Unscheduled stops at passenger request

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by trebor79, 13 Jun 2019.

  1. bunnahabhain

    bunnahabhain Established Member

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    Every time it is taken on its own merits and usually requires good fortune to fall in a few different grades. You need a Guard who is prepared to justify to control why the stop is needed, and you need the controller willing to accept the delay minutes and authorise it.

    I've done it a lot, I'm happy to do it where it warrants it. I think my "record" was calling at Romiley and Marple on a Liverpool to Norwich service. You could also add to that Brandon, Lakenheath, Shippea Hill and Ely onto the SuO 1548 Norwich to Manchester during major disruption where I strongly suggested it was a sensible course of action to control as we were the first service in 4hrs and we'd been requested to rescue people from Lakenheath (Shippea Hill was added in by error so we honoured the stop).
     
  2. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    Some years ago (late 1970s?) I was in the Travel Centre in Crewe chatting to one of the staff when a chap walked in. He was doing a journey something like Taunton - Glasgow, had been late into Brum who sent him on to Crewe where he arrived after the last Scottish service - which in those days was something ridiculously early like 1800 - had gone. He was pondering the sleeper (which may have had some seating accommodation in those days) when I remembered that there was a 1730ish Euston - Glasgow (which didn't stop at Crewe) which would be rolling through in about ten minutes time. Mentioned this to the staff member who made a phone call. The train diverted into Platform 2 (now 12) rather than the adjacent through road (the nearest thing to a Down Fast then), picked him up and got him to Glasgow several hours earlier than the sleeper !

    Wouldn't happen now !
     
  3. big all

    big all Member

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    thats sort off going to be the feeling off the thread i want to start probably monday now
    on the ground you would work it amongst your selves
    then it was well seasoned time served railwaymen that would automatically have the knowlege to make a good judgment
    yes some would go a bit wrong but very seldom
    control may notice but not bother as the problem will be "sorted " giving them an easy life
    and indeed if they became aware off a problem they would be on side where ground level efforts went a wee bit wrong and resoling the situation was the choice rather than finding someone to blame
    then we where a team working together where being academic and being good atpointless form filling and blameing someone was not important just running the railway with quick honest solutions at ground level
     
    Last edited: 15 Jun 2019
  4. Mathew S

    Mathew S Established Member

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    Reminds me of a former acquaintance of mine who once traveled from Preston to Crewe via London Euston... she only made that mistake once!
     
  5. DavidGrain

    DavidGrain Member

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    I was once on a Wrexham and Shropshire train (of blessed memory) A family with luggage go on at Tame Bridge Parkway on the assumption that all trains from there went to Birmingham New Street from where they were to get a train to Birmingham International for Birmingham Airport. Fortunately the guard checked the tickets immediately after Tame Bridge so the problem was discovered, That train did stop at Birmingham International but the doors had to remain locked to allow a Virgin train to overtake. Our train made a stop at Stetchford to allow the family to catch a train from there to the airport. We had to wait at Stetchford to allow the Virgin train past.

    A friend told me of an occasion when he was helping his daughter with her luggage going back to university when the doors shut and the train moved off. He spoke to the guard and, this might be completely unofficial, the train stopped at a suburban station but he had to leave through the driver's cab door as they did not want to unlock the train doors.
     
  6. Mutant Lemming

    Mutant Lemming Established Member

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    It sometimes robs Ernie to pay Eric though. A year or so back our late running Eurostar was stopped additionally at Ashford so a family of four could get off - they could have got off at Ebbsfleet (which was also a call) and came back but demanded the train be stopped. As a result dozens of people missed on bound connecting trains from St.Pancras and Kings Cross. I wonder how many 'helpful' additional stops have cost others their connections.
     
  7. 70014IronDuke

    70014IronDuke Established Member

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    Que? On what grounds can anyone demand such?
     
  8. 70014IronDuke

    70014IronDuke Established Member

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    Not really an unscheduled stop, more an unscheduled delay.

    Once upon a time, there was a Silloth to Carlisle branch, and there was an early morning train that arrived in Carlisle at, or possibly just after, the first train to Euston was due to depart. Hence it was not a recognised connection. (This was, I'd guess sometime soon after 06.00.)

    Perhaps it was for one seasoned traveller, or perhaps it was common knowledge, but if a budding Euston passenger put a word in at the booking office at Silloth (yes, they had such luxury amenities in those days, even on branch lines), a call would be made to Citadel and the prestigious Euston express would be held for the passenger(s).

    Genuine customer service indeed! (Story not my experience - I just remember reading it many years ago on some group or other.)
     
  9. craigybagel

    craigybagel Established Member

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    It must be that alright, I was reading this wondering what all the fuss was about - our employers do it all the time! The joys of working a long way from London I guess. Control have never said no to me whenever I've asked, and judging by how many Special Stop orders I've been given over the years it's not just me they have a soft spot for.
     
  10. krus_aragon

    krus_aragon Established Member

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    That left me thinking of this:

    [​IMG]
    Animation of a lemming from the computer game Lemmings counting down, then self-destructing
     
  11. Typhoon

    Typhoon Member

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    Of those I listed History of Art might be more useful - I might get to meet the Royals!

    At one time I contemplated learning an obscure foreign language so that I could use it when receiving unwanted phone calls, I'm not sure that Biblical Hebrew would include the range of vocabulary I would wish to use (or perhaps it would - there was an awful lot of begetting in the Bible).
     
  12. Typhoon

    Typhoon Member

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    70's - no mobile phones. Also if they are on the school bus, they are 'secure', unlike a train when they can talk to other passengers.

    Why couldn't they join the exam hall late? If it was 'A' levels, I guess 3 hours, might interfere with preparation for afternoon exams?

    Start the exam separately - I don't know whether it still applies but you used to be able to leave the exam hall after an hour, danger of communication between student leaving an exam early and one who hasn't started it.
     
  13. maxbarnish

    maxbarnish Member

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    In terms of 'vulnerable persons', I don't know the rules or if there any any, and I am sure there'll be a lot of individual judgement involved. What I have seen - rightly or wrongly - is that Guards and control seem more likely to authorise unscheduled stops for female passengers, particularly young girls who may be vulnerable. I suppose there is some justification for this given the safety advice given to young females given the sad threat of rape in the modern world. I'm unsure the one who fell asleep in my example would have had an opposite direction express stopped additionally plus a staff escort if it had been a boy not a girl. I'm sort of OK with this, I like equality, but the threat level is different. I am sure this issue is quite controversial, but I am aiming to report factually only.

    There was one example where this wasn't done - although the situation was quite different in some ways. North Wales line. Guard made an error at Bangor and for some reason used single door opening on a 3 car unit on a platform that could fit at least 12 coaches. The train was dispatched with a group of girls - maybe 18 or 19 - stranded on board, adults just - but very young to be stranded somewhere for a while in the dark. This was noticed in time but the Guard refused to authorise the train to stop again further down the enormously long platform so they could alight, even though it was his error. The next stop was a request stop on the timetable. That way they could get back to Bangor a bit faster than having to go via Llandudno Junction. They were certainly a bit inebriated and really struggled over the footbridge at their request stop - probably due to their shoes as well and how dark it was. But I did think they were left in quite a vulnerable position by the Guard when it was his error in dispatching - having to stand at an unstaffed station in the middle of nowhere for I think 30 minutes or so.
     
  14. flitwickbeds

    flitwickbeds Member

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    Experienced it twice in the last 18 months or so.

    Once when there was severe disruption on Thameslink. As usual GTR were doing their "we hate rural Bedfordshire" malarkey and cancelling only Flitwick, Harlington (Beds) and Leagrave to try to get trains back on time. That resulted in two trains in a row being cancelled from Flitwick and the next one being ~20 minutes late (so about an hour without trains). The one that did eventually turn up wasn't scheduled to stop at West Hampstead as the two previous (cancelled only at Flitwick) trains were. I asked on Twitter if there was any chance the train I was on could stop at West Hampstead given the circumstances, and they made it so.

    Then maybe 3 weeks later an East Midlands Trains unit developed a fault after leaving from Bedford so made an unscheduled call at Flitwick where engineers were called to try to fix whatever the issue was. The train was in platform 3, blocking the fast southbound line, for at least 20 minutes before they obviously decided it couldn't be fixed so booted everyone off. This was towards the end of the morning rush hour, maybe 8:45 or so, and the resulting crush on platform 1 where everyone from the EMT plus the people already waiting for the usual Thameslink services was so severe that there was an announcement made explaining that they were trying to get the next EMT, which had to go on the slow lines due to the broken down train, passing through to stop. A few minutes later a second announcement confirmed that request had been successful, and so pretty much everyone (including those originally waiting for Thameslink) boarded and left the platform empty except me, where I got a Thameslink train pretty much to myself 2 minutes later.
     
  15. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

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    Out of interest, how in this kind of situation where Control decides that a train already en route should make an additional stop, how is that communicated to the guard and driver of the train?
     
  16. flitwickbeds

    flitwickbeds Member

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    For Thameslink, during disruption I've seen a member of staff on the platform knock on the driver's window and hand him a sheet of paper - followed almost immediately by an announcement of some change to the route. I assume control issue new instructions to the next station the trains will stop at, then someone on the platform informs the driver, who then informs the passengers. Thameslink is of course driver-only.

    In the case quoted, I'd imagine either this happened at Bedford, or EMT control got in touch with the train manager on board who then passed the message on to the driver.
     
  17. kev1974

    kev1974 Member

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    I was on an LNER Edinburgh to London a couple of Sundays ago that became trapped behind a problematic Grand Central train just before York. We were 45 minutes late by the time we rolled into York, which by then had three lots of people on the platform, those waiting for my train (no further stops scheduled between York and Kings Cross), those waiting for the Grand Central service, and those waiting for the LNER service that should have been 30 mins after mine (a stopper, and now 15 mins late).

    The guard did make numerous loud and clear announcements that my train would be running non stop to London before the doors closed, nevertheless I guess a load of people meant for the other two trains did get on mine anyway, as we did then make an unscheduled stop at Doncaster, and let a load of people back off again.
     
    Last edited: 19 Jun 2019
  18. si404

    si404 Member

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    The one time I tried to do this, I was on a London-New Street Virgin service that, due to distruption, was routed via the Trent Valley, reverse at Stafford and back (to International) The train added a stop at Nuneaton (for Coventry pax to change to a taxi) with its next passenger stop at New Street.

    As I was going to Telford, changing at the far side of Birmingham was going to be superior than going in, arriving late there, having missed my train. As we arrived in Stafford, I (and several others) asked staff if the doors were going to open and if not, please could they so we might not waste an hour going to New Street only to come back. No was the answer, they weren't allowed to per some rule outside of Virgin's control. We sat there for what must of been over 10 minutes with the doors locked with trains heading south departing in front of us. We also halted in platforms at Wolverhampton - the doors remained locked and the Aber train I (and some other poor gentleman who had to wait 2 hours for next one as going beyond Shrewsbury) pulled in after about two minutes of waiting there. "That's our train and we could have got that!" we exclaimed with a mix of annoyance (not at the guard, who'd been sympathetic and polite even if they weren't cooperative with our simple request to unlock the doors, or at least ask to have them unlocked) and despair. We got into New Street, and I was over an hour late rather than 15 minutes early, but I wasn't the only one late for my thing due to this and it didn't really matter much anyway.

    I got a refund as compensation and didn't push it further about the inability to mitigate by letting out when parked in platforms - it was deeply annoying at the time, but I got over it quickly and it wasn't something I thought was worth a fight.
     
    Last edited: 18 Jun 2019
  19. _toommm_

    _toommm_ Established Member

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    I doubt it...
     
  20. craigybagel

    craigybagel Established Member

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    Through station staff usually. They'll issue the driver (and guard if there is one) with a form known as a Special Stop order. This lists the extra stops the service is to make, or alternatively the booked stops the service is not to call at if it's skipping them out. If the train has a guard, control will try and phone them in advance to warn them as well. In my experience however it's often been me who's rung control first and either asked for special stops or put the idea in their head about skipping some stops to make up time.

    This is for my own TOC as a guard and the ones I dealt with when I worked on platforms, so Virgin LNWR Cross Country and Transport for Wales. Things might be different in other parts of the world.
     
  21. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    I had it done for me once - I was a child on a Travelcard and nodded off on the Virgin Trains service from East Croydon. I woke up just as it left Olympia and told the guard - he had the train stopped at Acton Mainline to let me off.

    My station often gets the short end of the stick during disruption with scheduled and unscheduled passes. If customers face a long wait I will request a special stop order for them, which is usually granted.

    Another time, a friend dropped me off at Weybridge late one night around 11pm. I logged into Genius Mobile and saw that the Waterloo train I was intending to catch had just been diverted via Addlestone. No warning of the cancellation. The help point on the platform was worse than useless - they promised me the train was still coming, even though it was in Chertsey at this stage. Those help points are an utter waste of time.

    I thought "s*d this" and rang up control. They arranged a special stop order on the following service which was booked to run non stop from Woking to Waterloo.
     
    Last edited: 18 Jun 2019
  22. kev1974

    kev1974 Member

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    Was meant to be Grand Central, now corrected.
     
  23. jtuk

    jtuk Member

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    To be fair, if it's been the situation that all trains leaving x in direction y stop at z for some time, it's easy to be caught out. Everything north out of Cheadle Hulme has stopped at Stockport for as long as I've lived, until a couple of weeks ago when some now seemingly run fast to Piccadilly for no real reason
     
  24. Llanigraham

    Llanigraham On Moderation

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    I've known that to happen on the Cambrian (unofficially) and during bad snow a few years ago a relief signaller was offered to be picked up at his local station on the Marches and then taken to the Box for the shift change over as the proper signaller had got stuck coming in.
     
  25. kevin_roche

    kevin_roche Member

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    Many years ago (1976?) I lived near Padgate station near Warrington. The service changed and trains were no longer stopping at night on the way back from Manchester. On several occations I asked the driver if he would stop and let me off. In every case they agreed. I had to remember to bring a torch as the platform was unlit and awkward in the dark.
     
    Last edited: 19 Jun 2019
  26. Mathew S

    Mathew S Established Member

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    Not really, 'at passenger request,' but I had an interesting one the other week (pre-May timetable change). Bolton - Salford Crescent was blocked, a train had hit a deer I think, but no matter, I thought, I was on a Manchester - Wigan via Atherton train so no worries.
    Haha, how wrong I was. When we got to Crow Nest Jcn, I could hear the train had stopped, and the driver was talking to the signaller. Couldn't hear what they were saying, until a loud, "you must be joking!" came from the cab, lol. Driver pulled forward into Hindley station, and stepped out of the cab (this was on a 142). He looked miffed to say the least. I asked what was happening and he said they had been told to reverse at Hindley and go via Westhoughton to pick up passengers from Bolton who had been waiting there. By this time, it's well gone 11pm. The driver opened the doors (we hadn't been due to stop at Hindley) and a swift check of RTT and Traksy told me that the next train behind us was a Southport service that would be stopping at Wigan. Cue about 15 passengers getting off the train at Hindley, and then boarding the next train behind to get to Wigan. The guard on the Southport train was most surprised to see that many people getting on a train at Hindley at 11.30pm!
     
  27. ArchieWoodbine

    ArchieWoodbine Member

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    I'm reminded of Badminton station in Gloucestershire. The Duke of Beaufort only granted permission/land for the station on the proviso that any first-class passenger could request to alight regardless of whether the train was booked to stop or not (the majority did not). As far as I'm aware, this situation lasted until the station closed in 1968.

    The station was the last to close on the SWB on account of the added complexity posed by the various historic agreements between GWR and the Badminton Estate, such as the above.
     

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