XC and GWR train crew shortages

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Mitchell Hurd, 25 Aug 2019.

  1. Mitchell Hurd

    Mitchell Hurd Member

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    Good morning people. Unless you can't change your plans, I'd avoid GWR services as well as XC - even the probably vital 08:05 from London to Penzance (vital as this provides Wiltshire with a through service to the South West and Somerset with a big train in the morning also to the South West) is also cancelled. Look at JourneyCheck and you'll see what I mean.

    I know staff have personal reasons for coming in but I'm struggling to think that all the staff rostered to work these services have these reasons.

    I believe if I've seen it on here correctly that staff don't want to do overtime? Understandable yes, but disrupting peoples journeys (some who would have planned these for many months) isn't acceptable.

    I hope my Leeds trip isn't disrupted on the 29/09/19 (16:06 from Oxford to Leeds and the 18:03 from there) because of train crew shortages!

    It's also unfair that passengers suffer and pick up the pieces whilst many staff get to enjoy time off.
     
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  3. Jonfun

    Jonfun Established Member

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    Sunday on Bank Holiday weekend when you've got nice weather and the likes of Reading/Leeds festival, Manchester/Cardiff Prides, plus it's summer holiday time, nobody's going to come in to work overtime to cover staff shortages if they don't have to. If TOCs didn't skimp on hiring enough staff, or even just trained more managers to work trains, there would be no issue.
     
  4. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Even managers wouldn't want to come in on a day like this. ;)

    It's a balance debated again and again on this forum. Hire enough staff, massively increase costs and end up having people sitting around spare most of the time, or you have cancellations here and there along the way.

    Some TOCs probably went too far in the so-called "efficiency drive" but on a weekend like this, partly for the reason you mentioned, it is always going to be a struggle.
     
  5. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    Is sickness involved at all? I read recently that there has been sickness with some South Western Railway staff, which is why they are having to cancel trains.
     
  6. RichT54

    RichT54 Member

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    The list of cancellations on Journey Check for GWR "due to a shortage of train crew" is still growing, they've just (09:06) added a bunch of Gatwick services.
     
  7. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    Interestingly, when I do a National Rail Enquiries App search on Guildford to Gatwick Airport, the cancelled 13:52 and 14:52 don't show up. I thought cancelled trains showed up in the journey planner and you then clicked on alternatives. Even if I force it to only show trains via Dorking Deepdene they don't show up.

    They do show up on the live departure boards though. Passengers can of course get the x30/x31 services to Redhill and change.

    The general Great Western Railway disruption. Kitce on National Rail Enquiries doesn't mention Reading to Gatwick Airport services. Perhaps they are still be to be added. It is linked to from individual Reading to Gatwick Airport services though.

    https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/service_disruptions/229542.aspx
     
  8. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    A total mess -but don't worry the senior management who need to sort this out will continue to draw their massive salaries and no doubt will get paid bonuses as well. In any other industry they would be looking for another job, but this is the railway bubble.
     
  9. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    How many people moaning about train cancellations work on Bank Holiday weekends or any weekend?

    The staff signed contracts and they are working them accordingly.
     
  10. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    With respect what has that go do do with anything - TOCs are supposed to deliver a train service on Sundays and are failing to do so.

    Indeed - and its the job of TOC senior management to put in contracts that are fit for purpose. The current contracts clearly are not.
     
  11. PHILIPE

    PHILIPE Established Member

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    It's not even possible to moan or ask important questions on Twitter as the GWR Twitter has on several occasions recently gone the same way as trains on Saturday and Sunday mornings with no feed available.
     
  12. Scott M

    Scott M Member

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    Why is the choice always between having a raft of staff sitting spare, or having rafts of cancellations, why is there no happy medium where there is just the right amount of staff?

    Some people, myself included, work away from home mon-fri and commute back to place of work on Sunday night.
     
    Last edited: 25 Aug 2019
  13. theironroad

    theironroad Established Member

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    Really nice! Can't have the staff enjoying their time off can we?

    We've had this debate countless times before . If enough staff were employed to cover the the staff required to operate the timetable then there wouldn't be a need to resort to overtime.

    However, it's easier for some on here to blame the staff themselves for not wanting to do overtime..

    What is disgusting is people using language implying that individual staff , enjoying their time off, are to blame for disrupting services.
     
  14. irish_rail

    irish_rail Member

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    Railway staff have as much right to time off with our families when the weather is nice as you do. Goodwill well and truly out the window with GWR now with the way the high speed drivers are being treated by the company, can't see Sundays ever realistically becoming mandatory now.
     
  15. 3141

    3141 Established Member

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    So congratulations to SWR for ensuring there are enough managers trained as contingency guards to keep some services going when the RMT calls a strike.

    I was thinking that contracts must have some part in the current GWR problem. It would be interesting to know whether today's train crew shortages are due to a high proportion of Sunday services depending on overtime working, or whether a similar level of overtime working is needed on every day of the week. If Sunday operation is highly dependant on overtime, I wonder why more Sunday services don't use basic contracted hours. But that wouldn't be easy if some staff have contracts that don't include Sunday working. So in that case I'd agree that new contracts are required in which Sunday working is part of the normal working week.

    At such a time there are bound to be some people who'd phone in to say they are sick.
     
  16. Mintona

    Mintona Established Member

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    I’m doing overtime this morning. I got up at 03.45 on the Sunday of a sunny August bank holiday weekend to come in and get some trains moving. I can’t drive them all though, sadly.

    I’m doing overtime tomorrow too, fwiw. I could’ve enjoyed my booked weekend off but here I am.
     
    Last edited: 25 Aug 2019
  17. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    There is, the difficulty is finding it.

    The difficulty is partly down to do with the long lead time of any adjustments, and the variable demand dependent on a large number of seemingly random factors.
     
  18. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Very much a myth, especially given the current operating climate.
     
  19. Mitchell Hurd

    Mitchell Hurd Member

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    Sorry to cause conflict but it's not fair that passengers put up with this most
    most Sundays. The 'shortage of train crew' excuses are too old now and that at this rate the train companies may as well reduce the frequency of trains on Sundays. Either that or employ more people to work on Sundays. That's the only solution I can think of.
     
  20. Mitchell Hurd

    Mitchell Hurd Member

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    Of course there will be people off sick - that's fine. It's when people are well enough to come in that it makes it unfair on passengers.
     
  21. Class83

    Class83 Member

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    This absolutely, there are no doubt many railway (and retail, restaurant, power station, hospital, etc) staff in work today who would quite like to be in a beer garden.

    However, the railway is a seven day operation, enough staff should be recruited to operate the standard 7 day timetable without overtime, all new operational staff should have contracts which include 7 day working (proportionate to the number of services operated on each day, so averaged over the year, a rota may contain more weekday than weekend shifts) and a plan put in place to move existing staff to such contracts.
     
  22. vikingdriver

    vikingdriver Member

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    It's worth pointing out that it is TOCs who generally aren't keen on Sundays being part of the week with unions in favour, preferring zero overtime to be worked.
     
  23. Carlisle

    Carlisle Established Member

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    Almost nobody’s blaming individual staff , it’s the seemingly endless deadlock between management & unions on this issue & associated shenanigans on both sides at some TOCs that an increasing number of rail users are now sick of as a reason for high numbers of cancellations
     
    Last edited: 25 Aug 2019
  24. GoneSouth

    GoneSouth Member

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    So they should all work their weekends/rest days? Not sure I’d like to be driven by crew who got NO time off. This isn’t about having extra time off, it’s about not working over their contracted hours, something which many TOCs have shamefully relied upon for ever.

    Yes it’s an absolute pain in the arse for passengers and I use both companies mentioned here, but I know I wouldn’t want to work for an organisation that could only deliver its services through voluntary extra working. I’ve changed plans for the bank holiday because of this nonsense but don’t have any bad feelings towards the crews who have cancelled their overtime... the companies that run (sometimes) the trains, well that’s a different matter... senior management are the ones your gripe should be aimed at for their inability/unwillingness to hire and train the right numbers of staff!
     
  25. PHILIPE

    PHILIPE Established Member

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    It would cost the TOCs money..........
     
  26. GoneSouth

    GoneSouth Member

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    Season ticket holders with either company should be entitled to some sort of refund if the services are not running. Sunday may not be the intended use of their season tickets, but passengers are entitled to use them 7 days per week so should be compensated when things don’t run. Kick the TOCs where it hurts, in the balance sheet, that should focus the mind
     
  27. vikingdriver

    vikingdriver Member

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    Exactly, a massive number of extra drivers would be required. Far cheaper to grovel an apology, pay delay repay etc!
     
    Last edited: 25 Aug 2019
  28. Carlisle

    Carlisle Established Member

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    Have XC management previously proposed a deal with Sunday’s included in the working week that staff have rejected? If so you analysis seems inaccurate, if however they’ve never done so your probably correctl
     
  29. Kettledrum

    Kettledrum Member

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    Having seen the threads on here from posters who are keen to get into the rail industry to become drivers, there is absolutely no excuse for TOCs not to recruit and train enough drivers. And if they can't or won't do so, then the TOC shouldn't be running the franchise. There needs to be consequences.
     
  30. 156420

    156420 Member

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    I’m not off sick, today isn’t my booked Sunday, I don’t want to work, I’m N/A simple as that?

    Is there a problem with that?
     
  31. Darandio

    Darandio Established Member

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    Yes. You are being completely unfair on passengers who want to enjoy their day off. Why should you enjoy your day off if they can't enjoy theirs? :lol:
     

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