valid usage of pass-com or slamdunk court case?

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nlow462

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so recently, me and a mate were meeting up, in Manchester. I would get off the train at Manchester and my mate would be on a different train, and I would meet him on such train and continue to where we were heading to. my particular train was delayed leaving blackpool and by the time we got into manchester, it was obvious i was going to miss the connection, with my mate already on that connecting train. he frantically called me asking where i am and when i get off my first train to inevitably see my connection leave its platform, imagine to my surprise when it comes to a stop, and i see my mate pull a door open......

He says he pulled the passcom to help me out by forcing the train to stop so i could board it after all. I got on, albiet reluctantly and pointed out that he isn't helping at all, just interfering with the operation of the train, which can have adverse consequences and that he is VERY lucky the conductor didn't call him out on it and write him up for prosecution. if this had gone to court, would his argument of 'trying to help' be classed as a valid reason to disrupt the running of a train or would it be thrown out and him banged to rights?
 
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Bletchleyite

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This is absolutely not a valid use of the passcom. Prosecutions for this (rather than just a good telling off) are rare, but if one was brought it would absolutely succeed.

The purpose of the passcom is to stop the train and/or alert staff in the event of a situation arising that is a potential danger to human life or health. It's essentially equivalent to the fire alarm system in a building, though applicable to more situations than just fires.

The only situation like yours where it might be seen as valid is if a parent and young child (or other vulnerable person and their carer) had been accidentally separated.
 

skyhigh

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and i see my mate pull a door open......
Sounds more like an emergency door release being used rather than a passcom. Either way if it was my train you'd get booted off for pulling a stunt like that and a request for BTP to attend would be made.
 

221129

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Sounds more like an emergency door release being used rather than a passcom. Either way if it was my train you'd get booted off for pulling a stunt like that and a request for BTP to attend would be made.
Correct. Both passengers would be booted off and asked to leave railway premises at my place.
 

Bletchleyite

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Sounds more like an emergency door release being used rather than a passcom. Either way if it was my train you'd get booted off for pulling a stunt like that and a request for BTP to attend would be made.

I'd probably say the door release is more serious - it is only to be used where there is an emergency on board posing immediate danger to life or health and moving to another coach to escape it is not an option. Even in the case of a stranded child or similar it would not be appropriate to use it, you'd use the passcom and have staff deal with it from there.
 

Trackman

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Sounds more like an emergency door release being used rather than a passcom. Either way if it was my train you'd get booted off for pulling a stunt like that and a request for BTP to attend would be made.
I was thinking that.
Just out of curiosity If they did use a passcom on a modern train as it was just leaving the station would the driver speak to the pax or would they stop the train then ask questions later?
To the OP, I think your friend was extremely lucky not to be reported.
 

robbeech

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I was thinking that.
Just out of curiosity If they did use a passcom on a modern train as it was just leaving the station would the driver speak to the pax or would they stop the train then ask questions later?
To the OP, I think your friend was extremely lucky not to be reported.
As far as i understand it, every operator i'm aware of has a policy to make an immediate brake application upon activation of the passcom IF the train is still within the platform.
 

LowLevel

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I'd have thrown you both off and requested the police to attend to throw whatever might stick at you, as well as booting you off the premises to find your own way home.
 

Bletchleyite

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How many prosecutions for spurious use of the passcom have there been in the last few years? I can't recall many, if any?

I've never heard of one. A traditional "chucking off and chucking out" is probably more likely.

The railway probably wouldn't benefit from going too heavy handed on it, because you don't want people being put off using it in a genuine emergency (e.g. had someone pulled it on the DB train that crashed at Eschede rather than just going and talking to the guard, many lives might have been saved). It's not like ticketing where there isn't a valid excuse for walking past a means of purchase.
 

Starmill

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I think prosecution can be ruled out as far too unlikely really.

However as others have suggested this is certainly improper use. You may be refused travel for being in breach of a Byelaw.
 

Trackman

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As far as i understand it, every operator i'm aware of has a policy to make an immediate brake application upon activation of the passcom IF the train is still within the platform.
Thought so.

How many prosecutions for spurious use of the passcom have there been in the last few years? I can't recall many, if any?
I was thinking more of the lines of being reported to BTP or the TOC, then BTP taking NFA or a light caution to put the fear of god into them about doing the same thing twice.
 

jon0844

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Thought so.


I was thinking more of the lines of being reported to BTP or the TOC, then BTP taking NFA or a light caution to put the fear of god into them about doing the same thing twice.

Take them off the train, give them a chatting to, then tell the TOC that they're authorising them travel as they're 'okay now'.
 

ninhog

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As far as i understand it, every operator i'm aware of has a policy to make an immediate brake application upon activation of the passcom IF the train is still within the platform.
It has nothing to do with company policy- it’s a rule.
I’m surprised so many others would call the BTP or try to kick the culprits off the train. If anything happened to you, it would be on your head. As long as no one was injured or was in need of emergent assistance, just contact the signaller, reset the egress handle and carry on with your day. That way, no one is delayed more than a couple of minutes

*EDITED TO REMOVE A RANDOM EMOJI!*
 

LowLevel

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It has nothing to do with company policy- it’s a rule.
I’m surprised so many others would call the BTP or try to kick the culprits off the train. If anything happened to you, it would be on your head. As long as no one was injured or was in need of emergent assistance, just contact the signaller, reset the egress handle and carry on with your day. That way, no one is delayed more than a couple of minutes ‍♂️
Positive enforcement of negative behaviours perpetuates them. Forcing open a train door to pick your mate up has to have consequences.

There is a time and a place for laissez-faire handling of poor behaviour and that's not one for them.
 

ninhog

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Positive enforcement of negative behaviours perpetuates them. Forcing open a train door to pick your mate up has to have consequences.

There is a time and a place for laissez-faire handling of poor behaviour and that's not one for them.

It’s not positive enforcement; it’s looking at the bigger picture.

The BTP usually take considerable time to arrive, the culprit may scarper anyway and passengers face having their service delayed or cancelled. If it happened somewhere between stations, then that’s different and you can report it in advance of your next stop.

Using the emergency egress in such a casual manner is idiotic and selfish but in this scenario, I would have just carried on.
 

skyhigh

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Using the emergency egress in such a casual manner is idiotic and selfish but in this scenario, I would have just carried on.
I completely disagree. Particularly on stock where the egress can open the door before the train has come to a stand, using it when your mate is late and missed the train is wildly unsafe and anyone who thinks it's a reasonable course of action has no place on a train I'm working.
 

LowLevel

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It’s not positive enforcement; it’s looking at the bigger picture.

The BTP usually take considerable time to arrive, the culprit may scarper anyway and passengers face having their service delayed or cancelled. If it happened somewhere between stations, then that’s different and you can report it in advance of your next stop.

Using the emergency egress in such a casual manner is idiotic and selfish but in this scenario, I would have just carried on.

Looking at the bigger picture is not parking your train up and blocking the line for BTP to drive 30 minutes for a non aggressive but non co-operative fare evader.

Misusing a safety system to manipulate the operation of the train is not something to just let pass without comment in the interest of keeping the world moving. In this case it is unlikely but people have been killed through the misuse of egress handles and it needs to be made very clear that that behaviour is not tolerated. Not challenging such behaviour just in case they turn nasty is negligent in a safety critical role.
 

joeneat

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Looking at the bigger picture is not parking your train up and blocking the line for BTP to drive 30 minutes for a non aggressive but non co-operative fare evader.

Misusing a safety system to manipulate the operation of the train is not something to just let pass without comment in the interest of keeping the world moving. In this case it is unlikely but people have been killed through the misuse of egress handles and it needs to be made very clear that that behaviour is not tolerated. Not challenging such behaviour just in case they turn nasty is negligent in a safety critical role.
I can understand that in isolated places but in this circumstance the BTP would already be there at Manchester i think.
 

Egg Centric

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Here's an example from the "absolutely fantastic" Mentour Pilot Youtube Channel of what happens if you do the aviation equivalent (opening an overwing exit to get out of the aircraft sooner):

It doesn't end well for anyone, and nor should the actions of your friend. However, and please take no offence with this - does your friend present as a both a mentally normal and a respectable member of society? If one of these isn't the case I could also see a reason that the guard may not be too fussed about "laying down the law"
 
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