Times staff bent the rules to help you

Anonymous10

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i would like to see what people think is the funniest if theres a few or only if one time staff bent rules on trains or platforms to help them you may only give the location and toc concerned to protect anonymity.

mine would be being on my way back from a scout camp in full uniform the rrb was late by about 30 mins into Llanelli and even though it made good time to Carmarthen i missed my onwards train when i got on platform and asked staff a helpful person about to finish his shift and leave the station unstaffed took me to the office said your under 16 right i said no he's like say yes i can help u then i said yes and he ordered me a taxi had he not i would have had a long 2 hour wait with no money and little phone charge very thankful to that person whats your story
 
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ChilternTurbo

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Back in the days when Midland Mainline were running Project Rio services from St. Pancras to Manchester Piccadilly, I thought I'd sample an HST on this route. Had a very pleasant trip up to Manchester and all was going well until I turned up at Piccadilly and found that the service I was booked on to return to London didn't appear to exist! No cancellation on the departure boards, just nothing. Anyway, a very, very nice member of staff from Virgin Trains validated my Midland Mainline only ticket for travel on the next Euston service. They couldn't understand why I had a ticket and seat reservation for a non-existent train either!
Another nice bit of customer service from Virgin was when I boarded the wrong departure from Manchester (again!) to Euston. I had an advance purchase ticket and should've been on the service 30 minutes later. I was braced to pay a lot cash for another ticket but I found that honesty was the best policy and I proactively found the train manager who used their discretion and didn't make me pay an eye watering amount for an open single.
 

BrettSy96

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Years ago me and my sister were on the train to Norwich and the guard sold us tickets on the train, both of us were over 15 so I asked for two adult tickets and he said as my sister looked younger he would give her a child ticket as it was cheaper, he sold me an adult ticket even tho my sister is 5 years older than me :lol::'(
 

T-Karmel

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Another nice bit of customer service from Virgin was when I boarded the wrong departure from Manchester (again!) to Euston. I had an advance purchase ticket and should've been on the service 30 minutes later. I was braced to pay a lot cash for another ticket but I found that honesty was the best policy and I proactively found the train manager who used their discretion and didn't make me pay an eye watering amount for an open single.
Had something similar when I was travelling on a staff ticket, so mine was flexible, but my friend had an Advance and I wanted to ask TM if they let us travel on the nonstop Crewe to London instead of waiting 2 hrs for the booked train (our plans got cancelled so we wanted to come back earlier) but regardless me trying to look out for them to see them on the platform before we get on, I only saw them when they were dispatching the train, so I quickly made decision to risk it and get on it. Walked straight to them to the very end of the train and luckliy for us they agreed for my friend to travel :lol:
 

Doomotron

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The distance between Deal and Walmer is very short and serves the same town, so often the guards don't mind if we go an extra stop to have a shorter walk home.
 

D365

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Years ago me and my sister were on the train to Norwich and the guard sold us tickets on the train, both of us were over 15 so I asked for two adult tickets and he said as my sister looked younger he would give her a child ticket as it was cheaper, he sold me an adult ticket even tho my sister is 5 years older than me :lol::'(
Definitely not something I'd want to risk these days!
 

Anonymous10

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Definitely not something I'd want to risk these days!
i mean i got kids fairs a few times but only when in my scout uniform and necker theres something about it which makes people want to help me on my way faster well was now I'm a leader not so sadly
 

robbeech

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The distance between Deal and Walmer is very short and serves the same town, so often the guards don't mind if we go an extra stop to have a shorter walk home.
A significant number of tickets are the same price to either.
 

johntea

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I've had many staff 'turn a blind eye' over the years, I suspect many of them have a sixth sense by now with a passenger having made an honest mistake vs. a passenger just trying it on!

Shame I've also had a small minority of staff not 'playing by the rules' themselves over the years too, insisting I'm wrong and they're right...it sort of ruins your day when you come across one of those but a quick letter to customer relations afterwards usually results in a few gestures of goodwill at least!
 

najaB

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Only thing I can think of was when I couldn't find my Dundee-Preston ticket on the first leg to Haymarket. The conductor basically said "I'm not going to do anything, if you get asked for a ticket on the journey down to Warrington you'll have to buy one from Haymarket". Since I didn't want to run into any trouble, I bought a Haymarket-Preston single at Haymarket.
 

Doomotron

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A significant number of tickets are the same price to either.
I don't think it's that case for Deal and Walmer as the fares between the two stations are surprisingly expensive, but I haven't checked yet.
 

Harpers Tate

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1970's - so long enough ago that specifics won't matter.
Planned journey: Beverley - Seamer (train) then bus to Pickering. Saturday morning.
Train consisted of 2 x 2-car DMUs (with no through connection). I was in the front set.
Train arrived short of Seamer junction and stopped at a danger signal. After a couple of minutes, the guard was (or came into) the front set to enquire of the driver the reason, which was that another train had arrived from the York direction and had failed in the station. So the guard - who I knew, just slightly, from seeing him fairly regularly on this route - informed us. I accompanied him to the guard's compartment and told him that I needed to get that bus connection. I proposed that I might de-train right there as the train was over an accomodation crossing and I could walk to the main road and a bus stop.
He replied to the effect that he couldn't possibly allow me to do that (of course), but then told me has was going to the other set to inform those passengers. He exited the train via the inward-opening door on the left down to the track. And he left the inward opening door wide open.
So, of course, I did exactly as I had proposed. Pretty sure he knew I would do precisely that.
 

py_megapixel

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I sometimes travel with my bicycle, and if I do so, gateline staff will often open the ticket gate with their pass without me asking, as it's a faff to have to stick a ticket into the slot whilst also holding a bike (and I'm very grateful for it). Thing is they often don't actually ask to see my ticket, which seems to defeat the purpose of the barriers somewhat doesn't it!
 

robbeech

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I don't think it's that case for Deal and Walmer as the fares between the two stations are surprisingly expensive, but I haven't checked yet.
Don’t worry, I have, which I how I came up with my reply.
Anything that isn’t a few stops away appears to be the same.
 

HSP 2

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Me and my long time mate Kev had had a day out around Liverpool trying to get around the sheds and docks (this was in about the 1980s) and decided to go for a pint or three, we made a mess of the times from Liverpool to Ormskirk to Preston and had an hour to kill. So we went to the pub. Got to Preston to find that we had missed the last train. The next train home was at about 12:45 on the Sunday, so I got set up to do an overnighter Kev just wanted to get some kip. Roundabout 01:30 I spotted two Barrow crew and had a word with them about what had happened and what they were working, so me being me I asked if we could get a lift home?
The reply was in the positive as long as we were awake (fare), when we got to the train we got the T&C that we had to unload the newspapers! small price to pay to get home at about 05:00 rather than about 15:00. Can't remember the units that were involved (105?) but one of them was green.
 

Dai Corner

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Not bending the rules, but certainly doing something they didn't have to. I was the only passenger waiting for a midday train at Bronwydd Arms on the Gwili Railway a few years ago. I told the train crew I would be happy to wait for the next one but they insisted on running the round trip just for me. I hope my fare at least covered the cost of the diesel fuel!
 

Mogz

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I’m not going to say which year as I don’t want to get the driver in question into trouble, but just before Christmas (within the last ten years) I was making my way home from the work Christmas party and was waiting for the last connecting train back home, which was going to be about an hour and a half.

There was already a train in the platform, which turned out not to be my train but an ECS move back to the depot local to my home station.

The driver sidled up to me and asked where I was going and I told him. He said he was going to the depot as an empty stock move and if I didn’t mind travelling in the dark, he would pretend he hadn’t seen me if I slipped aboard.

Given how cold it was, I took up his kind offer. I travelled in pitch darkness, which was quite exciting and rather cosy. He stopped the train briefly at the station and I hopped off. I had been expecting to walk back from the depot, but this must have been easier for hto get away with.

I was truly amazed that this level of human kindness was still possible in the 21st century where anything remotely human and pragmatic seems to have been monitored and proceduralised (is that a word?) out of existence.

On the journey I half expected some sort of ghostly encounter of the sort that can be encountered in early 20th century short stories, set in dimly lit non-corridor compartments. A Turbostar, though warm, didn’t have quite the same ambiance, however!

As a 30-something I was delighted that this sort of thing could still happen as no doubt it did in earlier times.
 

Bletchleyite

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1970's - so long enough ago that specifics won't matter.
Planned journey: Beverley - Seamer (train) then bus to Pickering. Saturday morning.
Train consisted of 2 x 2-car DMUs (with no through connection). I was in the front set.
Train arrived short of Seamer junction and stopped at a danger signal. After a couple of minutes, the guard was (or came into) the front set to enquire of the driver the reason, which was that another train had arrived from the York direction and had failed in the station. So the guard - who I knew, just slightly, from seeing him fairly regularly on this route - informed us. I accompanied him to the guard's compartment and told him that I needed to get that bus connection. I proposed that I might de-train right there as the train was over an accomodation crossing and I could walk to the main road and a bus stop.
He replied to the effect that he couldn't possibly allow me to do that (of course), but then told me has was going to the other set to inform those passengers. He exited the train via the inward-opening door on the left down to the track. And he left the inward opening door wide open.
So, of course, I did exactly as I had proposed. Pretty sure he knew I would do precisely that.

When I was a kid (early 90s) the Merseyrail unit I was on broke down just short of Ormskirk on the "school run". Obviously we decided to stay put and miss first lesson (though that might have been different had I needed the loo), but the guard was actively letting people out of the crew door to jump the fence. I reckon maybe 10 people did?

You still get that on London buses in traffic congestion. "Sorry, I'm not allowed to let you off other than at the stop, but there's not a lot I can do about it if you use the emergency button".
 

Bletchleyite

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As a 30-something I was delighted that this sort of thing could still happen as no doubt it did in earlier times.

I think the difference with "earlier times" is that if someone was caught doing that sort of thing it would have been a light ticking off, whereas now it could well be the sack. Though I don't doubt that that sort of "flexibility" is and was shown more in rural areas where it might not be seen than urban areas.

FWIW I have had something slightly similar on the WHR(C) a while ago when it hadn't quite reached full length. I was doing that and the FfR, and had told the guard about it, who said on return to the depot "stay on while we shunt the train in, keep your head down in case anyone sees, then I'll give you a lift to Porthmadog as it's on my way home" - and he did!

Internationally I've been allowed to ride the City Hall Loop on the NY Subway, had to ask I think 3 guards before one let me. I'm not sure if that's officially allowed or not but it was interesting! I've also done the Kennington loop though this was just by "keeping my head down" rather than asking, and I don't think they are overly bothered about it as I believe it's passenger certified.
 

Bletchleyite

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Only thing I can think of was when I couldn't find my Dundee-Preston ticket on the first leg to Haymarket. The conductor basically said "I'm not going to do anything, if you get asked for a ticket on the journey down to Warrington you'll have to buy one from Haymarket". Since I didn't want to run into any trouble, I bought a Haymarket-Preston single at Haymarket.

More likely with ticketing I suppose, as it's far harder to get in trouble for it.

Got let through the barrier without a ticket when I spotted a Class 101 working one of its last runs at Manc Picc with only 2 minutes to departure. The guard couldn't sell a ticket either so I didn't take the mick and bought one at Marple.

Years ago (90s) one particular guard used to sell Standard Day Singles/Returns to the first stop after 0930 then Cheap Day Singles/Returns after that on the Southport line on the train that crossed the peak/off peak split.
 

syorksdeano

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Today some staff have bent over backwards to help me get home from Scotland.

With Scotrail on strike, LNER having their issues and the hassle I had last week, I got to the Scottish station via 3 buses to then get a coach to Carlisle, which a 4 year old kid decided to throw up just before we hit the motorway resulting in a 2 hour stink fest. The coach driver had no problem letting me on the coach early, and Northern no problem letting me go early on an advance ticket.

Just a shame we ended up getting stuck from Leeds because of some ****holes and we had to wait for the BTP, otherwise I would have got home early.

On the other hand, without the help allowing me to set off early, it would have probably been a taxi from Leeds or a late arrival at my final station.

I've not posted which trains as I don't want to get anyone into trouble.
 

najaB

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Years ago (90s) one particular guard used to sell Standard Day Singles/Returns to the first stop after 0930 then Cheap Day Singles/Returns after that on the Southport line on the train that crossed the peak/off peak split.
Not really breaking the rules, as such, but I always find it interesting that the ticket office staff in Dundee automatically sell split tickets for journeys to Edinburgh or Glasgow without you having to ask.
 

Bletchleyite

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Not really breaking the rules, as such, but I always find it interesting that the ticket office staff in Dundee automatically sell split tickets for journeys to Edinburgh or Glasgow without you having to ask.

I recall Chorley booking office used to have a (clearly unofficial) sign up stating that the best value season ticket option for Manchester was a point to point to Blackrod (?) and a GM Traincard.
 

Doomotron

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Don’t worry, I have, which I how I came up with my reply.
Anything that isn’t a few stops away appears to be the same.
Interesting, but it doesn't explain how ridiculous the pricing between the two stations is. Oh well, I don't think many people actually pay for that journey!
 
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About five years ago I was visiting family in the Wigan area.
For several days in a row, I turned up at the booking office at Hindley around 09:30 and bought some kind of Ranger or Rover from the same ticket seller.

On the fourth or fifth day, I arrived at the ticket window on cue:
Ticket seller: "Hello mate. Where're you going today?"
Me: "It's an easy day today. Return to Hebden Bridge, please."
Ticket seller: "Bear with me, I'll see if I can save you a bit of money on that."

He then proceeded, paper & pencil in hand, to interrogate the system to work out the best combination of splits, breaking off every now and then to spit out Day Returns to Manchester or Bolton for the normal punters who were turning up.
After a good few minutes of work, he sold me three tickets to get me to Hebden Bridge and back.

I can't remember the exact saving but it was worth having, easily paid for an extra pint over lunch in HBD and his effort was much appreciated (I suppose he wasn't technically bending any rules, but I doubt his bosses at Northern would have appreciated it).
 

Anonymous10

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About five years ago I was visiting family in the Wigan area.
For several days in a row, I turned up at the booking office at Hindley around 09:30 and bought some kind of Ranger or Rover from the same ticket seller.

On the fourth or fifth day, I arrived at the ticket window on cue:
Ticket seller: "Hello mate. Where're you going today?"
Me: "It's an easy day today. Return to Hebden Bridge, please."
Ticket seller: "Bear with me, I'll see if I can save you a bit of money on that."

He then proceeded, paper & pencil in hand, to interrogate the system to work out the best combination of splits, breaking off every now and then to spit out Day Returns to Manchester or Bolton for the normal punters who were turning up.
After a good few minutes of work, he sold me three tickets to get me to Hebden Bridge and back.

I can't remember the exact saving but it was worth having, easily paid for an extra pint over lunch in HBD and his effort was much appreciated (I suppose he wasn't technically bending any rules, but I doubt his bosses at Northern would have appreciated it).
love train crew like that even with my short journey to work they r looking for the best way for me to not pay through the nose
 

Bletchleyite

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love train crew like that even with my short journey to work they r looking for the best way for me to not pay through the nose

To be honest it isn't much different to supermarket staff pointing out where a product you've only picked up one of is on BOGOF, or where a larger pack of the same product is cheaper.
 

MotCO

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Not quite the same as some of the other examples, but nonetheless good customer service.

Many years ago I was travelling to New Malden on a Waterloo to Hampton Court train. As soon as I alighted, I realised I had left my coat in the overhead rack. I spoke to the ticket collector, she phoned Hampton Court, arranged for my coat to be put on the next train, and within half an hour I was reunited with my coat.

(It was probably easier than the guard having to register it, send it off to lost property, lost property then having to log it etc, but nonetheless good cooperation between the staff and good customer service.)
 

xotGD

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When 37509 worked on the Cambrian Coast in 1986 it expired at Caersws. Despite being in the non-platform loop, we were given the OK to go to the pub before the rescue loco arrived, and to let the signalman know when we got back. One pint later, 25211 turned up and took us to Machynlleth.
 

rg177

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I remember being on a North East Rover, aged 16, and on the final day I managed to lose the ticket and my railcard somewhere around Pontefract after jumping off the Leeds-Goole service there. I only noticed after stepping on the following Knottingley service.

The conductor on the Pontefract to Knottingley train essentially refused to help and told me to wait for the Goole to come back. Fair enough I suppose.

Then on the following service (a Knottingley to Leeds), the conductor was baffled to see me on the wrong platform and insisted I jump on for free back to Leeds. He started looking up split tickets for Leeds to Newcastle and managed to find the best one for me before telling me when the ex-Goole would arrive.

The conductor of the ex-Goole then motioned me aboard and told me to have a look around where I'd been sitting while they decoupled the set (it was a 153+158) but alas no luck. She then printed off a piece of blank ticket stock, scrawled her payroll number on and told me to just jump on whatever train I needed to get home.

Thankfully despite the first XC TM telling me I might get turfed off at York by the relieving crew, the relieving TM was lovely and came to check that I was alright after a rather chaotic couple of hours!

My other lost ticket incident was in London in 2017, when I reached Liverpool Street only to find that my ticket home was missing. Thankfully this was shortly after I'd arrived from Newcastle so I darted back to King's Cross, pleaded my case with the ticket office, showed my booking confirmation email and was issued a rather unusual looking emergency replacement ticket. The only time I've shook a ticket office clerk's hand as he was brilliant from start to finish.
 

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