Unaccompanied minors

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VauxhallandI

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I wasn't sure where to start this thread so apologies if it is not in the correct section.

I have a friend (the father) whose 12 year old daughter is moving to Elgin from Billericay with her Mother.

He was talking of the logistical difficulties in having her down to visit.

I said I thought there was an unaccompanied minors service on the train however I can't find a record of it, am I getting mixed up with airlines?

I see the Caledonian sleeper goes to Inverness or VIrgin East Coast with a change at Dundee during the daytime. I'm not sure how comfortable I would be putting her on a night time train, or a daytime one especially as it has a change without some sort of assistance.
 
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6Gman

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My first unaccompanied rail journey was (I think) at age 12.

But it wasn't North of Scotland to Essex!
 

Gathursty

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to Elgin from Billericay

You could say that even a one-stop journey can have it's dangers for such a young person but Elgin to Billericay includes a cross-London exchange which is quite an experience for an adult!

You do get different levels of maturity in children but I'd say definitely be accompanied. :)
 

Martin66

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Could her mother take her to Aberdeen or Inverness to pick up VECT to Kings Cross & Dad meet her at Kings Cross? No changes required.
 
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Islineclear3_1

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Could her mother take her to Aberdeen or Inverness to pick up VECT to Kings Cross & Dad meet her at Kings Cross?

Talk about a family splitting up to move to the opposite end of the country!

Martin66's idea seems good, perhaps inform the Train Manager(s) to periodically keep an eye on her. Dad then meets her at KGX and takes her out in London (or Southend) for the day ...

And ensure the child has a fully charged mobile so that mum and dad can stay in contact
 

heart-of-wessex

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My first unaccompanied rail journey was (I think) at age 12.

But it wasn't North of Scotland to Essex!

Yes there was a time when me and my school friends were free to go anywhere, and we regularly did Melksham to or Trowbridge to Bath or Swindon and was aged between 12 and 15, and that's not many years ago, I'm talking 1998-2003
 

Martin66

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Talk about a family splitting up to move to the opposite end of the country!

Martin66's idea seems good, perhaps inform the Train Manager(s) to periodically keep an eye on her. Dad then meets her at KGX and takes her out in London (or Southend) for the day ...

And ensure the child has a fully charged mobile so that mum and dad can stay in contact

Good advice robert7111a and book her into quiet coach as that contains Train Managers Office.
 

Clip

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Was doing scarborough to Newcastle when I was 9 - not much as a distance but ernough when youre that age and no problems at all.

Once on the train Im guessing theres not much chance of anything coming to happen but other ideas above would settle a parents mind I would imagine.
 

LowLevel

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Talk about a family splitting up to move to the opposite end of the country!

Martin66's idea seems good, perhaps inform the Train Manager(s) to periodically keep an eye on her. Dad then meets her at KGX and takes her out in London (or Southend) for the day ...

And ensure the child has a fully charged mobile so that mum and dad can stay in contact

I don't mind keeping the odd eye on someone but if I was trying to look after a 9 carriage train I would be less than optimistic about my ability to do much around my other duties, plus there are crew changes plus as mentioned there are a lot of interchanges. If something goes wrong at say York what can you do about it? Also bear in mind that the railway won't take actual responsibility for the care of minors.

That journey strikes me as rather hard for a 12 year old alone unless they're really, really up on trains.

I do take youngish kids on longer journeys but they're normally put on at one end and collected at the other, or at most an easy change.
 

VauxhallandI

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Could her mother take her to Aberdeen or Inverness to pick up VECT to Kings Cross & Dad meet her at Kings Cross? No changes required.

Sorry yes I had made this assumption too but had forgotten to include it.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
There is this:

http://www.btp.police.uk/advice_and_information/travelling_safely/unaccompanied_children.aspx

It is really down to the parents to decide whether the child is mature enough to travel by herself. I constantly worry about my daughter travelling alone - and she's 17...

Thanks yes I had found that too, I must have been thinking airlines.

As stated elsewhere the staff changes would make it difficult.
 

TimG

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I wasn't sure where to start this thread so apologies if it is not in the correct section.

I have a friend (the father) whose 12 year old daughter is moving to Elgin from Billericay with her Mother.

He was talking of the logistical difficulties in having her down to visit.

I said I thought there was an unaccompanied minors service on the train however I can't find a record of it, am I getting mixed up with airlines?

I see the Caledonian sleeper goes to Inverness or VIrgin East Coast with a change at Dundee during the daytime. I'm not sure how comfortable I would be putting her on a night time train, or a daytime one especially as it has a change without some sort of assistance.

Assuming both of them drive, I would put her on a plane. That is a very long journey. She'll be bored if nothing else.
 

roversfan2001

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I'm 14 and went with my 12 year old non railway-enthusiast friend to Rotherham a month or so ago (4 changes on the outward and 3 return) and he said he would have ended up entirely off route without my itinerary. If she knows what trains to be on and there's a back up plan in case trans are missed etc. and no alternative is suitable then it wouldn't be too bad.
 

Martin66

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There are three through trains per day from Aberdeen to Kings Cross so interchange should not be an issue. Child advance single is £30.50.
 

route:oxford

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I wasn't sure where to start this thread so apologies if it is not in the correct section.

I have a friend (the father) whose 12 year old daughter is moving to Elgin from Billericay with her Mother.

Fly... There'll be a lot more father-daughter "us" time.

Flybe from Aberdeen to London City. Age 5 on point to point routes (remember, some Island children fly to school), 12 for multi-sector.

BA from Inverness to Heathrow now, then option of Easyjet from Inverness to Luton or Gatwick after turned 14.
 

3141

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From age 11 I travelled by Underground from Southgate to school in central London (near Chancery lane), and twice a week to Grove Park (S.E London) on the Southern Region. Before that I'd now and again gone by myself to central London. But I'd never done a solo long-distance main line journey.

However, that was 65 years ago. Times change. I'd hesitate to put a 12-year-old girl on a train from northern Scotland to London. The mobile phone would be not just useful but an essential. Flying looks the less worrying option because of the much shorter time when she's without one of the parents.
 

ainsworth74

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I think I'm falling into the flying camp here as well. Gives more time with the relevant parent and is a heck of lot faster plus I believe airlines are usually very clued up when it comes to dealing with unescorted minors even on inter-continental flights.
 

Andyjs247

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Fly would be my choice too. Cabin crew will be able to keep an eye on an unaccompanied child whereas its impracticable for train crew. I know my daughter's 11-year-old friend flew unaccompanied to France last year and it was just a case of mum and dad taking her to the departure gate and then family meeting her on arrival in France.
 

NorthernSpirit

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Yes there was a time when me and my school friends were free to go anywhere, and we regularly did Melksham to or Trowbridge to Bath or Swindon and was aged between 12 and 15, and that's not many years ago, I'm talking 1998-2003

I was 14 when I decided to go wizzing round the local rail network in West Yorkshire which, over a couple of years, expanded to the rest of Yorkshire and eventually Derbyshire, Teesside, Lincolnshire, Lancashire, Nottinghamshire and even as far as West Sussex, Hampshire and Kent.

One of my mates did do the local stuff with me but when it came to going further a field he pulled out, unlike one other who has decided to join me on my long distance stuff.

I'm now in my late 20's and even now I'm still at it.
 
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Sprinter153

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I don't know if I'm typical (and I might get scorned here for this) but if I spot or get informed about unaccompanied minors on my train, particularly well behaved ones, I tend to move them to First Class where I can best keep an eye on them (and direct my Customer Hosts to do the same). If I have concerns about their connections I can provide a printed itinerary or help with directions, and contact the Route Specialist to get someone to meet them at their destination if it is required.

'Duty of care' is a phrase that gets bandied about but I believe it's important particularly when looking after minors. I'd like to think most of my Guard colleagues would take similar steps.
 

HMS Ark Royal

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Regarding the question abut sleeper trains, I thought the Cally did not allow for unaccompanied minors
 

gimmea50anyday

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I have been asked to keep an eye on young and vulnerable before. I always put them in first class. A more sterile and controlled environment plus the prescence of catering staff puts traveller and parents at ease and should anything happen more cameras is an added bonus and an additional safeguard
 

VauxhallandI

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The whole train idea was mine, I think flights are the best option for now. The train may be more palatable at 14/15 I would think.

Thanks all.
 

Trog

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I don't know if I'm typical (and I might get scorned here for this) but if I spot or get informed about unaccompanied minors on my train, particularly well behaved ones, I tend to move them to First Class where I can best keep an eye on them (and direct my Customer Hosts to do the same). If I have concerns about their connections I can provide a printed itinerary or help with directions, and contact the Route Specialist to get someone to meet them at their destination if it is required.

'Duty of care' is a phrase that gets bandied about but I believe it's important particularly when looking after minors. I'd like to think most of my Guard colleagues would take similar steps.

Sounds good to me. Both from the duty of care angle and getting a possible future passenger fixed on the idea that rail travel is the way to go.
 

Wolfie

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I think I'm falling into the flying camp here as well. Gives more time with the relevant parent and is a heck of lot faster plus I believe airlines are usually very clued up when it comes to dealing with unescorted minors even on inter-continental flights.

Yup.. plus less time for anything untoward to happen, not to mention that anything dodgy is a lot less likely to happen at 30k feet non-stop than on a stopping train...
 

beermaddavep

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Probably best to book ahead, train/fly up to Aberdeen, pick her up then fly back, same at end of visit. I had the same problem with my kids in Hanover......then they moved to Wool in Dorset, which from County Durham, was even worse- no useful flights, so 15 hour return train journeys were the order of the day. Unfortunatly, that may be expensive for you/him, in particular with regard to the rotten attitude of the CSA. It's such a shame that it's still ok for mums to 'virtually' kidnap caring dads children, but we are drifting onto a different topic here lol

Does she need to move that far away? Parental rights may preclude that under the 'making it difficult to access the children' section? A family solicitor may help, but I wouldn't hold out much hope. Good luck anyway
 
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Mordac

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Probably best to book ahead, train/fly up to Aberdeen, pick her up then fly back, same at end of visit. I had the same problem with my kids in Hanover......then they moved to Wool in Dorset, which from County Durham, was even worse- no useful flights, so 15 hour return train journeys were the order of the day. Unfortunatly, that may be expensive for you/him, in particular with regard to the rotten attitude of the CSA. It's such a shame that it's still ok for mums to 'virtually' kidnap caring dads children, but we are drifting onto a different topic here lol

Does she need to move that far away? Parental rights may preclude that under the 'making it difficult to access the children' section? A family solicitor may help, but I wouldn't hold out much hope. Good luck anyway

A solicitor friend once told me about a case of a mother who had moved from England to Scotland with the child and the father had trouble enforcing the terms of the custody agreement because the child was now in a different jurisdiction, and everything needed to be done through the Sheriff Court. Something for the OP to watch out for.
 

Flamingo

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Like my colleagues above, if I am aware of an unaccompanied minor on a long journey, I will usually sit them in First Class.

However, we are not In Loco Parentis, and as individuals and an industry we do not take responsibility for them any more than we do for any other passenger. We don't, for example, offer a service to take them to or from the train if the adult is late arriving at a station, or ensure they don't miss their stop. I have known of cases where unattended children were handed over to BTP if there was concerns...
 
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