Station Help Points

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by Starmill, 12 Aug 2019.

  1. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

    18 May 2012
    A recent claim was made by a contributor to the forum regarding station help points:
    Rather than cluttering up that thread, I wonder if anyone would be able to elucidate for me please because I am curious:

    - When did every single station in the country get a help point installed? I would have thought that this would be fairly major news as even some larger stations lacked help points until recently. Can anyone suggest a date?

    - Whom do help points connect to? Are they all now a direct connection to train company customer service or control staff?

    - What experiences do people have with help points giving out dispensation to travel? The one time I've asked for this at a help point, some time ago now, it was flatly refused. When did this change?

    Thank you in advance.
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  3. district

    district Established Member

    4 Aug 2011
    At larger manned stations where I work the help point “Assistance” button goes to the station control room. At smaller stations it may go to a station phone; perhaps a mobile or in a ticket office, or redirect to a bigger station with a station control room. If unanswered it goes to Control.
    The information button goes to the NRE call centre.
  4. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    6 Jun 2005
    My experience of using help points:

    Totnes - I did as the operator instructed in order to continue our journey during disruption, and the XC Train Manager chucked us off the train, stating the operator had no authority. A GWR Guard said the TM was well known in the area for all the wrong reasons. This was a few years ago so hopefully XC have dealt with the individual since then. In hindsight I should have stood my ground.

    Garforth - There was no answer!

    Off the top of my head I can't think of any other occasions when I have attempted to use a help point. So not exactly a great experience.
  5. RJ

    RJ Established Member

    25 Jun 2005
    Rail replacement bus cab
    That does happen sometimes, but really shouldn't. There is no way of knowing if the person(s) who should have been manning the line were otherwise disposed but there should always be an answer.

    I have to check them when I'm lone working and if there is no answer it has to be reported.
  6. py_megapixel

    py_megapixel Member

    5 Nov 2018
    There are also a few help points with buttons labelled "Announce next train" or similar, which reads the next couple of departures in the same somewhat irritating automated voice as most station announcements.

    Where do these connect to? I'm sure someone posted a phone number or something similar for this a while ago, but I can't find it. Or does it just connect to something within the station?
  7. Trainfan2019

    Trainfan2019 Member

    9 Aug 2019
    I hadn't realised there are help points at all stations I use or pass through.

    Does the Peartree intercom fit in this category? I've used this but can't remember seeing a help point there recently.
  8. 181

    181 Member

    12 Feb 2013
    The only occasion that I've used one was at Crianlarich about 20 years ago; it was answered by someone in the Banavie signalling centre who gave a very helpful answer about why my train hadn't turned up and when it was expected to do so. However I've seen reports on these forums of help points that just connect to NRE in India, who tell you what should be happening according to the timetable but have no idea what actually is happening.
  9. Dr Hoo

    Dr Hoo Established Member

    10 Nov 2015
    Hope Valley
    There is no ‘help point’ at Clifton station in Manchester. Not much fun last night when the only northbound train of the day was cancelled with no alternative. No announcment facilities, no indicators either. No bus service on the adjacent road at that time of the evening.

    Nice Transport for Greater Manchester branding on the totem though. But plenty for the Mayor to sort out still.

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