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Go Back   Railway Forum > General Railway Discussion > Passenger Operations and Observations

Trains across Britain missed stops 160 times a day.

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  #1  
Old 16th April 2018, 10:31
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Trains across Britain missed stops 160 times a day.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-43701210

I never realised it was done deliberately.


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Old 19th April 2018, 05:07
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G'day Philip,
The UK is not alone in this caper.
Though, the smog hollow Sydney suburban system normally runs very well.
Late running can occur.
We call it a Transposition when Train Control alters the stopping pattern of a train.
This usually occurs out on the West to make all stoppers into express.
Can't have the rich North Shore cattle delayed.
So, Westies miss out as a consequence.
The trains from Penrith (Emu Plains) wandering over the Coathanger and up the Shore to Hornsby.
Mind you, sometimes the hogger makes a mistake and misses a stop by accident.
That cops him a bung (please explain) and a $100.oo fine.
One of the classic excuses many moons ago, when a driver missed a stop, HE told the irate passenger that there had been a bomb scare.
The passenger was so thankful that she wrote to SRA management praising the driver.
Naturally, that driver then got into heaps of trouble.
But, I did think that his impromptu excuse was rather good.
HA!
Steve.
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Old 19th April 2018, 08:36
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Thanks Steve.

Is it me, or has a post gone missing ? (it was from BW)
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Old 19th April 2018, 08:49
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Hi Philip and a/s.

Sometimes it has to be this way.

A late running stopping service can cause enormous disruption. If it has a fast service behind it, then it might take all day to sort out the 'ripple effect' of delays spreading through the system.

There are chits which are handed to drivers - a 'Special Not To Stop' notice tells him/her where they don't call.

Conversely it's common to get following trains to stop additionally so they can pick up passengers who've been missed out. For this a 'Special Stop' notice is used. This is done discretionally by operations control in such a way that that it doesn't worsen delays -hopefully.

And yes, I forgot to stop at a station once (doesn't everybody, eventually ?). And likewise I made an announcement about low-adhesion being a reason. Unfortunately, unknown to me was the Network Rail regional manager sitting directly behind my cab in the First Class compartment. Didn't expect that at 3 am on a Sunday morning !

About 45 minutes later the signaller called me. He was laughing and said that 'it didn't come from him, but somebody very high up had alledged that I hadn't called at a station'. Because everything you say to signallers is recorded, I just apologised and said I'd meant to call him and inform him, but I got distracted.

Big rollocking for me then when I got back to base. Tut Tut. Having a safety incident AND failing to declare it. Weewee in a cup and a recorded interview. Shucks. That damn 'Fail to call' is still on my licence 15 years later. What really sucks is that nobody even wanted to get on or off there.

Still what the hell. Nobody died and I didn't lose my job.

Some you win, and some you lose.

Cheers, BW.

Last edited by Beeyar Wunby; 19th April 2018 at 08:51.
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Old 19th April 2018, 09:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pre65 View Post
Thanks Steve.

Is it me, or has a post gone missing ? (it was from BW)
Hi Philip. Yes it has. I posted a rant, and then decided later that I should self-moderate.

My big beef over the modern railway is how the bean counters and politicians have created such a financially wasteful and logistically insane mess. BR had many faults, but I think that what replaced it is far more wasteful and that the tax payer is being deceived and robbed. Insidiousness has replaced incompetence.

In retrospect, I think the right place to discuss this is face-to-face amongst a small group of people, ideally in a place with beer.

We manage to keep this great forum free from politics, and whilst I feel strongly that politicans (of all parties) are responsible for much of the madness on the railway, I appreciate that everybody has a different opinion and it would be great shame to start a bun fight on here.

Cheers, BW

Last edited by Beeyar Wunby; 19th April 2018 at 09:35.
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Old 20th April 2018, 00:16
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Have to agree with you BW. Lets keep the politicians and their politics off of this great site. No bun fights please.
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Old 20th April 2018, 07:48
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Yes, those places with beer are one of my most favourite locations.
I make it policy to sample what is on offer when I venture to anywhere new.
Though, one must be careful of them boys in blue hiding in their car just around the corner.
Steve.
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Old 21st April 2018, 06:46
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One of the worst episodes that I recollect from back when I was doing battle down in smog hollow, occurred on a week-end.
Trackwork was scheduled and consequently trains were only going one way around the City Circle underground.
Unfortunately, while digging in the dirt, somebody accidentally dug up the signal cables.
This took out all of the working signals in the city circle, comprising six stations, including Central.
Trains started to bank up heading into town as they approached Central.
A departing train had to crawl along tripping past each and every failed signal.
And attempt to not run into the train infront of it, likewise crawling along stopping at every signal.
The driver and guard getting blisters on their thumbs from pressing and acknowledging the two short plus one long bell code.
Passing a signal at stop in accordance with the regulations.
That being something like a total of 35 signals, that the train must crawl past experiencing the Train Stop emergency and restore of the air brake.
The occasional train would depart and slowly vanish into the underground.
But, nothing was emerging from that underground.
When a train did eventually appear, nobody knew just where it was supposed to go.
The destination boards on the platform changing numerous times to confuse the enraged cattle even more.
Not only the cattle were confused, train crews were likewise confused.
A guard might appear, but no driver to relieve the incoming crew, or vice-versa.
Trains were so late by this stage that numerous crews were still stuck in that big black hole called the underground.
They being unable to have crib (meal break) or relieve their next turn of duty as scheduled.
Yes, there were a number of crews loitering awaiting to relieve trains.
BUT, crews are assigned a specific train to relieve and cannot just jump on something else without permission.
Plus, out depot crews working home to sign off duty are not about to jump on something going the wrong way.
So, that train to appear would then sit there endlessly until somebody made a decision as to where it was going.
Basically, the wheels fell off completely.
I did feel sorry for the embattled train crew management, who were besieged by ranting and raving crews.
Train crew management could not alter anything without the permission of Train Control.
Train Control, well you wouldn't go anywhere near them during such a circus.
After standing around for over an hour, Fed up with the cattle abuse, I finally got through to train crew management.
One of the union meetings included the management demand that all crew wear a uniform.
This was a hotly contested debate.
That day, I understood why most ETR blokes did not desire to wear a uniform.
You stood out amongst the enraged cattle and could not hide from any haranguing.
"What is your diagram"; he asked ?
I responded; "I am yours for the day, I don't care where I go, I just want to do something and not stand around like this."
He responded; "we are giving up on the city circle and trains are now entering Sydney yard, come over to the office."
I hoofed over and was asked if I would work one to Campbelltown via Granville.
"Give me a set of keys, a guard and a train, and I'll go", I replied.
He dialled the digits to Train Control, and then responded; "take the rear four car T set on platform 6".
I hoofed around to platform 6; platforms 1 through 15 being the Sydney Terminal interurban and country platforms.
I found the rear Tangarbage, but NO guard.
The front Tangarbage had a guard but NO driver.
Platform announcements indicated that a train to Campbelltown via Granville was about to depart platform 6.
HMMMM.
"Where are you going"; I asked the guard.
"I think that we are going to Hornsby, but I am not sure", he responded.
I hoofed back to the office.
WHATs WRONG, the poor bloke begged ?
"I don't have a guard, and the T set infront of me don't got a driver", I responded.
He grabbed the phone to dial TC.
Holding the phone a good three inches from his ear, I could easily hear the response from TC.
I cannot relate the contents of that message in a family forum.
Suffice it to say that TC had lost it by that stage.
"Your heard that", the bloke begged ?
"YES".
Then you have your instructions, and I cannot assist you any further.
So, I reluctantly hoofed back to my going nowhere tangarbage and sat in the cab.
The driverless Tangarbage parked infront of me for almost two hours rusting to the rails.
More and more squirts were invading Sydney yard to clutter up the place.
During this time, a cluster of cattle had gathered surrounding my motionless tangarbage.
Yes, I felt very sorry for them, but there is only so much anguish that a bloke can endure.
I locked the cab door and pulled the window blinds down.
Finally, a voice over the intercom indicated that a tailgunner had jumped aboard.
"Driver, are you there; where is this thing going"?
"Campbelltown via Granville", I responded.
"What stops", he begged, to which I replied; "Normal week-end stops, I presume".
Bell codes, doors opening and closing and a Tail Pull (air brake continuity) had enlivened the cattle.
A yellow in the signal at the end of the platform did give hope that the thing in front might finally go.
Yes, a driver came sprinting past to confer with the guard.
His shaking head did not bode well, and he sprinted away again.
Some minutes later a dejected looking hogger reappeared definitely not sprinting past this time.
"I'm supposed to be working home to Penrith, not going to Hornsby", he snorted.
"Just think of the overtime", I responded.
HALLELUJAH, the thing infront of me blasted off.
A hasty platform announcement advised that a train to Campbelltown was due to depart platform 6.
That yellow again glowed up the end of the platform.
Hallelujah, after being on duty almost FOUR hours, the wheels finally began to turn.
"Driver, I still don't know what stops", begged the guard over the intercom.
"See what the indicator says at Redfern", I responded.
So, while perched on Redfern platform 2, I jumped out to check the indicator.
HMMMM.
It was blank.
Finally a station announcement boomed over the pa, the train on 2 is going to Liverpool via Regents Park.
OH OH.
"NOW WHAT", begs the guard.
"I'll just follow the signals", I responded.
At Strathfield, the announcement; This train is going to Penrith".
E GADS.
Totally confused cattle clamber on and off, delaying progress even further.
At Lidcombe, the signal indicates that I am continuing west, not south via Regents Park.
At Granville, a train load of Penrith cattle get told to GET OFF as this train is going to Campbelltown.
The poor Campbelltown cattle all having abandoned ship at either Redfern or Strathfield.
I finally lob into Campbelltown with an almost empty train and wonder what is next on the agenda.
"WHAT on earth is going on in town; everyone begs; we ain't seen a train in over four hours".
"TOTAL CHAOS", I advised.
I sit in my Tangarbage and munch on some tucker while I await developments.
It is obvious that nobody knows what to do with my train.
Eventually a knock comes at me cab door.
"Driver, are you working back into town", a guard begs.
"I presume so", I respond.
"Good, I gotta go into town to sign off duty", he professes.
"Ditto here", I confess.
"When are you going"; to which I shrug.
"I've spent five hours going nowhere here", contends the guard.
Finally a radio call from Campbelltown signal box; "Driver will you work that train back into town" ?
"You give me the road and I'm gone", I suggested.
"ER um, we don't know which way you will go", the pointcop interjected.
"I'll just follow the signals", I contended.
Off we went, ending up back at Granville, after some confusion at both Glenfield and Liverpool.
I finally limped back into Sydney yard, obviously the underground was still kaputt.
I stabled the train and went to the office.
"You may as well go home, things are not improving", responded the crew manager.
I jumped at the opportunity to sprint around and climb aboard the next Lithgow interurban.
The following day smog hollow tabloids included a small paragraph dubbed Chaos on Sydney trains.
Passengers were forced to walk through the underground tunnels to stations when all trains stopped.
One wheelchair passenger unable to get off was stranded for over five hours in the underground.
With the smog hollow 2000 olympics still a good 7 years in the future, this incident was totally forgotten by that time.
Panic did rear it's ugly head though as those olympics did loom.
Steve.
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