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Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by jeremyjh, 12 May 2019.
So, just to be clear, your definition of emergency is calling 999?
I'm a passenger. I know it. I know it through common sense.
If the passcom was out, I would call 999 in that situation.
Common sense to me says something has gone wrong, it is not right, "See it, say it, sorted" I will say it. How is ignoring the continual "See it, Say it, Sorted, Alert a member of rail staff" announcements common sense? Adhering to them is much more sensible. If a train had an accident because everyone ignored the "See it, say it, sorted" advice, there would be uproar.
The PIS system is not a drivers diagram! You book on, pick up your diagram and work it. You don't work to the PIS. PIS systems are regularly wrong or broken altogether. Drivers diagrams often show slightly different times to the PIS, occasionally show a different calling pattern and different train length to what it actually is. If a driver happens to notice something unusual they might query it but there is absolutely no requirement to look at it or to act on it. You work what it says on the diagram. Even when the PIS is right most people don't read it properly anyway.
As an example, some years ago I was working the last stopper out of London. Every train on that route is usually booked to call at a particular station, however due to engineering work on the station the last two trains on this particular night were not booked to call there. This station was not on the diagram and the arrangements were published in the WON. I announced it three times and still got a passcom and loads of abuse for not stopping there. Sometimes you just can't help people.
Alert a member of staff, not pull the emergency handle.
This has gone round in circles.
Indeed, the passcomm says "Use this to talk to driver"
Which... on DOO services... is the only member of staff on board. I really am seeing circles here. :P
To all those saying train missing a station is not an emergency, what if it missed two stations? Is that an emergency? Three? All of them? Hurtling towards destination station at full speed?
And yet still people say do not report it, do not use common sense, do not "see it, say it"
Sounds like The Taking Of Pelham 123!
Two stations, with no announcement - possibly.
Three or more, ditto - reasonable.
Hurtling towards terminus - definitely, as it indicate a combined failure of DSD, AWS, and TPWS (or perhaps brakes - nasty one at Guildford about 60 years ago is one that sticks in mind!). Same goes for any seriously excessive speed IF you are sure about that.
No, I wouldn't - but I think we have to accept that more people might have watched things like disaster movies than read this forum, and some of them might do that - or pull the alarm....
exactly - and if this forum had similar viewing figures to that then there would be no risk....
If this happened to me, and if the driver were the only member of staff on the train, I'd probably give them about two minutes to make an announcement. If nothing was forthcoming I would attempt to talk to the driver. I'd probably try knocking on the cab door first, but the passcom would be an option of last resort.
Obviously if there was a guard on the train, or even a member of catering staff, I'd try to talk to them first. And you bet I'd be double checking that the train actually was meant to stop there (e.g. asking other passengers) — it'd be super embarrassing if I'd just got the schedule wrong.
As others have pointed out, if a train sails through a station that you're _sure_ it's meant to stop at, who knows where you might end up? I don't have faith that, should the train be bound for a depot or a far away station, the TOC would get me home. I know they _should_, but often they don't. So I would feel that the longer I left it, the more likely my chances of getting stranded somewhere would be.
An open door on a train on which you are travelling would not warrant a 999 call but EMT, at least, appear to class it as an emergency. On their HSTs notices by the doors tell you to operate the alarm immediately if a door is not fully closed. There are multiple on-board staff, but we are told to take immediate (i.e. emergency) action rather than go and find them.
Yet you seem to be saying that, with an open door on a DOO train, we should not be alerting the driver immediately because calling 999 is not appropriate.
I don’t think they’re even remotely saying that.
The poster you are quoting, @221129, doesn't appear to have said anything about open doors.
Open doors was just used by me as an example of something not in itself warranting a 999 call but still warranting the immediate operation of the passcom.
Many years ago I shut the door of an HST coach that was open on departure from a station. It was out in the middle of nowhere and pulling the communication chord would only have delayed the service and got the guard into trouble.
Must have been many years ago. you can't now, as the central locking deadbolt stops it from closing if open.
It doesn't. HSTs have no local door (as discussed on another thread), so the dispatch procedure is to open the local door you want to stay open, press the lock button to lock the others, then close the one you're at.
It is however rather unlikely a HST with CDL would go out with a door fully open.
It was some time ago, prior to CDL.
This was clearly a Driver error. I don't think anyone really cares about it being brought to attention. I think what most people actually take umbrage with is that there is a lot of mis-understanding and lots of conclusions being jumped into, often head first. There is a lot of anger passion on both sides. Take my post about cancelling the train. Professionally that is the right thing to do and I explained my reasoning for it but this doesn't sit well with people so they lash out against it and it causes division in opinions. However, it is my professional response. If a Driver as made an error and hasn't noticed, absolutely 100%, without question or prevarication highlight it in some way. This is a sensible approach :
As long as it wasn't something dangerous, I would probably make my way to the cab or find a Guard etc and make it known. If the Driver missed a stop and there was no brake, no announcement etc then I'd be concerned and make my decision on what to do. Pretty much, when you make a mistake, you know about it.
Why would I notice an inconsistency ? You get your diagram and then work it. My TOC has multiple stopping patterns and diagrams change a fair amount. My job is to work to my diagram. The station is for Passengers not the Driver. It can, and has, led to incident. The station CIS is awful and should not be relied upon (Driver perspective) My job is what is in front of me and everything else is a distraction and can cause more issues. Granted there is a view where we should use our Non Technical Skills but that is a whole different rabbit hole.
Valid use, certainly. But... Trains also have Traction Interlock. I would hope that an open door would trip the interlock and other safety system that should bring the unit to a grinding halt. It would also be traction specific so yes, If you see an open door, yank the Pascomm. That would be an emergency
I think there is a big difference between a train missing its stop and a train hurtling out of control. I will totally accept that it is a fine line and one that some are not prepared to risk. If your belief is genuine that the train is running out of control and the Driver is incapacitated and your about to crash, again, that sounds like an emergency, so pull it.
Why pulling the passcom when you are over-carried or a train fails to call is a poor decision :
The train has already made the error. If you miss the station and make a decision to pull the alarm you are ticking time. The train has already missed the station. You pull the cord etc and the train still needs time to brake; unless it gets overridden. This places your train in the middle of nowhere. What can be done ? The incident has happened and most likely past the point of no return. All that has happened now is the Driver needs to call the box, speak to the passengers, potentially get the line blocked, go back, reset passcom, return to cab, call the box, brake test, call control/manager etc and then after everything, get permission to proceed. The passcom hasn't resolved anything, it just made it worse. Far better to head towards the cab/Guard and when the train gets to the next station. Go talk to the Driver/Guard. They are potentially in the process of reporting it too.
I'm pretty sure that my locals don't say "emergency" either. Only "alarm". I wonder if anyone ranting about it not being an emergency has read the handle text recently... if so, on what class/livery/interior?
Thanks @ComUtoR. Everything you said in your post makes sense to me. Thank you for taking the time to write it up!
The post I quoted seemed to be saying that if something did not warrant dialling 999 it was not an emergency. Open doors was raised by someone else as an example of an emergency which would not warrant dialling 999.
And thankfully a professional driver has now confirmed that an open door is indeed an emergency -
Seconded. Much more helpful than some of the rants earlier.
The problem we keep coming back to though, is how to alert the train staff. Often the passcom is the only immediately obvious way. And has been clarified now, nowhere, on most modern stock, does it say emergency use only. The average passenger doesn’t know it’s simple human error (the error being simple, not the human!) that the train failed to stop & the bombardment of safety announcements means you feel an obligation to report everything that doesn’t seem right. Not calling at your station doesn’t seem right.
If the driver felt that they were unsafe to continue after a passcom then, of course, they must not continue. And with the greater explanation that is now clearer.
The average passenger may conclude a train failing to stop at a booked station is an out of control train. Only those with railway knowledge may realise the myriad of other reasons.
I very much doubt that. Most passengers just swear out loud and then wait till the next station or get angry and pull the passcom. Passengers (the regular ones) are very quick to think the Driver messed up. I am in and out of trains all day, I have been passcomed more times than I can remember and only a handful have been genuine. Trains are pretty safe and I think that most passengers accept that. Passengers really don't think about risks and past incidents. In a recent incident; we had a unit move with the doors open for some considerable distance. Passengers took out their mobiles and filmed it other passengers tweeted it. Imagine the time it took for someone to witness something, decide to tweet/film it, open the camera/twitter and then send it. NOBODY pulled the passcom. Although someone did close the door.
There is a few things that are influencing behaviours. Social media is huge and heavily influences us. It has changed behaviour in such a way that rather than act on something dangerous, we film it. There is a lot of self gratification here and the media doesn't help because every tweet with something posted seems to generate 'can we use this in x news paper etc. There is also little tolerance for anything. When I worked in a shop this was called the watchdog effect. Complain, scream, make a huge scene and you get whatever you want. There is no right/wrong, just kick up a fuss and demand. There is also threats of litigation and reprisals if you don't get what you want. We are also at a point where there is no consequence for bad behaviour. You can pull the passcom because nothing happens to you. There is no consequence. When that results in trains getting cancelled people get angry about it because they think that everything should work as they say it should and it's not their fault and its because of [insert random spurious justification]
From the industry side its just as bad. There is so much that can be done to help or educate people but it constantly fails because there is too much of a disconnect between the industry and it's customers. A lot can be down to history and a lot can be put down to the risk averse nature and fear culture. The industry has no choice in some of the things it does. Passengers want information - Now its become overkill, passengers want capacity - now we get congestion, incidents lead to tightening of safety regulations and it tips to a point where it becomes detrimental. Just as a simple decision to take a train out of service because of a passcom comes about because there is a risk of another incident. The time it takes to deal with anything that goes wrong is because we are stuck following numerous rules. When I first started you could leave your key on, go back and just reset it. Now you have to jump through all kinds of hoops before you even leave the cab :/
This is accurate for both sides. Only those with prior knowledge or are educated in railway working or history tend to understand the myriad of reasons. Sometimes the most educated people are the worst. We are very rigid thinkers, get stuck, and go round in circles. We also tend to justify behaviour based on the most spurious and tenuous or reasons.
Keep it simple. Danger/Emergency/Risk - Passcom
Let's get a few points in order here:
- Sanderstead is not much more than 90 seconds' journey (by train, to be utterly clear) down the line from South Croydon. South Croydon is relatively rarely used by anyone other than local passengers, which does not negate the need for alternative transport from Sanderstead, but does mean most people should at least know roughly where they are. Sanderstead is also not a rural backwater by any stretch of the imagination, although it's not terribly hospitable late at night. (I am a little surprised there were 15 passengers for South Croydon, although Saturday nights are amongst the busiest on that train.)
- An example of a possible solution would have been for GTR Control to call TfL for local ticket acceptance on such buses as might still be running, and for anyone left, deploying taxis to reasonable home addresses. If neither proved satisfactory, attempts could have been made to run a northbound ECS from East Grinstead (if there was one on that night) as a passenger train from Sanderstead to South Croydon, unadvertised to East Croydon, lock out and reinstate the ECS move from there. This takes some co-ordination and will not always be a reasonable solution.
- By the time people realised the train was definitely not stopping at South Croydon, the driver would (in this case) have been very nearly starting to brake for Sanderstead. If the driver had also flown through Sanderstead then I am sure a lot of people would have started pushing alarms, and probably rightly so, but they'd barely have had a chance to stop the train in this case!
- Trains from Victoria which travel to/via Oxted are Class 377s. The passcom alarm on 377s puts the brakes on by default. The driver is allowed to override this between station calls, by means of a foot-operated button, should they deem it better to proceed to a more convenient location to deal with the problem. The override does not always get pushed in time, in which case the train will also stop. The passcom also operates a communications link with the driver and feeds them a CCTV picture of the coach in question (normally). 95% ish of passengers don't realise they can talk to the driver - typically, this means there is no indication of the issue before someone goes and checks who's activated it, and why.
- This train is booked to have an OBS (Onboard Supervisor), who, whilst not a guard, should be trained to stop the train by a variety of means in an emergency. Depending on the visibility of the OBS and the announcements they make, the passengers may feel that dealing with this situation is best left down to them. In this case it seems they were immediately on hand at Sanderstead, which suggests they were visible during the journey and people could easily focus on them. This may have also helped prevent a passcom activation.
- Pulling/pushing a passcom is fine if you think it is an emergency. Even on the railway, "emergency" can be somewhat subjective. We would rather it is pulled than not, should the intention be genuine.