Train crew stuck in the middle between passengers who are too cold or too hot

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by bionic, 14 May 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. bionic

    bionic Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    8 Nov 2013
    A scenario: passenger approaches member of train crew (who is picking up the unit for the first time) at terminus station and says it's very cold on the train please turn on the heating. Member of train crew agrees and turns heating on (time of day fits in with company instructions for when heating should be on). Passenger thanks member of train crew and train starts it's journey. A few stations down the line the member of train crew is contacted by the signaller and told somebody on Twitter has complained it is too hot on the train and has requested the heating is turned off.

    Member of train crew stuck in the middle between passenger who was too cold and passenger who tweeted they were too hot.

    When member of train crew assessed the heat level on the train they now found it to be quite comfortable.

    Should signallers, drivers and other members of staff really have to be contacted midway through a journey because one person on twitter has claimed it's too hot? Surely each persons idea of a comfortable temperature is different. This member of train crew was a little bit put out that an attempt to make one passenger happy resulted in another becoming unhappy.

    Just wondering if others have had similar experiences and what they think about the whole Twitter thing.
     
  2. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Messages:
    34,896
    Joined:
    6 Jun 2005
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    I'm not sure this is really anything to do with Twitter.

    Surely disagreement between passengers over whether the train should be cooler/warmer have been going on a very long time, and it doesn't matter what medium is used to send the message.

    The train crew would have to use their own judgement, to decide which request to grant.
     
  3. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    15,337
    Joined:
    9 Aug 2009
    Location:
    Llanelli
    I don't think Twitter is really relevant. It's the same as someone making a direct verbal request to the train crew.

    Having said that, I see no reason for the signaller to be involved at all. I'd expect the Twitter response to be 'have a word with the guard' or something very similar.
     
  4. lincolnshire

    lincolnshire Member

    Messages:
    688
    Joined:
    12 Jun 2011
    The person on Twitter might not be even on the train, just acting to wind someone up even.

    If its that hot then should stand up and be counted and ask the guard instead of hiding behind there phone. You can also take your coat or jumper off if your hot or is that too much trouble or did they ask there followers on Twitter what they should do?

    Time people grew up.
     
  5. 3141

    3141 Member

    Messages:
    954
    Joined:
    1 Apr 2012
    Location:
    Overton, Hampshire
    "The signaller" is employed by Network Rail, so why is he passing on a comment made to the train operating company? Or is this the SWT/Network Rail Alliance? In either case I'd prefer a signaller to concentrate on the signalling.

    I think Greenback's suggestion that the response should be "Have a word with the guard" is very practical, though it wouldn't work with DOO. Will this situation be used as an argument that DOO ought not to be extended?

    It's absolutely right that the train crew themselves assess the situation and decide whether to do anything, Changing the heating level because of one passenger's comment via twitter would assume that that passenger is totally reliable on the subject. Maybe it's somebody who's put on too much clothing that day. Maybe the air conditioning in that coach isn't working 100%. Only those on board can judge the situation on the whole train.

    The TOC should pause and think about how it responds to twitter messages. Just because customers can contact a company doesn't mean each contact must be acted upon. If I was hot in a Marks and Spencers store would I contact head office - and would they contact the manager about it?
     
  6. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    15,337
    Joined:
    9 Aug 2009
    Location:
    Llanelli
    On re-reading the original post, I don't think I should have assumed that the member of train crew in question as the guard!
     
  7. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Messages:
    34,896
    Joined:
    6 Jun 2005
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    I'm not sure that comments about people hiding behind their phone are helpful; not everyone is mobile. Not all trains have a visible staff presence in passenger saloons, and even those that are may not have a member of staff in the relevant portion of the train (e.g. 6-car TPE).
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Please let's not have that discussion in this thread, it's been done to death already and never ends well. If the argument is made that there should be a member of staff who is able to adjust the temperature available at all times, then it would be an argument against 6-car trains on TPE, among other things, and that wouldn't go down well and would be counter-productive.

    But perhaps what may be more interesting is if any train crew here were in the position described in the original post, where different passengers gave conflicting requests regarding temperature, and what they did to resolve the situation.

    Though I am sure we had a thread about a window argument recently. Edit: found it! Asked to close window, though it sounds like train crew didn't get involved in that incident.
     
  8. hounddog

    hounddog Member

    Messages:
    267
    Joined:
    4 Mar 2014
    And there in a nutshell is what's wrong with the railway's attitude to its customers. "Not my problem, guv".
     
  9. Llama

    Llama Member

    Messages:
    352
    Joined:
    29 Apr 2014
    If such a request (whether initiated on twitter or whatever) gets as far as a signaller, the response from the signaller would most likely not be publishable.
     
  10. SPADTrap

    SPADTrap Established Member

    Messages:
    1,954
    Joined:
    15 Oct 2012
    I think the request would stop when I couldn't control the heating in my train beyond tripping individual coaches MCBs which fleet don't like unless you're stuck somewhere with the heating on and no other ventilation. Unless it was an emergency I wouldn't expect a call from the signaller to tell me what somebody was tweeting, especially as they should stop me to contact me. We have no control over the heating and ventilation at all like people think.
     
    Last edited: 14 May 2015
  11. Skoodle

    Skoodle Member

    Messages:
    279
    Joined:
    26 Apr 2010
    On our patch, train crew have no control over the heating or aircon whatsoever, requests on twitter are usually ignored. When control need to pass on a message, they usually ask the signaller to contact us. "Please call control when you can".
     
  12. chris11256

    chris11256 Member

    Messages:
    452
    Joined:
    27 Dec 2012
    From my day to day experiences on c2c feedback for air con or hearing normally gets passed to depot staff. I've had one train where the air con was blasting(good as it was a hot day), but at the same time the heating was on! There are occasions when I think feedback is needed, for example if it's 25 degrees outside and the carriage still thinks its necessary to turn the heating on.

    The only time I've ever had twitter feedback passed to directly signaller/driver is when the train I was on went bang(very loudly) and smoke started coming down from pantograph into the carriage.
     
  13. SPADTrap

    SPADTrap Established Member

    Messages:
    1,954
    Joined:
    15 Oct 2012
    For future reference if you see smoke after a bang where the smoke doesn't dissipate pretty quickly or starts filling the carriage don't think about tweeting, tell the driver directly via the 'PASSCOM' (the passenger-driver emergency communication cord) ask questions later! :)
     
    Last edited: 14 May 2015
  14. bionic

    bionic Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    8 Nov 2013
    Maybe I should have clarified that in the above scenario it was a DOO service, I used the term "train crew" in order to make the scenario more generic but with hindsight I think it is relevant.
     
  15. Clip

    Clip Established Member

    Messages:
    8,521
    Joined:
    28 Jun 2010
    I don't see how Twitter would be the problem here as its just a medium to get in contact with customer services. And I see no problem in that.
     
  16. chris11256

    chris11256 Member

    Messages:
    452
    Joined:
    27 Dec 2012
    The smoke didn't linger for long. I think the driver knew fairly quickly as the train was completely dead. No lights(emergency or normal), air con or anything.
    I got an explanation a few weeks later. NR were doing work at East Ham depot and had to turn the power off. However they turned off the power to the up line as my train was passing through, completely blowing the VCU of both units(8 carriage train) . c2c then had to attach another 8 carriage unit and tow it to Shoeburyness, as east ham was out of action. fun eh. :)
     
    Last edited: 14 May 2015
  17. Chrisgr31

    Chrisgr31 Established Member

    Messages:
    1,372
    Joined:
    2 Aug 2011
    I occasionally tweet Southern about the temperature on the Class 171s. Its invariably impractical to contact the guard as the train is packed, but if he passes I will ask him. I also don't tweet until I have confirmed with my fellow passengers that it is very hot or very cold.

    On occasions having tweeted the guard has appeared to investigate and do something about it, but the main reason for tweeting is so the depot can have a look at it.

    However you also have to be specific about where the issue is as it can be possible for one end of a carriage to be roasting whilst the other end is freezing.
     
  18. Llama

    Llama Member

    Messages:
    352
    Joined:
    29 Apr 2014
    Most of the people who man the twitter desks at some TOCs (ie Northern) have a lack of knowledge as to how the train heating works, and what the conductor or driver are able to do even in the unlikely event a message does manage to be passed on to the traincrew. For instance the only way to isolate saloon heaters on 150/153/155/156 traction is to trip a circuit breaker, which then causes issues because the engine's cooling capacity is greatly reduced, potentially causing that engine to revert to idle and reducing traction power. A driver should have the sense not to allow the heat fans to be tripped out if it causes this problem to occur.

    As regards twitter being used in emergencies, not too long ago someone tweeted Northern that there was a person lying on the tracks at a station. The person tweeting in made no mention of having thought to ring the emergency services, and scarily the person on the twitter desk neither suggested this nor asked for more information so that they could take action to arrange for trains to be stopped themselves.
     
    Last edited: 14 May 2015
  19. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

    Messages:
    4,483
    Joined:
    9 May 2011
    Has this ever actually happened out of interest? Have any train crew ever been contacted by the signaller regarding a complaint about the temperature? If be very surprised if a signaller contacted the driver over such matters. They are incredibly careful over contacting the driver over anything not operationally essential.
     
  20. Flamingo

    Flamingo Established Member

    Messages:
    6,817
    Joined:
    26 Apr 2010
    On a HST the guard has very few options. We can switch the AC off and / or suggest passengers find a carriage where the temperature is more to their liking.

    Personally, I don't like switching the ventilation to a carriage off, especially if it is only one person complaining. I will try switching it off and on again, allegedly it works.

    Also, if it is early in the day for the train, it can take an hour or two for the temp to settle down.
     
  21. 455driver

    455driver Veteran Member

    Messages:
    11,332
    Joined:
    10 May 2010
    Nope!
    Cant see the signaller being impressed (if it did ever happen) either.
     
  22. Blamethrower

    Blamethrower Member

    Messages:
    384
    Joined:
    13 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Bedfordshire
    Like the US, train carriages should be kept ice cold at all times.

    If you arrive without a coat, it is hot outside, ergo cold inside is required inside
    If you arrive with a coat, then it is cold outside, therefore you can carry on wearing it inside

    Also, the more people get on, the warmer it gets (hence new aircon for the 700's) so if you warm it up to start with, as soon as people get on, it quickly becomes too hot.

    What would you rather?

    Having to wear a coat?
    Or having lots of stinky sweaty people?
     
  23. SS4

    SS4 Established Member

    Messages:
    8,256
    Joined:
    30 Jan 2011
    Location:
    Birmingham
    My coat and jumper have stayed at home for years and I'm still too hot. What do you suggest?

    Agreed. It'd rather it was set for maximum comfort of the crew who'll inevitably have to spend longer on board
     
  24. 455driver

    455driver Veteran Member

    Messages:
    11,332
    Joined:
    10 May 2010
    See your GP! ;)
     
  25. Llanigraham

    Llanigraham Established Member

    Messages:
    2,826
    Joined:
    23 Mar 2013
    Location:
    Powys
    Aye?
    What has a passenger got to do with a signaller?
    How are we supposed to deal with them, when we have no contact?
     
  26. Sacro

    Sacro Member

    Messages:
    370
    Joined:
    20 Jan 2010
    I've felt unhappy when travelling on one of the new 378s, it was one of the hottest days of the year, (25+ IIRC) but the train had the air con on full blast and it was freezing cold, I almost wished I had a jacket or something as a t-shirt was clearly not enough!
     
  27. TUC

    TUC Established Member

    Messages:
    1,518
    Joined:
    11 Nov 2010
    'Stand up and be counted?'

    Whilst I agree that people should ask directly, you do make it sound like something you expect to be a confrontational experience. whilst is maybe why people resort to Twitter.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Naturism?
     
  28. LowLevel

    LowLevel Established Member

    Messages:
    2,198
    Joined:
    26 Oct 2013
    We've always been briefed that it's OK to trip the saloon fans on the earlier 15x units, but not to trip breakers on 158s as you cause all sorts of problems with engines reverting to idle. Our 153s and 156s spend most of the summer running round with the saloon fans tripped out - we had a specific brief on the matter last summer following problems with the 158 fleet (particularly well meaning types tripping out the 'heat control' breaker.
     
  29. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

    Messages:
    21,248
    Joined:
    1 Feb 2009
    Location:
    UK
    The correct sequence is surely:

    1. Sigh and tut to fellow passengers.
    2. Tweet.
    3. While waiting response, post on Facebook.
    4. Take photos and video. Re-tweet if necessary.
    5. Write to Daily Mail.
    6. Contact your MP.
    7. If time remains, use the passcom.
    8. Come and post about it all on here.

    This should be included on passenger safety notices posted throughout the train.
     
  30. TDK

    TDK Established Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Joined:
    19 Apr 2008
    Location:
    Wrexham
    When the saloon fans are tripped in a class 150/153 this also trips the cab fans and in some cases the cabs are a tad draughty so I reinstate the heating fans for my own comfort.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page