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The 2 minute till departure door locking rule.

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Master29

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..If indeed it is a rule as I have never known of it to be enforced yet since it has been in operation. Yet on most timetables it says doors locked 2 minutes before departure. Is it just a guideline then?
 
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Nym

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It's enforced at Euston, but usually with the gates for VT. (And it's 30 seconds for LM that is enforced, not for LOROL that I've seen though.) Who knows for the sleepers...
 

cool110

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It depends on the TOC and the station, generally it's the long distance TOCs at major station and not the local stoppers. At many small stations trains are only booked to stop for 30 seconds, so it can't really be done there. For example Merseyrail close doors 20 seconds early at terminal stations and Liverpool Central (Northern Line only), but other stations are as soon as everyone's on and off.
 

QueensCurve

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..If indeed it is a rule as I have never known of it to be enforced yet since it has been in operation. Yet on most timetables it says doors locked 2 minutes before departure. Is it just a guideline then?

If enforced it makes a mockery of the timetable. If the departure time is xx30, you should be able to board at xx29 3/4.

Failing that the public timetable should record the departure as xx28.
 

Minilad

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I thought the two minute thing was the gates on to the platforms at Euston. Not the train doors themselves. I have never been on a train where the doors have been shut and locked 2 mins before departure
 

furnessvale

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If enforced it makes a mockery of the timetable. If the departure time is xx30, you should be able to board at xx29 3/4.

Failing that the public timetable should record the departure as xx28.

I can just see a trainload of passengers all looking at their watches and tutting loudly as the "railways" NEVER seem able to get a train away on time.

Passengers don't expect to board an aircraft seconds before departure, so why do they expect to do that with a train?
 
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Bletchleyite

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Passengers don't expect to board an aircraft seconds before departure, so why do they expect to do that with a train?

Because trains aren't aircraft and do not operate in the same manner.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I thought the two minute thing was the gates on to the platforms at Euston. Not the train doors themselves. I have never been on a train where the doors have been shut and locked 2 mins before departure

Nor I, it is indeed the gates.

Well, that's a lie, I have, but it was running early, and I later complained to LM about it.
 

D1009

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I believe it is normal practice at Paddington to remove trains from the depauture screens 3 mins before departure. If you know the platform you can still get through the gates though.
 

Antman

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I can just see a trainload of passengers all looking at their watches and tutting loudly as the "railways" NEVER seem able to get a train away on time.

Passengers don't expect to board an aircraft seconds before departure, so why do they expect to do that with a train?

I can't imagine anybody batting an eyelid at the 10.30 leaving at 10.31 and boarding an aircraft really isn't comparable.
 

theblackwatch

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If they locked the doors 2 mins before departure at the large majority of stations, they wouldn't even get opened...
 

DaiGog

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If enforced it makes a mockery of the timetable. If the departure time is xx30, you should be able to board at xx29 3/4.

Failing that the public timetable should record the departure as xx28.

Couldn't agree more. If I go for a 1030 train and arrive at the platform at 1029, I would expect to be able to get on it at 1029 and 50 seconds, not see it pulling out. Shut the doors in my face at 1030 and zero seconds, by all means - but 1030 should mean 1030. If PPM figures are the issue then why not make it 0-5 minutes and 0-10 rather than 0-4 and 0-9......but that's probably a debate for another place.
 

Deepgreen

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I thought the two minute thing was the gates on to the platforms at Euston. Not the train doors themselves. I have never been on a train where the doors have been shut and locked 2 mins before departure

I have, and it's inexcusable.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
If they locked the doors 2 mins before departure at the large majority of stations, they wouldn't even get opened...

I think it may taken as read that this refers to termini.
 

Carntyne

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Couldn't agree more. If I go for a 1030 train and arrive at the platform at 1029, I would expect to be able to get on it at 1029 and 50 seconds, not see it pulling out. Shut the doors in my face at 1030 and zero seconds, by all means - but 1030 should mean 1030. If PPM figures are the issue then why not make it 0-5 minutes and 0-10 rather than 0-4 and 0-9......but that's probably a debate for another place.

It's not a "doors close" time on the timetable, it's when the train departs.
 

Bantamzen

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I can just see a trainload of passengers all looking at their watches and tutting loudly as the "railways" NEVER seem able to get a train away on time.

Passengers don't expect to board an aircraft seconds before departure, so why do they expect to do that with a train?

This x2

Whilst getting a train may be different from catching a plane may be different, the process for being on time is the same. If you constantly rock up for a plane/train with seconds to go, something will go wrong at some point. As a long standing commuter I always give myself at least a few minutes spare to make it to the platform, its common sense. Because who knows, the ticket gate may refuse to read your ticket.the roads you cross on the way to the station may be busier, or there may just be more people to get through on the concourse.

And that's at starting stations, where trains call on route its even more important to give yourself time. For example quite a lot of people arrive at Guiseley each morning with sometimes seconds to spare each day. And some have incorrectly assumed that because the train usually pulls away at 6:48 this is a safe time to land on the platform. A strategy that goes wrong when the train pulls away on time at 6:47 for Leeds.....
 

Haywain

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I believe it is normal practice at Paddington to remove trains from the depauture screens 3 mins before departure. If you know the platform you can still get through the gates though.
It is 2 minutes at King's Cross. And you will be refused boarding 1 minute before departure time once the door closing procedure has been started.
 

Domh245

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Couldn't agree more. If I go for a 1030 train and arrive at the platform at 1029, I would expect to be able to get on it at 1029 and 50 seconds, not see it pulling out. Shut the doors in my face at 1030 and zero seconds, by all means - but 1030 should mean 1030. If PPM figures are the issue then why not make it 0-5 minutes and 0-10 rather than 0-4 and 0-9......but that's probably a debate for another place.

As already stated, the time on the timetable is when the train leaves the station, not when it closes the doors. In the example you've given, 1030 is when the wheels start to roll. Roughly, this is the sort of departure procedure

T-30: Guard/Platform Staff/Driver (if DOO service) check that doors are clear of passengers

T-25: Hustle Alarm sounds & doors start to close

T-15: Passenger doors now closed (maybe quicker on some trains)

T-10: Guard performs one last check to make sure passengers are clear and closes local door

T-5: All doors now closed, signal to start given to driver

T+0: Brakes released, power taken, train starts to roll

T+1: Passenger who turned up at T-10 starts swearing and moaning about 'jobsworths'

Some trains will be quicker, usually DOO services where there isn't a need for guards to close local doors, or trains with more rapid door operation, and by the same measure some will be slower because of the need for long door closing procedures (eg the 10 bells on class 377s or Pendolinos with the need to retract the door step as well)
 

ryan125hst

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Couldn't agree more. If I go for a 1030 train and arrive at the platform at 1029, I would expect to be able to get on it at 1029 and 50 seconds, not see it pulling out. Shut the doors in my face at 1030 and zero seconds, by all means - but 1030 should mean 1030. If PPM figures are the issue then why not make it 0-5 minutes and 0-10 rather than 0-4 and 0-9......but that's probably a debate for another place.

But 10:30 would be the departure time, ie. the time the train starts to move (as indicated by as d in the timetable). Before departure, the guard has to check the signal is off, make sure no one is boarding or alighting, press the door close button then wait for doors to close and lock. They then have to check that the doors are closed and the indicator lights have gone off, the signal is still off and check that no one is dangerously close to the train. They then have to close the local door and give two beats on the buzzer so the driver can release the brakes and take power. All this takes at least 30 seconds so the doors will likely be closed 30 seconds before departure, longer on slam door trains such as HST's.
 

alxndr

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Passengers don't expect to board an aircraft seconds before departure, so why do they expect to do that with a train?

Passengers are more likely to compare a train to a bus, where it is often possible to run up just as it's leaving and still get on if the driver notices and waits for you (happens in rural areas anyway, maybe other places are stricter). They don't grasp that a train can't do that without having a knock on effect.

That and people only thinking about themselves.
 

bb21

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We go through this argument every few weeks. The conclusion is that you cannot please everyone so the industry is stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Can we actually talk about the central topic of this thread, ie. enforcement, please?
 

LateThanNever

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As already stated, the time on the timetable is when the train leaves the station, not when it closes the doors. In the example you've given, 1030 is when the wheels start to roll. Roughly, this is the sort of departure procedure

T-30: Guard/Platform Staff/Driver (if DOO service) check that doors are clear of passengers

T-25: Hustle Alarm sounds & doors start to close

T-15: Passenger doors now closed (maybe quicker on some trains)

T-10: Guard performs one last check to make sure passengers are clear and closes local door

T-5: All doors now closed, signal to start given to driver

T+0: Brakes released, power taken, train starts to roll

T+1: Passenger who turned up at T-10 starts swearing and moaning about 'jobsworths'

Some trains will be quicker, usually DOO services where there isn't a need for guards to close local doors, or trains with more rapid door operation, and by the same measure some will be slower because of the need for long door closing procedures (eg the 10 bells on class 377s or Pendolinos with the need to retract the door step as well)
This, I'm sure, is all very true but as a passenger I really couldn't care what has got to be done before departure.
The departure time is actually about marketing.
And I think the majority of prospective passengers expect to be able to get on a 10.30 departure at 10.29.50.
If that means the train actually departs the platform at 10.30.45 then so be it, and arrange the timetable appropriately.
It is about selling the train service.
Rolling up at 10.28 to find you can't get on the 10.30 is not a great marketing plan. The departure time is the way the traincorp sell their service to prospective passengers and not the preferred method of operation of the railway by the railway staff.
 

furnessvale

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I can't imagine anybody batting an eyelid at the 10.30 leaving at 10.31 and boarding an aircraft really isn't comparable.

It is directly comparable to boarding an aircraft.

Safety dictates that passengers do not try to board whilst the doors are closing.

The only difference is the time required to ensure all persons are clear, close the doors, and get the vehicle moving. (Aircraft about 10 mins, train at my station about 40 secs).
 

Antman

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It is directly comparable to boarding an aircraft.

Safety dictates that passengers do not try to board whilst the doors are closing.

The only difference is the time required to ensure all persons are clear, close the doors, and get the vehicle moving. (Aircraft about 10 mins, train at my station about 40 secs).

You simply advertise the departure time as 10.29 rather than 10.30 and problem solved!
 

exile

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Talking of aircraft - they have a departure time - but also a checkin time, some time before departure. Same with Eurostar and some coach services. I wonder if this is the way forward (that is, as with connection times at junctions, published recommended times to present yourself at the gates).

Back to enforcement - there is certainly no enforcement at Liverpool Lime St other than on VT - there are no gates! In fact it's something of a surprise if a 10:25 train isn't still there at 10:28, owing to trains queuing on the way to Edge Hill.
 

Senex

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You simply advertise the departure time as 10.29 rather than 10.30 and problem solved!
There are two ways of dealing with it. The British way is to say that the train actually starts moving at the advertised departure time, and this means that it has to be absolutely clear to passengers that it's their job to allow enough time for the despatch procedures to take place -- so that if they turn up at 10:29:55 they won't get on because the doors will all be closed. Or you can do it the German way, which is that the doors actually close on 10:30. But this means that the allowance for the despatch procedures has to be included in the first point-to-point time. Both ways work fine, but everyone needs to know (and work to) whichever pattern is being followed.
 

RJ

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Passengers are more likely to compare a train to a bus, where it is often possible to run up just as it's leaving and still get on if the driver notices and waits for you (happens in rural areas anyway, maybe other places are stricter). They don't grasp that a train can't do that without having a knock on effect.

It can and does happen regularly at suburban stations in London. Occasionally I've seen the driver stop just after moving off and release the doors for a running passenger.

As for the buses, it depends on various factors. I used to drive the U4 in West London. Even one 10 second delay for a late passenger would almost guarantee that you'd lose headway and end up being overtaken by the bus behind, thanks to the stop in Hayes Town centre where people never stop arriving to catch the bus. The bigger the gap ahead, the longer you end up at the stop for want of a window big enough to get those front doors shut and get away. On low frequency and night routes I'd wait for every runner.
 
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Master29

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Well, certainly started a topical debate here between aircraft and trains. I never even contemplated aircraft when I started this, just wondered whether the 2 minute locking of doors was either a rule or guideline.
Still, a good debate.
 

al78

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I've always understood it that the train doors are closed about 30 seconds prior to the departure time, or at least I have seen notices at some stations to that effect. If I got to the platform 10 seconds prior to departure I would not be surprised that I couldn't board.
 
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