Solution to the toilets on trains issue

Status
Not open for further replies.

aformeruser

Veteran Member
Joined
23 Jan 2009
Messages
30,637
There's been debate before about which train services need a toilet and which don't. How about the following as a solution:

Any train service under 45 minutes in length does not require a toilet providing:
1. The frequency is at least one train every 15 minutes at off-peak times.
2. The origin, destination station and any interchange station on route have toilets which are open between the first and last train.

Any train service under 30 minutes in length does not require a toilet providing:
1. The frequency is at least one train every 20 minutes at off-peak times.
2. Either the origin or destination station has a toilet plus any interchange station on route. Again toilets must be open from the first to last train.

If the services don't meet the above requirements but do not have a toilet on board or the only toilet on board is out-of-order then, subject to the availability of toilets at station calling points, the train should make an extended toilet call. Some exceptions will apply. For instance, in the case of a Buxton-Manchester service the train doesn't need to make an extended call at Stockport for use of toilets but passengers should be advised that free station toilets are available and that there are very frequent services to Manchester from Stockport, should they wish to alight and use the toilets. Also, where possible station announcements should inform passengers of the unavailability of an on board toilet.
 
Last edited:
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

Joined
13 Apr 2011
Messages
557
Location
Helsby
There's been debate before about which train services need a toilet and which don't. How about the following as a solution:

Any train service under 45 minutes in length does not require a toilet providing:
1. The frequency is at least one train every 15 minutes at off-peak times.
2. The origin, destination station and any interchange station on routes have toilets which are open between the first and last train.

Any train service under 30 minutes in length does not require a toilet providing:
1. The frequency is at least one train every 20 minutes at off-peak times.
2. Either the origin or destination station has a toilet plus any interchange station on route. Again toilets must be open from the first to last train.

If the services don't meet the above requirements but do not have a toilet on board or the only toilet on board is cancelled then, subject to the availability of toilets at station calling points, the train should make an extended toilet call. Some exceptions will apply. For instance, in the case of a Buxton-Manchester service the train doesn't need to make an extended call at Stockport for use of toilets but passengers should be advised that free station toilets are available and that there are very frequent services to Manchester from Stockport, should they wish to alight and use the toilets. Also, where possible station announcements should inform passengers of the unavailability of an on board toilet.

I suppose that is OK if you are travelling from a station with toilet facilities. My local station, Helsby, does not have toilet facilities. So I could potentially face over an hour (with my walk to the station) without access to a loo. Fine if I haven't had my breakfast and coffee before leaving for work.. :D
 

SS4

Established Member
Joined
30 Jan 2011
Messages
8,474
Location
Birmingham
Would a nominal charge work? I admit there would need to be stuff done to fix up said toilets but it's largely worked for stations which are cleaner IMO
 

34D

Established Member
Joined
9 Feb 2011
Messages
6,031
Location
Yorkshire
Can we recap what doesn't have toilets?

From my recollection, no diesel units, and electric classes 313, 314, 315, 455, 456 (toilets removed few years ago), 507 and 508.
 

aformeruser

Veteran Member
Joined
23 Jan 2009
Messages
30,637
Would a nominal charge work? I admit there would need to be stuff done to fix up said toilets but it's largely worked for stations which are cleaner IMO
Honestly I think no. The problem with station toilets is that many other public toilets have closed so non-rail users are using station toilets instead.

People already complain about 30p toilet charges at Network Rail managed stations and those are for refurbished toilets with a high standard of maintenance. Virgin have even been quoted as telling their passengers to not use those toilets as the ones on their trains are free.

Then what happens if someone gets travel sick and has no change on them? They'll be sick all over the train instead of in the toilet.

Can we recap what doesn't have toilets?

From my recollection, no diesel units, and electric classes 313, 314, 315, 455, 456 (toilets removed few years ago), 507 and 508.
The 121s don't have toilets but they are only used on short journeys.

The entire LO fleet doesn't have toilets, including the 172s.

It's the Southern toilet-less trains that people seem to complain about the most.

I've been on numerous 142s and 150s with faulty toilets. Sometimes the toilet's been locked out-of-use, other times it's been in use but there's no water or the door won't lock.
 
Last edited:

Failed Unit

Established Member
Joined
26 Jan 2009
Messages
7,516
Location
Central Belt
It is an interesting discussion, Cockfoster's to Heathrow on the tube has the same problem and to be honest I don't know which tube stations have toilets barrier side (maybe they all do).

On a 313 operated line that I used a lot Welwyn Garden City - Moorgate, it could be a painful ride back after the put even if you took advantage at Kings Cross.

I don't think to be honest there is a good solution, many of the stations between Finsbury Park and Welwyn Garden City are too small / not manned so could not really have toilets and you are not going to dive off at Potters Bar. However the 313's are nearly 40 years old so it has not really caused a major problem.

I think it is the uncertainty that is a problem, like the Welwyn line at weekends where in the past you could have a 317 or 313. Most people can last over 1 hour, but there is a perception issue, if Grimsby - Lincoln had no toilets then it seems to have a worse reaction than Welwyn - London with about the same journey time.
 

aformeruser

Veteran Member
Joined
23 Jan 2009
Messages
30,637
Most people can last over 1 hour, but there is a perception issue, if Grimsby - Lincoln had no toilets then it seems to have a worse reaction than Welwyn - London with about the same journey time.
Grimsby to Lincoln is an hour's journey time with an hourly frequency. Welwyn to London is around half the journey time and double the frequency.
 

jopsuk

Veteran Member
Joined
13 May 2008
Messages
12,399
A lot of the 317s, especially the GA /5s, might as well not have loos- the flush buttons are frequently broken, the cubilces often stink and the taps often don't work. It would be better if they were locked shut, rather than find out one of these things "too late"
 

tsr

Established Member
Joined
15 Nov 2011
Messages
7,393
Location
Between the parallel lines
These are some improvements I can think of:

Within toilets:
- Disinfectant gel dispensers and taps/sinks (some people can't stand disinfectant gel, or need to use water to clean off dirt, but it would be a good backup)
- Effective air fresheners (PHS sell some especially good ones)
- Fewer toilets, but all wheelchair-accessible (larger toilets are more comfortable for all passengers, and not all toilets are generally in use at one time)

At smaller stations:
- Similar toilets to the wheelchair-accessible toilets on trains, with unisex availability - ideally toilets would be available straight from the concourse or platform waiting area, without lobbies for vandals to hide in

At all stations:
- Announcements regarding the availability of wheelchair-accessible and non-accessible toilets on every train - ideally in a similar manner to catering announcements and First Class announcements (perhaps a standard format of visual information on matrix displays such as "Accessible toilets: Yes; Other toilets: No; Catering: Buffet Car; First Class: Coach 1" could be adopted, and audible announcement might, for example, be "Buffet Car catering is available on this train. First Class accommodation is in Coach 1. Toilets are available and are all accessible for wheelchair users.")
- Entry to station toilets with a valid train ticket or permission of staff
 

aformeruser

Veteran Member
Joined
23 Jan 2009
Messages
30,637
I'm with toilets on all trains not only for those of us who enjoy a beer but also for the many people in this world who have medical problems.
There's also infrequent services on rural lines meaning that if a train is delayed or cancelled then even passengers who've only had a small bottle of water to drink and don't have medical problems can have issues. The Hope Valley line is the best example I can think of this without thinking of a line with a practically non-existent service.
 

Failed Unit

Established Member
Joined
26 Jan 2009
Messages
7,516
Location
Central Belt
Grimsby to Lincoln is an hour's journey time with an hourly frequency. Welwyn to London is around half the journey time and double the frequency.
I wish it was an hourly frequency <D In fact a train every 2 hours would be nice!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
The Hope Valley line is the best example I can think of this without thinking of a line with a practically non-existent service.
Grimsby - Lincoln :lol: you have a few >2 hour gaps on this line, such as miss the train around 0700 at Habrough and you have a nice 2.5 hour wait until the next one. But the toilet on the trian wouldn't really help out there.
 

aformeruser

Veteran Member
Joined
23 Jan 2009
Messages
30,637
I wish it was an hourly frequency <D In fact a train every 2 hours would be nice!
I didn't check the full timetable but my point was there are a lot less trains running that service compared to Welwyn to London, which still stands.

Grimsby - Lincoln :lol: you have a few >2 hour gaps on this line,
I mentioned the Hope Valley Line because some of the stations are in the middle of no-where and people not from the area stop at them for a walk in the Peak District.
 

cuccir

Established Member
Joined
18 Nov 2009
Messages
3,360
- Entry to station toilets with a valid train ticket or permission of staff
I don't see the problem with people using toilets at stations if they're not travelling? Are we are really getting so petty that we're not letting people go to the toilet when they need to? Who cares if they haven't paid, I am happy if my ticket costs 50p more so that folk can go to the loo!
 

Mutant Lemming

Established Member
Joined
8 Aug 2011
Messages
3,194
Location
London
When on the EC trains do you prefer the capacious, electrically operated sliding door, access all areas toilet or the smaller cramped open and close it yourself ones ?
 

cuccir

Established Member
Joined
18 Nov 2009
Messages
3,360
When on the EC trains do you prefer the capacious, electrically operated sliding door, access all areas toilet or the smaller cramped open and close it yourself ones ?
Although they look less inviting, the smaller ones are often cleaner - maybe because people aren't given the space to make a mess?
 

Mutant Lemming

Established Member
Joined
8 Aug 2011
Messages
3,194
Location
London
Although they look less inviting, the smaller ones are often cleaner - maybe because people aren't given the space to make a mess?
I think it's partly that (there was a discarded nappy on the floor last time I went to use one of the all singing all dancing ones) but there is also the rigmarole of waiting for the door to open and then waiting for it to close and then remembering to lock it - which you usually have to perform in front of an audience due to the seating layout.
 

34D

Established Member
Joined
9 Feb 2011
Messages
6,031
Location
Yorkshire
The 121s don't have toilets but they are only used on short journeys.

The entire LO fleet doesn't have toilets, including the 172s.

It's the Southern toilet-less trains that people seem to complain about the most.
Yes, I'd forgotten about the capitalstars (southEastern 376s and LO 378s). Apparently the 376s were going to be built with a small toilet, but DDA says either have a disabled toilet or no toilet, and the room couldn't be spared for a big one.
 

yorksrob

Veteran Member
Joined
6 Aug 2009
Messages
24,600
Location
Yorks
I think that when building new trains, designers should bear in mind that units may on occasion stray from their normal route. Added to this, they may eventually move away from their original intended day to day route on a permanent basis, so it really does make sense to include toilet facilities from the start.
 

tsr

Established Member
Joined
15 Nov 2011
Messages
7,393
Location
Between the parallel lines
I don't see the problem with people using toilets at stations if they're not travelling? Are we are really getting so petty that we're not letting people go to the toilet when they need to? Who cares if they haven't paid, I am happy if my ticket costs 50p more so that folk can go to the loo!
It's not so much people who use toilets at stations... it's more about those who abuse them.

I think if you had to purchase a ticket - or even hold a valid platform ticket - or you had to speak to staff, you'd get a lot less vandalism. Users would still make a mess from time to time, though.

Note that I also said that people perhaps could use toilets with staff permission. A similar system used to operate in my nearby Sainsbury's store, where locals knew you could ask a member of staff to use the (surprisingly pleasant) toilet in the warehouse, but you couldn't access a toilet without their assistance. As a result, I never saw a shred of vandalism in the toilet!
 

ryan125hst

Established Member
Joined
2 Jun 2011
Messages
1,144
Location
Retford
It's not so much people who use toilets at stations... it's more about those who abuse them.

I think if you had to purchase a ticket - or even hold a valid platform ticket - or you had to speak to staff, you'd get a lot less vandalism. Users would still make a mess from time to time, though.

Note that I also said that people perhaps could use toilets with staff permission. A similar system used to operate in my nearby Sainsbury's store, where locals knew you could ask a member of staff to use the (surprisingly pleasant) toilet in the warehouse, but you couldn't access a toilet without their assistance. As a result, I never saw a shred of vandalism in the toilet!
On that subject, is it possible to use staff toilets at stations that are staffed but have no public toilets. They must have them surely. Many stations on the Great Northern route have no toilets according to the stations maps on National Rail, and the class 313's that operate to them don't either. If you asked at the ticket office, would they let you use them?
 

142094

Established Member
Joined
7 Nov 2009
Messages
8,789
Location
Newcastle
On that subject, is it possible to use staff toilets at stations that are staffed but have no public toilets. They must have them surely. Many stations on the Great Northern route have no toilets according to the stations maps on National Rail, and the class 313's that operate to them don't either. If you asked at the ticket office, would they let you use them?
Probably not, as they are staff only, and usually in staff-only areas.

The problem with ordering stock without toilets is there is no interoperability if you need to put it on a longer working. I'm sure it would be quite feasible to not have toilets on journeys 15 minutes in duration, but what happens if you need to substitute that stock onto a journey taking an hour?

At the same time, you need to think about franchise changes, and cascades.

I normally find most station toilets to be perfectly acceptable, although a 10p charge is more than enough.
 

PaxVobiscum

Established Member
Joined
4 Feb 2012
Messages
2,382
Location
Glasgow
When on the EC trains do you prefer the capacious, electrically operated sliding door, access all areas toilet or the smaller cramped open and close it yourself ones ?
I feel more confident that all my areas are less likely to be accessed by mistake when I use the "close it yourself ones." :D
 

Greenback

Emeritus Moderator
Joined
9 Aug 2009
Messages
15,370
Location
Llanelli
I think that when building new trains, designers should bear in mind that units may on occasion stray from their normal route. Added to this, they may eventually move away from their original intended day to day route on a permanent basis, so it really does make sense to include toilet facilities from the start.
I agree. Unfortunately, with the expense of adding toilets and the reduction in capacity, I think it something we are more likely to see in suburban areas in the future.

It's not so much people who use toilets at stations... it's more about those who abuse them.
Spot on. The minority spoil it for the majority,as with most things.

I think if you had to purchase a ticket - or even hold a valid platform ticket - or you had to speak to staff, you'd get a lot less vandalism. Users would still make a mess from time to time, though.
Indeed, the very nature of a toilet means that some unpleasantness can be guaranteed!

Note that I also said that people perhaps could use toilets with staff permission. A similar system used to operate in my nearby Sainsbury's store, where locals knew you could ask a member of staff to use the (surprisingly pleasant) toilet in the warehouse, but you couldn't access a toilet without their assistance. As a result, I never saw a shred of vandalism in the toilet!
I think such a system would work. Mind you, I remember a couple of complaints from customers at Reading when they had to come and get the key for the disabled toilet from the ticket office. I agreed that it was a bit of a faff, but when I explained that if the toilet was left open, because of where it was located (out of sight of staff) it would quickly become vandalised and have to be locked out of use, they were much more understanding.
 

aformeruser

Veteran Member
Joined
23 Jan 2009
Messages
30,637
I think that when building new trains, designers should bear in mind that units may on occasion stray from their normal route.
I think however well they design the interior if the train is built for shorter distances it doesn't make it really suitable to run a long distance service. For example, the ATW 150s have interiors similar to the refurbished 156s but that doesn't make them suitable for Manchester to South Wales or South Wales to North Wales services.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top