Visible guard on SWT

Discussion in 'Trip Planning & Reports' started by transmanche, 27 May 2015.

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  1. transmanche

    transmanche Established Member

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    This probably isn't worth a thread of its own, but it's one of those good things that's worth drawing attentiion to.

    I don't often travel on SWT these days, but found myself on a Waterloo-Reading 450 this morning. As well as the usual clear announcement from the guard that he could be found in the centre of the train and on the platform at each station, he also patrolled the train a couple of times. Nothing dramatic, just being visible and letting people see that he did exist.

    Good to see, especially if this is common practice on SWT.
     
  2. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    It is common practice in my experience and a positive thing.
     
  3. antharro

    antharro Member

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    Common enough on 444s and 450s, but I've never seen a guard on a 458 or a 455. The former because I think the only place the guard can carry out their duties is from one of the cabs, whereas the 444s/450s have the relevant equipment at every door. Not sure about the 455s.

    Incidentally, I wonder if this is why SWT have commercial and non-commercial guards - the latter don't sell tickets because they can't leave the cab (ie, 458) whereas the commercial guards can, so do (444/450).
     
  4. hassaanhc

    hassaanhc Established Member

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    It is down to luck really. In the best week, early Saturday morning on the 40 minutes from Hounslow to Waterloo the guard dispatched from the 3rd coach of 4 on the 455 at one station but didn't see him again (and never went forward from there), whereas yesterday afternoon the guard used the guards box in the 2nd coach of 4 and nearest passenger doors on the 450 throughout that distance. Sometimes I can go several journeys without seeing the guard walk down, but at other times they're based in my coach throughout. Unless you go following them you may not always see them, depending on which coach you use or where along the train's journey you travel.

    On the 458 units to Reading, there are no door controls in the passenger areas, therefore you are less likely to see guards in the passenger areas on those trains.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    455s have door controls by one of the two doors on every coach. The 458s don't have door controls outside the cabs, but the revamped 458/5 had them fitted at the nearest door to the wheelchair space.
     
  5. Darren1980

    Darren1980 Member

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    Travelled extensively on SWT, East Coast, Southern, EMT, GTL and AGA over the last few years, and being very keen to get a start in the industry I do tend to notice the staff more than most I guess. SWT and EMT guards to have a far higher degree of prominence than the other TOC's. EMT local services I guess have a greater revenue role due to the lack of ticket barriers at many stations.

    Caught the EMT 0700 Spalding - Peterborough the other morning and the conductor was like the Landlord of a local pub - seemed to know all her regulars, she really was a great advert for her company!
     
  6. Peter Mugridge

    Peter Mugridge Established Member

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    Off peak the guards on the 455s do wander along the train quite a bit and they can operate the doors from any doorway.

    Peak hours, however, no chance - they wouldn't be able to move at all so they have to stay in the middle cabs.
     
  7. 455driver

    455driver Veteran Member

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    When I was a guard on SWT I once got caught out by 'going for a walk' during the morning peak, 2 stations later the train is crush loaded and I am stuck at the back but needed to get to the middle for the next station so had to walk up the platform delaying the train while I did so, I didn't do that again. Of course some would moan that I was hiding in the middle but peak periods it is simply not practical or realistic to expect the guard to patrol the train.
     
  8. transmanche

    transmanche Established Member

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    That's interesting, because every time I've travelled that route before it's been on Junipers. I've always assumed that as they weren't checking/selling tickets, they weren't actually supposed to 'patrol' the train. But it seems that it was just because effectively they couldn't leave the cab.

    Either way, it's good to see a guard keeping passengers informed as to where they can find him (which they have always been good at doing on that route) and making himself so visible.
     
  9. SpacePhoenix

    SpacePhoenix Established Member

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    Have they been installing guards panels in all the doorways on the 458s at all as they've had the work done on them?
     
  10. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I find that SWT's use of guards is a model every TOC can learn from. They are very much there for the passengers as well as for their safety role. Much more like in Germany, where (apart from a regular compartment reserved for them on old style compartment stock, and a little Desiro-style box on some DoStos) they are always to be found in the passenger accommodation, not hiding in the back cab.

    And I like that they are called "guards", not some waffly modern title.
     
  11. hassaanhc

    hassaanhc Established Member

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    Just the doors next to the wheelchair space I've seen the panels.
     
  12. Peter Mugridge

    Peter Mugridge Established Member

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    I don't know, sorry - we will have to wait for one of the staff who sign them to answer that.
     
  13. 455driver

    455driver Veteran Member

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    They have always had panels there, its just they were not in use due to some wiring 'issues'! ;)

    Obviously these issues have now been resolved.
     
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