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Who's in the wrong?

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LowLevel

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It depends on the circumstances for me. I've never heard of a 'thou shalt not let anyone board through the local door' rule, only that you must complete the second train safety check before closing it.

On the other hand I take significant objection to dispatchers telling passengers to leg it 2, 3 or 4 coaches to 'jump on up there' - I've seen people trip up and face plant the platform while doing it and cause delay while being mopped up from the platform edge. Those people they should be making stand away.
 
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100andthirty

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The train manger had choices but chose one that displayed his "power". All dispatch procedures have exit routes at each step, from where it would be possible to go back go the beginning otherwise there would be no point in having a multi step process (and I have developed some of them over the years). In this case, the process could have been abandoned, the doors reopened, the passenger allowed on and the process restarted (and would have taken much less time than the petty argument). However, if the TM had just allowed the customer onto the train through the door that was still open, it would have been much quicker with no safety risk. (as the train won't move until the TM's door is closed).

Train Managers have a number of duties, safety being one of them, but customer care is another. The attitude displayed by this individual both to a customer and another member of railway staff (based solely on the video I accept) was unprofessional, irrespective of the dispatch procedure (failure to explain, intransigence, lack of customer care). Clearly the other member of railway staff thought so too.
 
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yorkie

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It's RailUK. Clearly the passenger is in the wrong. Nothing else matters.
You're talking about a very, very small minority there. If anyone does post something of concern, please report it using the report button.
 

MichaelAMW

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Or by pax with a gob and a sense of righteous indignation that the world owes them something.

I find that remark both unreasonable and presumptious. You appear to be using some kind of stereotype of the average passenger. To some extent the passenger *is* owed something as they have paid for a ticket but, more to the point, the argy bargy that is seen in that video clip is between the the guard and the platform chap; the woman is heard to be asking, even pleading, to get on but I don't detect any "gob and a sense of righteous indigation" at all. There is also nothing whatsoever to suggest she has any view about what the world owes her.

Passengers are (i) the clients for whom the service exists and (ii) merely other human beings who have the same human dignity as railway staff. There are obviously a few people here and there who are distinctly unpleasant towards others who provide them with a service, but most of the time people are OK and thus perfectly entitled to express their view, e.g. they would like to board this train through that open door, without it needing to be seen as having "a gob and a sense of righteous indignation that the world owes them something." It may sometimes be the correct and safe thing to deny boarding, although that should be for safety or operational reasons rather than abject awkwardness, but the request does not imply the existence of "a gob and a sense of righteous indignation that the world owes them something."
 

cjmillsnun

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I find that remark both unreasonable and presumptious. You appear to be using some kind of stereotype of the average passenger. To some extent the passenger *is* owed something as they have paid for a ticket but, more to the point, the argy bargy that is seen in that video clip is between the the guard and the platform chap; the woman is heard to be asking, even pleading, to get on but I don't detect any "gob and a sense of righteous indigation" at all. There is also nothing whatsoever to suggest she has any view about what the world owes her.

Passengers are (i) the clients for whom the service exists and (ii) merely other human beings who have the same human dignity as railway staff. There are obviously a few people here and there who are distinctly unpleasant towards others who provide them with a service, but most of the time people are OK and thus perfectly entitled to express their view, e.g. they would like to board this train through that open door, without it needing to be seen as having "a gob and a sense of righteous indignation that the world owes them something." It may sometimes be the correct and safe thing to deny boarding, although that should be for safety or operational reasons rather than abject awkwardness, but the request does not imply the existence of "a gob and a sense of righteous indignation that the world owes them something."

I'll say it again. It is the PASSENGER'S responsibility to ensure they arrive on the platform in good time. The only exception to this is where they are on a connecting service that was delayed. If a passenger arrived for a flight at the gate with seconds to go before pushback would they let them on the plane? No. had it been 2 minutes before departure then they might let them on if their bags had not already been removed.

Now I agree with you. The interaction between the guard, public and dispatch staff was out of order and all railway staff involved should be in for a chat with their managers about it. It was unprofessional and unacceptable.
 
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neonison

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...but hang on a minute.

Yes, safety comes first but time and again we see and not only in the rail industry power entrusted in jobsworths acts simply to drive the customer away. A railway without customers does no-one any good.
As a fare-paying passenger and enthusiast I'm not so much enamoured of railways to put up with abuse and am much more likely to return to a TOC if I'm treated decently as opposed to an inconvenience, erstwhile Northern please note!
If my company treated our customers as badly, as often, we would have been out of business a long time ago.
 

Mag_seven

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Passengers are (i) the clients for whom the service exists and (ii) merely other human beings who have the same human dignity as railway staff.

Yes the passenger pays a fare, but what about all those other passengers who have paid a fare and who got onto the train on time? Even a few seconds delay in departure to let a late arrival on could result in a much larger delay later on in the journey.
 

HarleyDavidson

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At the end of the day, once you initiate the dispatch procedure then it must complete UNLESS something or someone is caught in the doors, in which case, the doors must be re-released so that the offending article or person can be released or removed.

Obviously safety comes first and I think I can say that no one here wants a repeat of the incident in Liverpool, which resulted in a unnecessary death & a member of staff being jailed.

I'll admit that I've had a blazing row at Clapham Junction with a member of SN staff who shouldn't have been on SW platforms & got told in no uncertain terms to go forth & multiply, because it nearly ended in a nasty incident! He got reported by SW staff and escorted off SW platforms for his trouble & I've never seen him since.

The problem we do seem to be having is where two companies meet they have differing standards of dispatch, where some services are DOO & others not, some use CD/RA and others don't, you can get friction and mistakes.
 

northernchris

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The problem we do seem to be having is where two companies meet they have differing standards of dispatch, where some services are DOO & others not, some use CD/RA and others don't, you can get friction and mistakes.

That's an interesting point, I've noticed the despatch at Manchester Piccadilly tends to include a green flag for both Northern and TPE, yet at Leeds they use a baton
 

MichaelAMW

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Yes the passenger pays a fare, but what about all those other passengers who have paid a fare and who got onto the train on time? Even a few seconds delay in departure to let a late arrival on could result in a much larger delay later on in the journey.

I completely agree that, ticket or not, the passenger who is late has to take responsibility for themselves, although I do get annoyed when (elsewhere) on the forum others get very high handed about people needing to turn up on time - sometimes life is just complicated or busy and they are forced to be at the last minute, in which case there's no reason not to help if possible. I sometimes cut it fine for trains (buses etc) but it's rarely because I am disorganised or lazy or inattentive, but rather because that's the best I can manage.

(I should add that the quote from me that you replied to was as much about Clip's somewhat negative description of passengers as it was about passengers themselves.)
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I'll say it again. It is the PASSENGER'S responsibility to ensure they arrive on the platform in good time. The only exception to this is where they are on a connecting service that was delayed. If a passenger arrived for a flight at the gate with seconds to go before pushback would they let them on the plane? No. had it been 2 minutes before departure then they might let them on if their bags had not already been removed.

Now I agree with you. The interaction between the guard, public and dispatch staff was out of order and all railway staff involved should be in for a chat with their managers about it. It was unprofessional and unacceptable.

And I agree with you on both counts! (See above for my view that life can interrupt plans to be on time.)
 

Parallel

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Which station was this out of interest? It looks like Cheltenham Spa.

I see both sides of the argument. Obviously we don't know the full situation. GWR occasionally let passengers on HSTs after the dispatch procedure has started, if the guard is operating from a passenger door close to the station stairs (rather than either of the far end ones). If the lady was travelling from Cheltenham to say, Exeter which only gets an hourly service compared to Bristol that gets up to three an hour then I do understand why she might be frustrated that she's not been allowed to board - despite being late as she was at the door (and in addition the staff stood there arguing for a good couple of minutes!) - Not saying she has the right board though.
 
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theironroad

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The plane/train analogy really doesn't work here.

The security requirements for even domestic plane travel are far higher and require far more paperwork than a train.

The ground staff have to provide the flight crew and cabin crew with a full manifest of the exact numbers on board and sign off the plane's departure for the captain to take full legal responsibility. For all this to happen, so that the aircraft pushes off stand on time necessarily means that there has to be enough time for the paperwork to be completed and handed over to the cockpit.

This incident wasn't about the tm reopening all the doors and starting the dispatch From scratch. It would have been very easy for the tm to allow the passenger standing right next to him to hop on at the local door she was standing next to. I'm a passenger.....and a driver (not xc).
 

221129

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Which station was this out of interest? It looks like Cheltenham Spa.

I see both sides of the argument. Obviously we don't know the full situation. GWR occasionally let passengers on HSTs after the dispatch procedure has started, if the guard is operating from a passenger door close to the station stairs (rather than either of the far end ones). If the lady was travelling from Cheltenham to say, Exeter which only gets an hourly service compared to Bristol that gets up to three an hour then I do understand why she might be frustrated that she's not been allowed to board - despite being late as she was at the door (and in addition the staff stood there arguing for a good couple of minutes!) - Not saying she has the right board though.

Newton Abbot.
 

LowLevel

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Sorry MichaelAMW but you'll often find that attitudes are born from experience. I will more often than not leave late runners standing. I don't tend to apply much empathy anymore. Unless it's literally one person I can clearly see and they can get on by me then I only apply the safety consideration of whether I can get the train away without them reasonably ending up under it and if I can I will leave them standing every time.

This is because like most people responsible for train dispatch I've been a victim of fools because of my previously attempting to 'help where possible'. Whether this is because I've waited for the one runner at an unmanned shack who then stands in the doors until his 6 mates 100 metres behind him make it up the road, or the seemingly lone female who has then refused to move out of the doorway until hubby gets out of the lift 3 coach lengths away with the pushchair, 3 kids and 4 massive suitcases they want to shove behind the drivers cab door when she's been sent ahead via the stairs to 'hold the train because the taxi was late', or the confused old lady who then runs past the open front door, too close to the train to dispatch it, looking at every coach and won't get on until they find the one they have a reservation for.

Thus to avoid any confrontations or come back for me (dispatch procedure says 'it is not acceptable to delay train dispatch for late running passengers') unless there's a significant mitigation like a late notice platform alteration, set swap, or it really is the last train in the middle of nowhere then I'm afraid my paying customers will have to continue to curse me when I see them but still leave them behind.

Of course as I've said previously if someone is at the local door saying 'can I jump on mate' as long as I'm not stood in it with the doors shutting the answer is yes. If the person is saying 'hang on chap, my missus is just coming down the stairs' then sadly I'll shut the door in their face and leave them which they won't like. The same applies if they try and shove me out of the way or force the door open in which case I boot them to make a point.
 

bramling

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Sorry MichaelAMW but you'll often find that attitudes are born from experience. I will more often than not leave late runners standing. I don't tend to apply much empathy anymore. Unless it's literally one person I can clearly see and they can get on by me then I only apply the safety consideration of whether I can get the train away without them reasonably ending up under it and if I can I will leave them standing every time.

This is because like most people responsible for train dispatch I've been a victim of fools because of my previously attempting to 'help where possible'. Whether this is because I've waited for the one runner at an unmanned shack who then stands in the doors until his 6 mates 100 metres behind him make it up the road, or the seemingly lone female who has then refused to move out of the doorway until hubby gets out of the lift 3 coach lengths away with the pushchair, 3 kids and 4 massive suitcases they want to shove behind the drivers cab door when she's been sent ahead via the stairs to 'hold the train because the taxi was late', or the confused old lady who then runs past the open front door, too close to the train to dispatch it, looking at every coach and won't get on until they find the one they have a reservation for.

Thus to avoid any confrontations or come back for me (dispatch procedure says 'it is not acceptable to delay train dispatch for late running passengers') unless there's a significant mitigation like a late notice platform alteration, set swap, or it really is the last train in the middle of nowhere then I'm afraid my paying customers will have to continue to curse me when I see them but still leave them behind.

Of course as I've said previously if someone is at the local door saying 'can I jump on mate' as long as I'm not stood in it with the doors shutting the answer is yes. If the person is saying 'hang on chap, my missus is just coming down the stairs' then sadly I'll shut the door in their face and leave them which they won't like. The same applies if they try and shove me out of the way or force the door open in which case I boot them to make a point.

All the above seems like a very reasonable set of views on the issue.

It can be thankless dispatching trains at times, at some locations there will *always* be someone else. The main objectives are to get the trains moving safely and on time. I've no objective to a late runner being allowed on if it doesn't delay the train - one exception is if the local door isn't interlocked, in my view passengers should never be allowed on through such doors.
 

Greenback

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I've had occasions where I;ve been delayed for various reasons and turned up to catch a train at the last second. Sometimes I've been allowed top board at the rear door, once or twice I haven't. I'm grateful for the times I've got on, but not angry about the few incidents where I haven't. I accept that arriving at the station as departure time approaches carries an element of risk.

It doesn't matter whether the reason for my late arrival is down to me or due to external factors, like the time I had to wait for a lift to get out of my office block, then the pedestrian crossings were all against me on the way to the station, meaning that the two or three minutes I should have had spare were eaten up.

Having a busy life, and doing the best you can do to get to the station with time to spare means nothing more than shrugging your shoulders and saying 'that's life' when it does happen. No one should expect procedures to be halted and rules ignored.
 

Tetchytyke

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I sometimes cut it fine for trains (buses etc) but it's rarely because I am disorganised or lazy or inattentive, but rather because that's the best I can manage.

...and if you miss the train because of that then that is your fault and your problem, not that of the railways.

If despatch has started then you have missed the train. It's really that simple. It's very frustrating to miss your train by five seconds- I know, I've been there- but that's still your fault for not being there five seconds earlier.

The only thing I would say about the original post is that the behaviour of the TM is extremely unprofessional and downright unpleasant. If there's time to stand in the doorway having a screaming row with another member of staff, there's enough time to let the passenger get on the train. If it's not acceptable to delay the train for late-running passengers, it's certainly not acceptable to delay the train to have a screaming row with a colleague.
 

MichaelAMW

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...and if you miss the train because of that then that is your fault and your problem, not that of the railways.

If despatch has started then you have missed the train. It's really that simple. It's very frustrating to miss your train by five seconds- I know, I've been there- but that's still your fault for not being there five seconds earlier.

The only thing I would say about the original post is that the behaviour of the TM is extremely unprofessional and downright unpleasant. If there's time to stand in the doorway having a screaming row with another member of staff, there's enough time to let the passenger get on the train. If it's not acceptable to delay the train for late-running passengers, it's certainly not acceptable to delay the train to have a screaming row with a colleague.

I agree with all of that, except to say that if I miss the train when it's NOT my fault, which is actually the point I was trying to make, then it doesn't then become the railway's fault, much as I would like them to help whenever possible. To say that it's *my* fault for being five seconds late would almost always be wrong but that doesn't lead me to the modern disease of having to find *someone* to blame!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Sorry MichaelAMW but you'll often find that attitudes are born from experience. I will more often than not leave late runners standing. I don't tend to apply much empathy anymore. Unless it's literally one person I can clearly see and they can get on by me then I only apply the safety consideration of whether I can get the train away without them reasonably ending up under it and if I can I will leave them standing every time.

This is because like most people responsible for train dispatch I've been a victim of fools because of my previously attempting to 'help where possible'. Whether this is because I've waited for the one runner at an unmanned shack who then stands in the doors until his 6 mates 100 metres behind him make it up the road, or the seemingly lone female who has then refused to move out of the doorway until hubby gets out of the lift 3 coach lengths away with the pushchair, 3 kids and 4 massive suitcases they want to shove behind the drivers cab door when she's been sent ahead via the stairs to 'hold the train because the taxi was late', or the confused old lady who then runs past the open front door, too close to the train to dispatch it, looking at every coach and won't get on until they find the one they have a reservation for.

Thus to avoid any confrontations or come back for me (dispatch procedure says 'it is not acceptable to delay train dispatch for late running passengers') unless there's a significant mitigation like a late notice platform alteration, set swap, or it really is the last train in the middle of nowhere then I'm afraid my paying customers will have to continue to curse me when I see them but still leave them behind.

Of course as I've said previously if someone is at the local door saying 'can I jump on mate' as long as I'm not stood in it with the doors shutting the answer is yes. If the person is saying 'hang on chap, my missus is just coming down the stairs' then sadly I'll shut the door in their face and leave them which they won't like. The same applies if they try and shove me out of the way or force the door open in which case I boot them to make a point.

I don't have any problem with any of that and, as a guard, you know what you're talking about. Like most of the criticism from others on this thread, I think the staff in the video should have either just got on with the dispatch with a sympathetic but firm "sorry, it's too late" or let them on - not stood there arguing like a pair of kids by an open door.
 

LowLevel

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I can't disagree - the argument is more than a little bizarre and is if anything bloodymindedness.
 

SPADTrap

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On many occasions at stations where we have to look back I've re-released for passengers only for them not to notice the illumination of the hazard lights and walk off, I've then blown the horn and gestured to the train but they still haven't realised until (on the older stock) I press doors close and the hustle alarm sounds again despite all doors being closed. I've even re-released after this for the same to happen and that is me well and truly done for the day!
 

rdeez

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I'm not in a position to comment on the rights or wrongs of the TM's refusal to allow the passenger(s) to board. I don't know the details of the procedure or the circumstances leading up to the video.

But it's pretty clear that whatever led up to that point, as others have pointed out, it shouldn't have descended into the stand-off that was captured on video which doesn't come across as very professional at all. Maybe the dispatcher should have simply accepted the TM's refusal earlier on, likewise you can argue that the TM could have tried to shut the whole argument down in a more polite way (though without seeing the full incident end to end it's impossible to say if he did or not).

More generally, as a passenger, I wouldn't feel in a position to complain if I turned up late or at the last second for a train and I wasn't able to board - whether or not it was my own poor timekeeping that made me late. Some guards have been kind enough to let me hop on through their door - on the Cross-city line where the trains are frequent enough anyway, one guard even gestured for me to board quickly through the cab door as I arrived - but I don't feel they're in any way obliged to do this for me.

As it is nobody is going to end up happy here - the passengers that didn't board were led to think that they were going to be allowed to do so, the two employees involved might end up being rebuked regarding their behaviour to each other, and presumably the train was delayed because of the whole thing.
 

TheEdge

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I can't disagree - the argument is more than a little bizarre and is if anything bloodymindedness.

Quite, I've watched and watched them and I just can't fathom what is happening. My closest guess is that the first tip has been given, doors are shut bar the local door and someone has run up. If the local door was a cab door I could understand the TM's actions but from the look of it it isn't, its a passenger door doubling up as the local door. I cannot fathom why the TM could not have stepped to the side and let them on via that. :|
 

SPADTrap

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Quite, I've watched and watched them and I just can't fathom what is happening. My closest guess is that the first tip has been given, doors are shut bar the local door and someone has run up. If the local door was a cab door I could understand the TM's actions but from the look of it it isn't, its a passenger door doubling up as the local door. I cannot fathom why the TM could not have stepped to the side and let them on via that. :|

I guess that the passenger appeared somewhere towards the front of the unit and the dispatcher held off from giving the second tip which would have allowed the TM to close his local door and give the 'right away'. I'd guess the TM took issue with being 'forced' to remain on the platform while the passenger made their way to the local door? I guess he could have gotten away a bit before so the added delay of waiting for this passenger lead to the TM taking the hard line?

I feel the pain, often waiting to leave my terminus you watch as your departure time comes and goes, the signal if OFF and when you look back you see people running up to find their seat and the dispatcher waiting for them rather than get them on the first door.
 
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Deepgreen

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You're talking about a very, very small minority there. If anyone does post something of concern, please report it using the report button.

A very, very small, but very, very, very vocal and aggressive minority! There isn't time to report every time one of 'the fraternity' does it!
 
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