to be a way to do that. When station staff don't dispatch a train, there's very little that can be done. The signaller can stop a train, but I'm sure they wouldn't be willing to do it on a regular basis - only for exceptional circumstances.

    What the industry needs to do is look at how to reduce the impact. For example, having software that can detect a platform change and make the necessary announcements before a train arrives in another berth if the train had already moved onto a different line earlier.

    Perhaps this already happens at some stations/platforms and not others depending on the track layout.

    If not, this is something that should be looked at so people get more of a warning. Give people more time and you solve the problem without needing to stop or hold trains at all.

    I'd also assume that staff have the power to organise taxis for anyone who missed their train in the event of there being a long wait for the next service.
     
  22. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If it were an unauthorised connection, eg. crew/dispatcher waiting for passengers changing platform without prior agreement or permission, it goes to the relevant crew/station team or, in some cases, the operator in general, regardless of the cause of the platform change. It is a new primary cause in itself.

    I broadly agree. I think it is easy to look at the issue in isolation while losing sight of the bigger picture. Each case is different, and should be considered on its own merit. Even if a service is only every 30/60 minutes, if, say there are long single-track sections ahead with intensive services over them, the delays will almost certainly snowball, and very quickly too. Good customer service is not just about those people wanting that service, but also people already onboard and others around the network too. Holding the train so that all customers can make their way onto the train isn't always the answer. Saying that ime provided that the crew are aware of the change, holding a train for an extra 10/20 seconds when people can be seen or heard running down the stairs is mostly unlikely to be an issue except at the height of peak periods in very selected parts of the network.

    Prevention is far more effective where possible. Granted at certain locations it can be a tad tricky, such as Barnes as mentioned upthread due to the proximity of the crossover, but regular offending stations should be fairly well-known. In my opinion at known problem spots, staff should be readily on hand to provide assistance, and be empowered to authorise alternative transport should the result delay be an extended one.
     
  23. big all

    big all On Moderation

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    i am sure its far more difficult now but in general 30 or 40 years ago when i was a driver at redhill there would be lots off coasting a fairly relaxed timetable and a 15-25% gain off sectional timings was often possible with a good unit a good guard keen staff etc
    so waiting say 2 mins for a late connection just meant powering up to perhaps 40-50 seconds longer to a slightly higher say from 50-60mph between stations and a 35-40psi application rather than a 25psi application at the same point for the next few stations
     
    Last edited: 7 Jun 2019
  24. LowLevel

    LowLevel Established Member

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    It would have been much better had the TOCs gone with the add on to the CIS system that worked with route setting rather than the cheaper option of just making a platform alteration announcement automatically only when the train describer steps into the platform berth.
     
  25. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    The point about good customer service being more about the bigger picture rather than the immediate train load of punters is very valid.

    A lot of people, including some railway staff, completely fail to appreciate that many service regulation measures or decisions will have a widespread positive effect even if the immediate effect might be negative. Good control / signalling staff will be thinking about the effect on multiple services, and thinking about how things will pan out over time - not just what’s going on right now at one particular place.

    It’s very frustrating to plan what’s is very much the correct strategy, and then to have one person phone up with an ignorant comment like “what you did has made me late”. The objective of control staff should normally always be to be seeking to get as much as possible back to what the timetable says should be happening, that’s ultimately in the interests of everyone.
     
  26. 185143

    185143 Established Member

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    Agreed.
     
  27. LowLevel

    LowLevel Established Member

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    I can assure you it's also very frustrating to have to try to explain to people that it's really for the best that you missed the train you arrived in good time for because the railway is incapable of providing a proactive rather than reactive customer information system, instead choosing to dispense where possible with the announcers who used to babysit it even if there was a robot doing the talking and failing to take advantage of the time between the route being set and decision made to alter a platform, and the train arriving at the station.

    Good control/signalling staff will be communicating with their colleagues on the ground to make things happen. This is why a large station with depot attached that I work through has an operations supervisor who is constant contact with the signalbox and the depot to ensure things go as smoothly as possible.

    It *can* be better, the railway has chosen not to make it so. Route setting recognition was I believe costed out of Darwin.

    You can make the most stunning regulating moves in the world and it's bugger all use if the train leaves without the people who intended to travel on it as a consequence.
     
  28. BlockBackBobby

    BlockBackBobby Member

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    I don’t know what role you do but if you were a signaller and you delayed trains you’d definitely hear about it.
     
  29. whhistle

    whhistle On Moderation

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    This may work at your station but not all. If the signal is off and there are no customers boarding/alighting, you have to go - especially if the line then crosses on to a fast line.
    The risk of delaying the fast line isn't worth it.
     
  30. maxbarnish

    maxbarnish Member

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    Recently - last minute platform change at Bristol Temple Meads for a GWR service to Penzance - excellently handled. A member of staff went and fetched a passenger needing assistance, wheeled her case himself, went via the lifts - and radioed through to the dispatcher to hold the train until the person had transferred platform, which he did - and this decision had direct effect on the train's chances of getting to stations within the 15 minute delay threshold.
     

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