Why do multiple units no longer have glass cabs?

Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by alexl92, 5 May 2015.

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  1. alexl92

    alexl92 Established Member

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    Just out of interest, is there any reason why multiple units no longer have a glass/see-through back to the cab as first generation heritage DMUs had, allowing the passengers to look out of the front? It seems a shame to me.

    Is it for safety (either the driver or the passenger) or just practicality of the design?
     
  2. scott118

    scott118 Member

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    couldn't think of a worse distraction than having all that glass. Do you like having someone peer over your shoulder, when you are at work? I'd imagine, it's down to safety, costing, and perhaps security nowadays. On another note, would you like to also witness a fatality?
     
    Last edited: 5 May 2015
  3. 455driver

    455driver Veteran Member

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    On modern stock a lot of electronics are situated behind the drivers seat, the cab is also a crumple zone, would you want me to watch you while you are working?
     
  4. TimG

    TimG Member

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    No. I make more mistakes when being watched. That said, legend has it that in Japan they do it to ensure driivers stick to the rules.
     
  5. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    How did your colleagues from the 50s and 60s cope? ;)
     
  6. leaffall

    leaffall Member

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    Having spent a good few years on the buses and coaches I got used to being observed by my passengers but it does make you feel a bit uncomfortable, especially when they start filming you, which is not uncommon.

    But of the things mentioned already, like electronics and equipment in the bulkhead, and also the cab being a crumple zone the most poignant one is that of people jumping in front of trains. It's an occupational hazard for us but would you want your child to witness someone being pulverised across the front at 90 mph?
     
  7. LowLevel

    LowLevel Established Member

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    They pulled the blinds down :)
     
  8. ac6000cw

    ac6000cw Established Member

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    Actually my experience (as a passenger) in the 70s and 80s was that most of the time the blinds were up (except at night of course to block out the carriage lighting). Sometimes a driver would lower just the blind behind their seat, so you could still get the view from the RHS of the carriage - and you always had to be quick to get the front seats :).
     
    Last edited: 5 May 2015
  9. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    If they ever re-introduced such a thing now a days they would need to employ a heck of a lot more Twitter staff to field all the complaints! The world is a very different place now to when these were common. Imagine passengers watching a driver now...tweets of 'this driver is drinking tea whilst driving-how unsafe', 'my driver has his foot up on the dashboard-too relaxed to be fully concentrating on driving my train' and so on...
     
  10. DeeGee

    DeeGee Member

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    I'm assuming from that comment that drinking tea with your feet up is normal procedure, is it?

    Tea I can understand, most of us have a drink while at work, but feet up...?
     
  11. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    What's wrong with a foot up (can't do both due to pedals)? When sitting in a cab for 5 hours non stop can one not get comfortable? Nothing dangerous about it.
     
  12. DeeGee

    DeeGee Member

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    Thanks. That's why I was asking.

    I was thinking that a coach driver wouldn't be able to, but then or course, a coach driver would get frequent mandatory breaks.
     
  13. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    A coach driver couldn't as they need their feet for the pedals. A train driver only needs one foot on the pedal. But comparing a train driver and coach driver seems a little pointless as the only similarity between their jobs I can think of is that they have passengers. Apart from that they are entirely different jobs so you can't really compare how they sit without involving anyone who sits down at work!
     
  14. DeeGee

    DeeGee Member

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    You see, I have no idea what it's like in the cab of a train.

    If only there were some way for me to get an idea of what it's like, to better understand ;)

    But, yes, it's the thought of witnessing a fatality that would scupper this idea.
     
  15. Minilad

    Minilad Established Member

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    I would imagine most people would soon get bored of watching. Not a lot happens in reality.
     
  16. PermitToTravel

    PermitToTravel Established Member

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    I've seen plenty of buses being driven with the driver's left foot up on the ledge type thing on an E400/E200. No harm in it at all
     
  17. notadriver

    notadriver Established Member

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    Trams have glass windows so passengers can spy on the driver (and see out the front). The driver can't completely block off the view as the blinds are see through. Like buses they may have driver facing cctv cameras something that would never happen on mainline trains in the UK.
     
  18. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Established Member

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    I've been on modern German ICE trains where you can see the line ahead over the driver's shoulder (who has a central position).
    First Class section I think.
    Metrolink trams have a glass front, though you can't see much through it because of various obstacles.
     
  19. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    CCTV is back on the cards actually and quite a hot topic between some industry Chiefs and Aslef. At a conference last year attended by representatives from management and unions for the transport sector this came up. A railway manager stood up to talk about the importance of installing driver facing cctv and was shot down by many senior managers from other transport industries arguing 'what on earth is the point?!'

    They are trying to push it through but so far no one has come up with any actual justification for it. It won't aid into investigation, it won't help competency monitoring etc, it can't provide any info not already available to management about what a driver is doing.
     
  20. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Tram drivers seem to cope. Metrolink has a forward view, for instance. Not a whole lot different to many local DMU services.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Depends which way you're going - it's second class at the other end!
     
  21. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    Tram drivers do cope. As would train drivers if that were how trains were designed, I never suggested that they couldn't cope with it. But they arnt designed like that. And they are unlikely to start designing them like that in the future as what purpose would a window serve at all? It would cost more with with the addition of glass and re-routing all the electrics and re-designing equipment storage on the cab wall and considering very few drivers have ever driven the early DMUs would lead to many drivers feeling very un-easy. So by adding glass all you do is up costs and upset your workforce. Unless any benifit can be found to it the. It isn't going to happen, ever.
     
  22. scott118

    scott118 Member

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    Forward facing cctv's aren't recording drivers actions. They are filming potential, track defect's and unfortunately, some fatalities.
     
  23. tony_mac

    tony_mac Established Member

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    I wonder if they said the same thing in Germany before they introduced them on ICEs.
     
  24. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    I get the impression that more luxurious travel was high on the list of priorities when designing those trains. That isn't the case with UK trains and certainly isn't with commuter trains. Over here coming in on a tight budget is more of a priority than flashy glass panels.
     
  25. LowerQuadrant

    LowerQuadrant New Member

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    Here's a photo I took a couple of years ago of a German ICE with glass bulkhead between passenger area and cab:

    [​IMG]

    It's marketed as an 'observation' end, although you can't really see much out of the driver's windscreen from the passenger seats.

    Local DMUs in Germany also have similar full glass partitions. Not just windows: the entire partition is glass.
     
  26. notadriver

    notadriver Established Member

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    Also just to add as a coach driver I expect to be watched as its a customer facing and interacting job.
     
  27. TrainfanBen

    TrainfanBen Member

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    I was once on a bus, the traffic was that bad the driver put his feet up on the dashboard, it was brilliant seeing somebody have a laugh and a joke instead of just monotonously sitting there feeling frustrated.

    Mind, it wasn't a normal bus service, it was a special event.

    Also, seeing this thread made me think of Blackpool Tramway, you can pretty much see into the cabs and the drivers deal with that perfectly well. Same goes for Manchester Metrolink if I recall correctly.


    Edit: seems somebody allready said something along the same lines, apologies.
     
  28. 83G/84D

    83G/84D Established Member

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    So you can't see them going through Dawlish reading a newspaper! Seriously though that was a few years ago and the driver was in the wrong and it was dealt with I understand. As others have said I would imagine drivers have enough distractions from people on and off the trains and have to concentrate really hard on what they are doing.
     
  29. Taunton

    Taunton Established Member

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    The DLR has no issue with people being able to see out of the front. Likewise passengers upstairs in double deck buses.

    Meanwhile, in coaches, taxis, and indeed for 40 years of Mk 1 dmus (and just a few electrics, like the Glasgow Blue Trains) it didn't cause any issue at all. Even the GWR diesel railcars of the 1930s had it. All the dmu drivers had come from steam locos and never felt any issue I can recall with the passengers being behind. Nor was there ever a case of passengers being difficult through the window that I can recall - and it doesn't happen on buses and coaches, does it ?

    It was however a key marketing feature when the trains first came in, and in part led to a notable upsurge in patronage. Much was made of it in publicity of the time.
     
  30. scott118

    scott118 Member

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    DLR - are you serious? Have you tried to ask one of their drivers, if it's unobtrusive at all?
     
    Last edited: 5 May 2015
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