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Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by jeremyjh, 12 May 2019.
May I ask why, if a passenger, in all good faith, has alerted you?
How it it a 'negative attitude' ?
If you just had an operational incident and then get passcommed on top of that, you potentially are not in a fit state to continue. If, like the passenger believes, you are unwell, fatigued or wasn't concentrating, then it becomes an issue of not being safe to continue. The best option in that situation is to not continue.
If anything, the passenger alerting you to something you may not have been aware of, highlights the issue further and reinforces the potential risk of continuing.
or to contact a member of staff immediately. Operating the "passcomm" seems a good way of contacting a member of staff - indeed the very term "passcomm" suggests a communication device for use by passengers rather than an emergency stop alarm.
I don't think you will find it labelled passcomm on board - any more than its predecessor was labelled "communication cord." Maybe that's why the words Emergency Alarm or similar appear?
I think they're just labelled 'Alarm'. Not even sure if there's any reference to improper use anymore, probably to discourage people from not using them if someone's trapped, and the fact they don't actually disable the train if activated these days
On south London's rail network their are plenty of people who think nothing of holding doors, pulling egresses, walking around on the tracks, surfing on trains, doing graffiti, doing drugs, smoking, using seats as toilets, robbing people, playing loud music, bunking their fare, lobbing concrete through train windows, verbally and physically abusing staff and fellow passengers and generally being a complete antisocial nuisance. With this in mind, maybe we shouldn't be too hard on those who would happily pull a passcom for a fail to call!
Would passengers know on which trains the passcom can be overridden? They certainly can't be overridden on all traction types. It couldn't be overridden on 319s. I speak from experience of having one pulled in the rear unit of an 8 car and having to get the adjacent line blocked during rush hour to go back and reset it. Its also possible that on units where it can be overridden, the driver may not override it within the allotted time for one reason or another.
I'm beginning to wonder what the point of a passcom is. If it is urgent, does pulling the alarm (not passcom) stop the train? If you pull the passcom, are you expecting to speak directly with the driver, who is probably too busy concentrating on driving to be able to respond immediately. So does the driver stop, and then talk to the passenger. Or does pulling the passcom just light up a warning light on the driver's desk, and then the driver has to find out who and why the passcom was pulled?
To me, the term 'passcom' implies that you are able to speak directly with the driver, but is this the case?
Drawing parallels between the Eschede disaster and a failure to stop is very OTT (over the top) and just wrong.
From what I have seen on this thread, the railway staff say "don't pull the passcom in this situation", and some passengers say the opposite. In this instance, I see no reason not to listen to what the staff say.
On all Rolling Stock I’m aware of, it sounds an alarm in the cab that must be acknowledged; and causes an automatic full service brake application. The latter can be overridden by the driver (usually only for a short period of time) to prevent the train being stopped somewhere unsafe - Tunnel, Viaduct, Neutral Section, etc. Once the train has stopped it cannot again restart until it has been reset locally, usually with a carriage key on the emergency alarm unit that has been activated.
“Passcomm” is a colloquialism that appears to have woven its way into general terminology; and with it festered a misunderstanding as to how they work. Unless I’m mistaken every example I can think of is labelled “Emergency Alarm” to Joe Public.
While I do not want to discourage the general “see it, say it” mantra which is ultimately a good thing; there are people here who have positively said they would use it in these situations. As I said earlier I cannot condone such behaviour; as well-meant as it may be, it’s not appropriate use of the emergency alarm. It isn’t an emergency, and is only going to exasperate the situation. No one is in immediate danger through a fail to call; so there is no emergency. Speak to staff at the next stop the train does make; or contact customer services; or speak to the Guard/OBS if there is one. Please don’t misuse the emergency alarm in this way.
Trying to see things from both sides here.
Staff want to discourage passcom use and the driver from making announcements because it goes against best operational practice. But like it or not, it's only a matter of time after a fail to stop before people will pull the alarm or start knocking on the cab door.
Now nobody should be knocking on the cab door when the train is moving, but a lay person can't really be criticised for attempting to alert the driver that something is wrong via the emergency alarm if they are aware the train failed to call at their scheduled stop without warning. Passengers in DOO areas know there is nobody else to speak to on the train - how are they supposed to know where the train is stopping next? For all they know, in the dead of night it could be going on a different line and carting them dozens of miles away from where they intended to get off. The railways would like them to sit tight and wait until the train next stops, but let's face it, with each passing second the chances of that happening diminishes. It's impossible to force passengers to behave in a certain way, but plans can be devised to deal with what they are likely to actually do.
Passengers are people who have free will and autonomy - communication and decisive action play their part in influencing their behaviour. Until that is accepted and properly accounted for in procdures, we may well see avoidable alarm activations and complete loss of control of situations after surprisingly long periods of compliance like the Lewisham area egress incidents.
I don't believe we do. The general consensus is that if you believe it is an EMERGENCY and if there is IMMEDIATE DANGER. Then pull it. 100% every time, without hesitation. Both incidents linked showed that there was a clear and present danger. What is very apparent is that people will pull it for the most nonsensical reason. Many times it gets pulled or pressed by accident.
Resetting them takes time and more so with DOO. Anything from a quick 10 minutes to an excruciating 30 minutes. They will often result in the train getting cancelled, stopped short or stops skipped etc. They are very detrimental.
Someone knocked on my cab door yesterday. They asked what the next stop was. The PIS was fully functional and scrolling above their head. I get it I really do and I fully accept human behaviour but you need to ask yourself some days; are people really using their heads :/
When a Driver has an incident of any kind or when something happens to the unit etc. Passcoms just make the situation worse. It becomes another situation to deal with and another system you need to reset.
Just looking at the Alarm on a Voyager as I type
A red sign by the handle says:
Pull this handle
Speak to driver
Below that is a panel with a green button or light (I’m not going to push it to test!) and a keyhole
It has speaker grill, a green light labelled Please wait and a yellow light labelled Speak to driver
Although the alarm handle is only at one side of the train, there is the lower panel at both sides
You seem to lack imagination then
Some members of staff on here feel a driver sailing through a stop is not an emergency, and the driver should not be alerted. If the driver made a genuine error, and afterall most of them are human (!), it is fair enough. If tehre is a problem though, I think that is an emergency. There is no way to know though.
The PIS can often appear to be functioning, but wrong. Sometimes the guard makes an announcement to say it's wrong, sometimes they don't. I have no idea whether guards can hear it from the cab... or the driver if DOO. Sometimes they repeat the automated announcement almost word for word, immediately after it, which can be annoying.
I've had other passengers asking me if the next station is X, where X is the end of a branch line and they got on the train at the origin, and all the platform signs and PIS and guard announcements have been correct. I say "yes, it is the next stop (and also the last stop so you can't miss it)", then 10 minutes later, they ask me the same question again even though the train hasn't stopped moving since they first asked...
Context. "failure to stop [at a station]". I also think "failure to stop" is railway speak for missing a station, but I could be wrong.
Sandilands was caused by going too fast round a bend, not because the driver didn't stop at Lloyd Park.
It wasn't a parallel, but more the case of the fact that we try to put people off pulling the passcom with fines, threats etc causing honest people not to pull it when there really is a danger, and are completely ignored by drunk people and idiots who pull it for a laugh, or those who can't tell the difference between it and the bog flush.
On a DOO train where one cannot simply speak to the guard, in my view it should be encouraged to use it if we believe something may be wrong with the train, driver or a passenger (or their misconduct causing serious issues for others) in any form.
That wasn't what was said at all. (See clarifications from @ComUtoR .)
My understanding was that pulling the emergency handle is thick in a non-emergency situation. Not stopping at a station is not an emergency. Thus, don't pull the emergency handle if your train doesn't stop at a station.
On a bus, what do you do if you want to know something about the running of the service? You ask the driver (though admittedly once the vehicle has stopped). So if he's a regular bus user and not a regular train user, the difference may genuinely not be understood.
And my point is that that causes people who are well-behaved to have a VERY high threshold of what constitutes an emergency, which itself poses a danger.
I think staff don't like the idea that passengers are bringing attention to driver errors. Even if the driver's diagram was wrong, they should have noticed an inconsistency between their diagram and the PIS on the station
And as is common in the South East (that a train runs fast between two points or doesn't rather than skip stopping), perhaps they're going to miss the next few stations by accident as well? If alerted, that problem can be resolved.
No. It causes people not to pull it for trivial reasons.
I can sense a circle being completed.
I think we just fundamentally differ on whether missing a scheduled stop is a trivial reason or not. I don't think it is at all (on a DOO service where this is the only way to speak to a member of staff), and the attitude that it isn't (coupled with the unacceptable approach that started this thread in the first place) shows the railway's typical approach to customer service to a tee.
Missing a stop isn't trivial, but it isn't an emergency. As I have said many times.
Yes, the way GTR handled this case was unacceptable.
How does a passenger know this?
Would you dial 999 because a train missed your stop? If no, then it's not an emergency.
I wouldn't dial 999 if a door was open on a train but nobody had fallen out either (let's say a sliding door so not out of gauge). However, that absolutely is a valid use of the passcom.