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Sallyann1234
12th Aug 2016, 12:56
East Coast striking

Eurotunnel staff striking

Southern staff refusing operating procedures that are normal on other lines

London underground striking/threatening at every opportunity.

If HS2 gets built, how much will staff have to be bribed to work on it?

pvmw
12th Aug 2016, 13:13
Strictly speaking, it is Eurostar staff that are striking, Eurotunnel is unaffected. Probably because it is a new company, employing new staff, and doesn't have the historical legacy of intransigent and bolshie unions throwing their weight around. The government should play hard ball. If they continue to strike sack them, and then sue the unions for the lost revenue. Otherwise they will just continue to repeat the action every time they feel like it.

Also, put in place a crash programme to automate the railways completely. Drivers (and especially conductors) are completely unnecessary. The sooner they are consigned to history the better.

radeng
12th Aug 2016, 13:33
pvmw

Even with drivers and conductors, we still get incidents like Clapham South, West Wickham, Hayes and Harlington, Huntingdon, King's Cross, Newcastle and other similar ones where sliding doors trap peoples clothing, the sensing mechanisms cannot sense a thin obstruction and people get dragged along the platform - and in at least one case killed. West Wickham was driver inattention, but if you had no conductor and no driver, the times that there hasn't been an accident because of human intervention would have been times where there was an accident.

ATNotts
12th Aug 2016, 13:33
Strictly speaking, it is Eurostar staff that are striking, Eurotunnel is unaffected. Probably because it is a new company, employing new staff, and doesn't have the historical legacy of intransigent and bolshie unions throwing their weight around. The government should play hard ball. If they continue to strike sack them, and then sue the unions for the lost revenue. Otherwise they will just continue to repeat the action every time they feel like it.

Also, put in place a crash programme to automate the railways completely. Drivers (and especially conductors) are completely unnecessary. The sooner they are consigned to history the better.
I wish the government could play hardball; however unfortunately some eejit privatised the entire network, so they have no control over the industry!

The RMT are dinosaurs, what Southern are looking to do is little different to what Light Rail operators do in UK, and what the DB on local / regional trains do. It is interesting that the Eurostar dispute is stopping 8 trains over the period of the strike. I assume that French and Belgian crews are being used instead, so surely the logical move is to move more of the train staff to Belgian and French contracts and quietly run down the UK operation. The RMT would only have themselves to blame if Eurostar did thus.

Blues&twos
12th Aug 2016, 13:36
"Especially conductors" - there speaks an able-bodied and visually healthy individual!

ATNotts
12th Aug 2016, 13:59
The technology has been there for a long time. It just needs a complete change in attitudes.

It's not a question of technology, but of bosses with Dickensian attitudes, and a total lack of trust of their employees to work from home. This is especially prevalent among small / medium sized businesses. Perhaps as today's 20-somethings begin to take over the reins things might change.

Krystal n chips
12th Aug 2016, 17:31
Strictly speaking, it is Eurostar staff that are striking, Eurotunnel is unaffected. Probably because it is a new company, employing new staff, and doesn't have the historical legacy of intransigent and bolshie unions throwing their weight around. The government should play hard ball. If they continue to strike sack them, and then sue the unions for the lost revenue. Otherwise they will just continue to repeat the action every time they feel like it.


I take it then you only work alone, at home rather than in a working environment that is subjected to legislation which is there to ensure your working welfare and safety are suitably protected?.....or has it just passed you by that much of the legislation which is taken forgranted was as a result of those "bolshie unions" acting on behalf of workers to obtain these conditions.

" Also, put in place a crash programme to automate the railways completely. Drivers (and especially conductors) are completely unnecessary. The sooner they are consigned to history the better"

Now that's truly in a class of it's own....... when it comes to dysfunctional thinking that is.

Thus, to begin with how about offering us some costings, .... and sources of the finances required...we are leaving the EU remember, so no help there....a time scale may also prove useful.

And then there's the inconsequential and trivial little matter of..safety.

Let's suppose the train malfunctions and it's got say 120 pax on....or the driver is taken ill...or the train hits an animal pehaps....or, worse still, some poor soul elects to commit suicide.....you have one driver in all these potential circumstances, non of which are hypothetical, and in the case of the last one, one very traumatised driver.

Whose going to ensure the passengers safety ?

As Blues and Twos pointed out, you are clearly able bodied.....many people are not so fortunate so presumably they can simply be ignored as passengers ?.

Here's some reading for you...take your time to assimilate the contents.

http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/2016/06/passengers-want-properly-staffed-railway-not-driver-operated-trains/

Meanwhile, a sociologist writes......


All unions are dinosaurs and the sooner people start to realise it and stop paying them the better.

I would however say a large number of the commuting traffic is also unnecessary and the sooner companies adopt modern technology and allow more working from home the better. How many travel to work to sit at a desk and email those in the same office? How many meetings could be down via conferencing?

Of course the hyper inflated commercial property industry in the major cities would suffer and the endless number of coffee shops wouldn't sell as many £5 mocha latte double shot coffees but that would be no loss.

I can envisage a time when people will start to move out of the cities once more and houses will include an office and full IT set up to allow a large variety of jobs to be down from home. Those who need to be on site will find it much easier to get there and it will also be beneficial for parents.

The technology has been there for a long time. It just needs a complete change in attitude

H.G Wells, Aldous Huxley, Arthur C.Clarke perhaps ?....nope, our very own future visionary it seems.....you missed out teleportation by the way .......but other than that, alas...unlikely to emulate those already mentioned.

So everybody who commutes logs on / off to a terminal all day do they ?.....erm, no they don't and the best one yet, about being beneficial to parents !.....most parents are more than happy to see the back of their little darlings as soon as they can..not having them encumbering the home.

The RMT are "dinosaurs" it seems.

The RMT are acting on behalf of their members and, more pertinently, we, the paying and travelling public and our safety.

Technology is fine, until that is, we become over reliant on such and it fails.

Irrespective of the context, we need other trained professionals, human beings, to avoid confusion for some on here, to be able to interact with and even more so in safety critical environments.

ATNotts
12th Aug 2016, 19:16
The RMT are acting on behalf of their members and, more pertinently, we, the paying and travelling public and our safety.

The RMT are trying to hold back the tide of automation and efficiency in their industry sector, to protect their member's jobs - they are not trying to protect the public, nor to serve them.

The rail safety authorities in UK have no problem with driver only trains, in many continental cities they have driverless underground trains (Nürnberg for one). The RMT and their mates at ASLEF can't even permit London Underground to offer a comprehensive 24 hour service, which to our continental colleague must appear laughable.

They (the RMT) along with ASLEF are unions run by left wingers who's objective is disruption of the public, to further their own member's interests - safety is secondary. Always has been, always will be - it's just one of those glib statements trotted out in a (vain) attempt to get public support. Scum!

Saintsman
12th Aug 2016, 22:19
I don't use trains very often (maybe every couple of years) so I can't comment on UK trains. I did however visit Dubai earlier this year.

The metro is totally automated. The trains stop in exactly the place they are supposed to do and the platforms are clearly signed to show where the doors are going to be and where to stand to let people on and off. Audible warnings of the doors opening and closing were very clear.

It works.

There may well be accidents in the future, but there will probably be accidents with manned trains too. So I suspect that the safety argument given by the Unions is somewhat a red herring.

Windy Militant
12th Aug 2016, 22:34
I would be careful what you wish for. If they automate the railways, what will they automate next? ...........:suspect:

spargazer
12th Aug 2016, 22:51
The RMT are trying to hold back the tide of automation and efficiency in their industry sector, to protect their member's jobs - they are not trying to protect the public, nor to serve them.

The rail safety authorities in UK have no problem with driver only trains, in many continental cities they have driverless underground trains (Nürnberg for one). The RMT and their mates at ASLEF can't even permit London Underground to offer a comprehensive 24 hour service, which to our continental colleague must appear laughable.

They (the RMT) along with ASLEF are unions run by left wingers who's objective is disruption of the public, to further their own member's interests - safety is secondary. Always has been, always will be - it's just one of those glib statements trotted out in a (vain) attempt to get public support. Scum!
The same can be said of pilots

meadowrun
12th Aug 2016, 22:56
I would however say a large number of the commuting traffic is also unnecessary and the sooner companies adopt modern technology and allow more working from home the better. How many travel to work to sit at a desk and email those in the same office? How many meetings could be down via conferencing?




While I agree generally, the same reasoning would impact air travel.
There have been studies that indicate without face-to-face interactions, we are less productive.
This is why video conferencing is still a niche.

Krystal n chips
13th Aug 2016, 07:40
" They (the RMT) along with ASLEF are unions run by left wingers who's objective is disruption of the public, to further their own member's interests - safety is secondary. Always has been, always will be - it's just one of those glib statements trotted out in a (vain) attempt to get public support. Scum!

Nothing quite like having a complete lack of understanding really now is there ?

Safety and a safety culture is very much an integral of rail operations.

I am fortunate in being able to talk with, and listen to, former BR and current TOC personnel on a weekly basis.

I am also now a newly qualified guard on a heritage line. Whilst it's fun for me as a volunteer, we also carry fare paying pax. Thus I have the responsibility for their, what's that term again, the one you are so derisive and dismissive of......ah, yes,.........safety.

Less you think it's "only playing with trains"...the nice people from the Rail Inspectorate pitch up every so often and have a mooch around.

During the training, apart from attending and passing a mandatory first aid course, there's also the little matter of learning the rules and regulations....and being assessed thereafter, not simply regarding these but with regard to overall suitability.

This was done by former BR staff who take a very close look at how you behave and your safety culture.....funny that.

In many respects, it was relatively easy for me being an engineer as I simply treated the train as an aircraft so the processes / procedures were long since psychologically established.

Hence talking to the professionals currently working in and on the railways, I have yet to meet anybody who is even remotely as cavalier about safety as you imply is the case.....unless of course you can prove otherwise ?

Ancient Observer
13th Aug 2016, 14:04
Railways can use technology to remove the need for staff. They should do so.
If Guards are no longer needed, then remove them.
Having been in IR for some part of my career, I suspect I know what the Train Operators and TUs are up to.
It is a ritual dance before Imposition. They know it. They just can't be bothered to tell the commuters. "Please let us do our ritual dance of power for a year or so, then the managers will impose the solution, and the TU will shut up".

e.g. BA and "new vs legacy" CC
or LT and Ticket offices
or Oil delivery firms
or etc etc.

radeng
13th Aug 2016, 15:39
If you don't have a guard, what happens if the driver is taken ill? What can be got away with on short commuter run and what is acceptable on a lengthy main line run is another matter. For example, a rape or a robbery. Rely on other passengers to stop it? A collision leading to the driver being killed and the train coming off the track? What would have happened to the driver at Sutton Weaver (23 Sep 2014) if there hadn't been a train manager, able to use the GSM-R equipment, but just normal passengers who couldn't open windows to see what was happening?

Fully automatic is OK for a metro, although even there, risks exist when something goes wrong. Imagine the situation with the Windsor and Eton Riverside incident (30 Jan 2015) if there had been no train crew. Again, the methods necessary to ensure that clothing cannot get trapped requires a very different approach to station building than that currently in use.

Planemike
13th Aug 2016, 16:19
Keep guards on trains, just a much better arrangement. With the fares currently being charged, the rail operators can well afford to pay for them........... Listen to what passengers want, not what the experts tell us we should have and is better for them...

pax britanica
13th Aug 2016, 16:36
Gos Jet blast gets more like Nazi Germany everyday-Unions often dont do themselves any favours but some of the issues here are pure money grabbing from crooked train operators- so you really want a 12 coach rush hour train to ahve all doors and platform safety checks carried out by the driver who also needs to drive the train,
Of cours e things like the DLR work ok with no on board staff -its because they ahve three coaches and go 15mph.

Why shouldn't working people have an organisation to stand up for them-clearly no one else will-why is it ok to get rid of people and jobs without a second thought just so they can be replaced by zero hours contract staff who cannot speak English. A lot of very very bitter nasty people on here, I often wonder what they do for a living.

Tankertrashnav
13th Aug 2016, 17:54
Some years ago (but post privatisation) I saw an item on a programme about a young woman who was being appointed to a job as a rail manager responsible for operations in an area somewhere in the North of England. During the programme it was revealed that not only had the woman never previously worked on the railways (she had come in from "outside") but she had never actually travelled on a train!

With managers like that running our disfunctional railways it is little wonder that things are going badly wrong.

lomapaseo
13th Aug 2016, 18:04
Some years ago (but post privatisation) I saw an item on a programme about a young woman who was being appointed to a job as a rail manager responsible for operations in an area somewhere in the North of England. During the programme it was revealed that not only had the woman never previously worked on the railways (she had come in from "outside") but she had never actually travelled on a train!

With managers like that running our disfunctional railways it is little wonder that things are going badly wrong.

Shouldn't be a problem, most Airline CEOs only understand how to make money for themselves and leave running the operations to others

G-CPTN
13th Aug 2016, 18:11
I worked for a vehicle manufacturer where the vehicle development manager had never owned a car.

MG23
13th Aug 2016, 20:12
There have been studies that indicate without face-to-face interactions, we are less productive.
This is why video conferencing is still a niche.

With VR conferencing, it won't be long before you can be 'face to face' with whoever you want, no matter where you happen to be in the world.

The era of mass travel is coming to an end, because, in a few decades, we'll no longer need to be somewhere to 'be' there. I could have eliminated all of my business trips this year if our customers had VR drones I could log into at their sites to rewire things and move cables around.

Building new railways today makes even less sense than building buggy-whip factories in 1920. By the time they're finished, they'll be just about obsolete.

Tankertrashnav
13th Aug 2016, 21:36
Shouldn't be a problem, most Airline CEOs only understand how to make money for themselves and leave running the operations to others

That was the point - she was one of the managers the CEO had left to run things!

pax britanica
13th Aug 2016, 21:42
Youcan already vidoe conference in high quality with anyone anywhere in the world-you dont need VR for that. However in many cultures the tactile aspects are still very important as they are in personal rather than business relationships-like I ll be virtually present at my Mums funeral-really?

What will happen tho' is driverless cars and trains may become integrated-trains being far far ebtetr for long distances than driverless cars which on the other hand could easily repalce taxis in cities with the low speed and predictable road environment working in their favour.

The idea of ignorant managers isnt new but is now very common as things like best practice adherence/SOPs etc mean a manager needs to know nothing about a business just how to motivate/bully people to meet targets. Of course that kind of management can work in process focussed entities but will never invent or develop anything.

Also there is the issue that looking into the future we nend to 'create' work as most office jobs we do today can be replaced by droids or AI-no more drugged out investment bankers gambling the worlds pension on the next City sponsored Ponzi scheme , hands on stuff much less so . So why not keep seemignly redundant train drivers (and Pilots) whats the point of putting them all on the dole when people can be paid to work productively and respectably rather than staying home being paid to do nothing-not a healthy recipe for a future society

cdtaylor_nats
13th Aug 2016, 22:26
Most trains in Scotland don't have guards, they have ticket collectors and the drivers operate the doors. I haven't seen any reports of mass deaths.

MG23
14th Aug 2016, 07:18
I ll be virtually present at my Mums funeral-really?Quite likely, if the alternative is to pay $10,000 for a flight.

Like I said, VR drones will slash the business travel market, and that's only a continuation of changes that have happened over the last few decades. We no longer have to keep someone at a customer site for months after installing a new system, because we can support it over the Internet. In a few years, we won't need to visit the site at all, we'll just log into drones over the Internet and install it remotely.

Every business trip I don't take is thousands of dollars the airline doesn't make. Which means the cost of leisure travel will go up to compensate. At the same time, you'll be able to rent a VR drone at the place you wanted to visit, for a fraction of the price and without the hassle of having to spend hours on a plane and fighting your way through airports to get there. So the benefit of travel will decline at the same time the price rises... and the fewer passengers there are, the higher the price will be.

Pretty soon, international travel is back to an experience for the rich, not something an ordinary person can afford to do often.

Particularly when that will happen at the same time as the localisation of manufacturing through 3D printing and similar technologies, which will mean no more shipping millions of tons of junk around the world from China every year.

meadowrun
14th Aug 2016, 07:41
it won't be long before you can be 'face to face' with whoever you want


Yes, "talking head to talking head". Much maligned when it is used elsewhere.
There's more to face to face than a screen, you want to close a deal, you want to foster a good business relationship, you want to really know who you're dealing with, buy them dinner, maybe see their operations and meet some other staff? - can't beat a human presence

ORAC
14th Aug 2016, 07:45
Gos Jet blast gets more like Nazi Germany everyday-Unions often dont do themselves any favours but some of the issues here are pure money grabbing from crooked train operators- so you really want a 12 coach rush hour train to ahve all doors and platform safety checks carried out by the driver who also needs to drive the train, Of cours e things like the DLR work ok with no on board staff -its because they ahve three coaches and go 15mph.

the Times (behind paywall): Driver-only trains are safer, watchdog tells rail strikers | News | The Times & The Sunday Times (http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/driver-only-trains-are-safer-watchdog-tells-rail-strikers-07snbjm97)

"Striking rail workers faced fresh criticism yesterday when a safety watchdog insisted there was no evidence that removing conductors from trains was dangerous.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) has staged damaging stoppages across the network over plans by rail companies to give train drivers full control over the opening and closing of carriage doors. The working practice — called driver-only operation — in effect downgrades the role of the conductor or guard, who has usually been responsible for the doors in addition to other on-board functions.

However, the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) suggested yesterday that there was no justification for the action because the system was completely safe, with no one having died as a result of being trapped in doors for 15 years. In a strongly worded statement, the board said that driver-only operation had been used on the network for 30 years, with thousands of trains a day using the system. This included the majority of commuter services from main London stations, including Liverpool Street, King’s Cross, St Pancras, Victoria, Charing Cross, Cannon Street and London Bridge.

The board said that putting the driving and door operation in the hands of one person could actually be safer than separating the functions because it removed “any possible miscommunication”.........

The RSSB is an independent, non-profit-making company set up 13 years ago with a remit to improve health and safety in the industry after recommendations laid out in the inquiry into the Ladbroke Grove rail crash.........

Sallyann1234
14th Aug 2016, 09:59
All this about VR, drones, 3D printing etc removing the need for travel is most interesting.

So seems that the airlines have got it wrong when they are ordering new aircraft with a projected 20+ years' life.

B & A are wasting billions developing new designs.

And we no longer need new airport capacity in London.

Come to think about it, HS2 will be a white elephant too.

Perhaps they should all be told? :E

747 jock
14th Aug 2016, 10:20
All this about VR, drones, 3D printing etc removing the need for travel is most interesting.
I don't recall reading where anyone stated that there will be no need for air travel in the future.
What people have been saying is that the need for business related travel may well be reduced. Even if this drops by 25% that will still leave an awful lot of business related travel and the number of flights for leisure purposes will probably increase due to an increasing population.

G-CPTN
14th Aug 2016, 10:49
Recently, I attended an illustrated talk by a couple who had visited New Zealand.
Their slides were so good that I felt that I had been there myself and seen the sights thus saving the expense of travelling.

Sallyann1234
14th Aug 2016, 11:14
747 jock,

You did realise the :E was meant to indicate sarcasm?

radeng
14th Aug 2016, 14:51
Having spent almost 30 years going to international standards meetings and getting well fed up with air travel, I know full well that the face to face meetings pay off. That is how you manage to do some quiet horse trading in the corridors and at the coffee break: paying for a dinner means that they owe you something and so on. A lot of it is about building a relationship with others, and having a beer together does help.

Ecclesiastes 11.1 often comes true....and not always after many days.

747 jock
14th Aug 2016, 18:12
747 jock,

You did realise the was meant to indicate sarcasm?
I'm assuming that there is a smiley there somewhere.
For some reason, I can't get any form of emoticon on my phone, maybe because I'm roaming at the moment.

phnuff
15th Aug 2016, 14:41
I am just waiting for someone to refer to those running the rail network as British Rail

Martin the Martian
16th Aug 2016, 13:47
Mrs. Martian works as an internal auditor for a local authority which, as it covers a big area, means that she does have to make constant site visits in various far-flung parts of the area. When I mentioned to her about making more use of video calls to avoid travelling, she agreed that they do have their place, but the nuances of body language etc cannot always be picked up on a video call in the same way that a face-to-face interview can, and as some of her work can involve awkward interviews for the other person, it is also easier to lie on a video call.

And when I suggested about working from home when she is reviewing or report writing rather than sitting in the office to do it, she asked me why we should pay for the electricity rather than her employer. I couldn't argue about that.

dazdaz1
16th Aug 2016, 14:12
Martin the Martian...... "And when I suggested about working from home when she is reviewing or report writing rather than sitting in the office to do it, she asked me why we should pay for the electricity rather than her employer. I couldn't argue about that"

Slight alarm bells rang when reading that, check her mobile if you get the chance. Or there again, might just be my suspicious mind ;-)

Geordie_Expat
16th Aug 2016, 14:13
I always enjoyed my work but the thing I missed most when I retired was the people. I could almost certainly have worked from home but the thought never entered my head. Yes, the travel could be a pain at times but there is no substitute for mixing with other people (even those you dislike).

radeng
16th Aug 2016, 23:13
Mrs Martian has a good point. There is also the cost of heating to consider: if the heating would be off during the day because the house is empty, then it's a case of does the heating cost plus electricity cost add up to less than the travel cost plus the excess cost of purchased teas/coffees and lunches over home made ones plus an imponderable on costing travelling time .....

RedhillPhil
17th Aug 2016, 00:51
I wish the government could play hardball; however unfortunately some eejit privatised the entire network, so they have no control over the industry!

The RMT are dinosaurs, what Southern are looking to do is little different to what Light Rail operators do in UK, and what the DB on local / regional trains do. It is interesting that the Eurostar dispute is stopping 8 trains over the period of the strike. I assume that French and Belgian crews are being used instead, so surely the logical move is to move more of the train staff to Belgian and French contracts and quietly run down the UK operation. The RMT would only have themselves to blame if Eurostar did thus.


I suspect that 8 trains are being stopped because they're the ones that operate with UK based Train Managers. When I left - in 2011 - there were 11 trains a day operated by UK Train Managers. The extra few are probably being crewed by their (Train Managers) Managers who are competent and qualified in procedures.

Metro man
17th Aug 2016, 01:24
London is a 24 hour worlds class city and should have a round the clock Tube service, (also a 24 hour airport but I'll avoid thread drift). I can't see what the unions were complaining about, pay a premium for night shift work, those who don't want it can stay on days. New drivers would need to be employed anyway with increased running hours, these drivers would be required to work some nights and if that wasn't acceptable they didn't have to join.

Krystal n chips
17th Aug 2016, 06:31
Nice little report on C4 last night.

Note the lady talking a lot of common sense....in contrast to the individual floundering his way through without any form of cohesive argument.

http://www.channel4.com/news/catch-up

Note also those happy passengers, presumably all dreaming of their impending excess leisure time, when, it seems, they will be on the sun decks, with lap tops......"I'm on the cruise ship, yah " .

Sallyann1234
17th Aug 2016, 09:46
My sympathies for you on that daily commute. I often notice through my comfortable home office window, my neighbour arriving home at variable times during the evening according to how many trains have been cancelled. He invariably looks totally p1ssed off - it's no way to live.

ORAC
7th Oct 2017, 06:58
And over the years the system will,be expanded south and north, first to Croydon, the Gatwick and Luton, the Brighton. The march of change....

Self-driving trains will run every 2½ minutes on main lines (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/self-driving-trains-will-run-every-2-minutes-on-main-lines-s6nhm2gsl)

Self-driving trains will operate on the mainline rail network for the first time under plans to increase the number of services at packed city centre stations massively. Testing is under way on the Thameslink line through central London to run automated trains that can accelerate and brake more efficiently than those operated by a driver........

This will lead to trains running every two and a half minutes, similar to the frequency on the Tube, and the number of services increasing by 60 per cent. Drivers will still be needed to operate doors and carry out safety checks and will take full control of the trains outside central London on lines stretching as far as Brighton and eventually Cambridge. Last night Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), which operates Thameslink, said that the technology would lead to shorter journey times and improved safety, and that there was no chance of the train running through a red light.

Aslef, the train drivers’ union, has supported the use of the system if a driver is retained on all services. It cautioned, though, against the use of the technology on other parts of the Victorian network outside central London. Mick Whelan, general secretary, said: “It is our firm belief that this 21st-century technology will not work on, and is not suitable for, what is still in most places our Victorian infrastructure. Trains have to be driven; they don’t drive themselves, whatever science-fiction writers think. Even with increased automation, we will still want, and need, a trained driver at the pointy end of the train.”

The automatic system is employed on a new generation of Class 700 trains built by Siemens which were introduced to the line last year. It will work alongside a new signalling system which strips out lineside signals and places the technology directly into the drivers’ cab. The technology has been installed as part of the £6 billion Thameslink upgrade led by Network Rail, which includes the rebuilding of London Bridge station. Drivers will switch to automatic control between St Pancras and London Bridge stations.

Nick Brown, chief operating officer for GTR and former managing director of London Underground, said: “This is all about addressing the problem of congestion and massive growth in passengers. We can do that by more track and platforms or by improving the signalling to get more trains through.”

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/imageserver/image/methode%2Ftimes%2Fprod%2Fweb%2Fbin%2Fc6f718c8-aac2-11e7-b9a3-2cac9d6c85bd.jpg?crop=2928%2C1647%2C0%2C153&resize=2400

VP959
7th Oct 2017, 07:31
I can't really see what all the fuss is about, when it comes to autonomous trains. The DLR has been running for 30 years now without drivers.

I remember thinking it was a bit of a novelty being in a train with no driver when I first rode on it, but I would guess that all the regular users of it have become well and truly used to riding in trains that have no driver by now.

ELondonPax
7th Oct 2017, 08:11
The DLR is a self contained railway with a fleet of near-identical vehicles, all have the same acceleration/brake profile.
Using self driving technology on the line to Brighton is a different order. Various train types (different acceleration/brake profile), lots of junctions (to pieces of rail infrastructure not using automated driving), freight trains......
If this was easy, it would have already happened. Apply some scepticism to the spin from the Dept for Transport and Network Rail.

kkbuk
7th Oct 2017, 15:00
All this chit-chat about working from home only applies to paper-pushers, as they used to be called, now keyboard thumpers. Can you imagine your garage mechanic working from the comfort of his living-room, a bus driver guiding your bus from his kitchen? Utter balderdash!

Mr Optimistic
7th Oct 2017, 17:27
Indeed. If, like a lot of people, your job is to produce waffle then more efficient to do that at home I suppose. If you have to witness, guide, teach or manage in real time, or otherwise do something tangible, then better to actually be there.

Further efforts to broaden peak times would help I suppose, but then there's the unions to whom flexibility means change and change means more money.

Molemot
8th Oct 2017, 14:40
Some time back I had to go to London, and got a one day travel pass. Having done what I had needed to do, I looked at the travel pass and saw it was valid for the DLR as well. Never having ridden on a driverless train, I thought I'd give it a go...got on board and went to the very front so I could get the "driver's eye view".

Off we went..and I was enjoying the ride and the view. Also at the very front was a chap with a clipboard making notes. I wondered what he was doing, so I asked him. It seemed that all the data for the train operaion was passed via a cable between the tracks, which communicated via coils underneath the train. When it first came into service, it was found that the distance between the coils and the cable varied, and was often beyond that needed for reliable information exchange. The solution to this was to stand the cable up on wooden blocks, so it would be that much closer to the coils.

In service, it appears that these blocks sometimes get knocked or fall over.... and the chap with the clipboard was riding the train to record which ones needed standing up again!!

MG23
9th Oct 2017, 05:23
Can you imagine your garage mechanic working from the comfort of his living-room,

Trivially, in a few years. They'll just jack into a VR robot that has all the tools and arms required to do the work. Not just easier than having to go to work, but easier to do the work, since you won't have to get human hands and arms in tight spaces, and you'll have cameras on the robot arms to see exactly what you're doing.

That will also mean we won't have to fly around the world fixing customer hardware, when the customer can just install a robot at their site for us to use.

a bus driver guiding your bus from his kitchen?You're right about that one, though. It won't happen because buses will be automated well before then.

Krystal n chips
9th Oct 2017, 10:47
Which would sum up a lot of jobs in city centres where transport is so strained.



Erm, no which is why it wouldn't apply to them. Imagine how much better the commute would be for those who do need to be on site though.

No kidding !.....any more occupations that possibly spring to mind regarding working from home ( c.Prophead 2016 ) and your vision of the future encapsulated in Ctrl. Alt. Del.

pax britanica
9th Oct 2017, 11:19
ironically when it comes to transport automation the ease with which it can be done is inversely proportional to the pay/status of the 'operative/driver/pilot etc

Airliners are the most automated because there are not many of them , they operate in a very very defined environment and have little chance of accidentaly hitting anything.

trains come next and they work in a physically constrained and controlled environment but the loading and unloading process happens far too frequently to be managed that easily and it isnt structured people just pile on and off and even Ryan air is not in the same league. Also this process on many routed happens every few minutes , on an aircraft its once an hour at most. Also people can and do interfere with the route with damage to the track and infrastructure which doesnt happen in the virtual tracks in the sky.

Buses are the bottom of the heap in some ways but automating buses isn't possible until everything else on the road, a completely unconstrained pathway compared to aviation and rail is automated too. Constant stop start and traffic hazards road closures road works a complete chaotic environment .

So automating everyhting is along long way away , and then you add in the passenger factor, travel on the DLR at 20 mph with no driver no problem, ona 170mph high speed train , hmm not sure about that , especially given the terribly state of the underlying physical infrastructure on rail lines and its vulnerability and a plane with no pilot, I don't think so .

So theres the paradox, automation is easiest in the most complex form of transport but the fear factor is highest and much much harder where people are relaxed about it.

Anyway if we automated everything possible there would be no one in work to travel on anything or buy anything so its a completely self defeating exercise, it lowers costs dramatically but only in a world where there are no customers and no revenue

Fareastdriver
9th Oct 2017, 11:31
Should you have trains without drivers and aeroplanes without pilots who do you blame when something goes wrong?

ORAC
9th Oct 2017, 11:37
Pax, maybe not.....

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/driverless-cars-will-prevail-in-cities-by-2025-says-toyota-22l8qkj7b

Krystal n chips
9th Oct 2017, 16:55
Should you have trains without drivers and aeroplanes without pilots who do you blame when something goes wrong?

Option A Blame the engineers ( tried and tested in aviation )

Option B Blame the machine ( tried and tested in aviation )

Option C Blame both of the above ( tried and tested in aviation )

Option B seen being demonstrated fairly recently by a S.Engo who managed to over temp the engine on start by a mere 100degs...it was, apparently, "all the engines fault" and absolutely nothing at all to do with his ineptitude / cack handling of the start procedure and throttle movement....despite these being the only way this could have occurred.

SpringHeeledJack
9th Oct 2017, 17:51
AI is coming, of that there's little doubt, but just how penetrating will it be in the near to mid term ? We hear of millions of jobs being under threat, yet you have to wonder how realistic this forecast is bearing in mind past predictions that have yet to come to fruition.Anything that is repetitive and encapsulated will be ripe for AI-ing so the train drivers are on thin ice if they think that further industrial action will endear them to the travelling public. It wouldn't surprise me if the train companies sack all the drivers in the near future and offer to re-hire them on lesser terms as observers in some form.

radeng
9th Oct 2017, 18:02
With the train, you need someone who can take charge and knows about protection when the train hits a cow or a tractor or a car. You can't rely on continuous uninterrupted cellular service everywhere. Same way as you need staff on board who know what to do when overhead lines come down or the train catches fire.

Krystal n chips
9th Oct 2017, 18:18
AI is coming, of that there's little doubt, but just how penetrating will it be in the near to mid term ? We hear of millions of jobs being under threat, yet you have to wonder how realistic this forecast is bearing in mind past predictions that have yet to come to fruition.Anything that is repetitive and encapsulated will be ripe for AI-ing so the train drivers are on thin ice if they think that further industrial action will endear them to the travelling public. It wouldn't surprise me if the train companies sack all the drivers in the near future and offer to re-hire them on lesser terms as observers in some form.

A decidedly non scientific survey carried out over the last three days with professional rail people, including two drivers, elicited "various expletive deleted " responses as to the removal of the driver and the feasibility of operating such automated control across the wide variety of the UK rail network.

Jet II
9th Oct 2017, 18:57
With the train, you need someone who can take charge and knows about protection when the train hits a cow or a tractor or a car. You can't rely on continuous uninterrupted cellular service everywhere. Same way as you need staff on board who know what to do when overhead lines come down or the train catches fire.

How is a train different from driverless cars, in fact the technology is easier to introduce

ShyTorque
9th Oct 2017, 19:17
"We hope you have enjoyed travelling on this driverless, high speed express train. We are now travelling at 160 mph and will very shortly be arriving at London St. Pancras station.....Pancras station....station...... Nothing can go wrong... go wrong... go wrong... go......"

ORAC
9th Oct 2017, 20:58
QFMejEbAHlI

keith williams
10th Oct 2017, 11:50
Well if they remove the drivers and the guards, we can stop having all of these politically motivated strikes. I would certainly vote for that.

MG23
10th Oct 2017, 19:31
With the train, you need someone who can take charge and knows about protection when the train hits a cow or a tractor or a car. You can't rely on continuous uninterrupted cellular service everywhere. Same way as you need staff on board who know what to do when overhead lines come down or the train catches fire.

And dealing with violent, drunken chavs causing trouble on the train.

But the humans can all be replaced by drones that are remote-piloted from India as required. That would be particularly useful for the violent, drunken chavs if the drone robot is ten times stronger than they are, and equipped with tasers. No more waiting around for an hour for the police to turn up and remove them from the train before you can get home. Just zap 'em and chuck them out at the next station.

Crownstay01
11th Oct 2017, 06:46
Also, put in place a crash programme to automate the railways completely. Drivers (and especially conductors) are completely unnecessary. The sooner they are consigned to history the better.

You're dreaming. Your government won't spend money on relatively simple electrification projects. They're certainly not going to spend the far greater sums needed to re-signal the entire rail network, completely segregate the right-of-way, refit all locos and MUs for GoA4, and make the necessary regulatory and legislative changes.

But I'll play along - what makes you think drivers are completely unnecessary?

Crownstay01
11th Oct 2017, 06:51
Southern staff refusing operating procedures that are normal on other lines.

The Southern drivers are unwilling to run 12-car trains without adequate CCTV coverage for dispatch from platforms.

Crownstay01
11th Oct 2017, 07:10
I can't really see what all the fuss is about, when it comes to autonomous trains. The DLR has been running for 30 years now without drivers.

DLR is Grade of Automation 3 - the trains run with a member of staff, the Passenger Service Agent, on board.

Crownstay01
11th Oct 2017, 07:16
How is a train different from driverless cars, in fact the technology is easier to introduce

Some of the difference is in the technology of the operating environment, some is legislative and/or regulatory. Even on the relatively backward railroads of the US and Canada there are regulatory requirements that have to be met.

And no, the technology is not easier to introduce. If you introduce driverless trains you also have to provide new, compatible signalling systems and safeworking/operating procedures.

Piper.Classique
11th Oct 2017, 17:35
For one I am in violent agreement with Krystal and chips. I want a driver and a conductor or preferably a guard on my train. And I want them paid enough that they can afford child care and a decent place to live, so they come to work refreshed and ready to keep me safe on their train. Just as I want my pilot to be when I fly commercial.

Blues&twos
14th Oct 2017, 16:37
From the Rail Accidents investigation Branch website:
Dangerous train door incident at Bank station on the Docklands Light Railway, 6 February 2017.

At around 21:30 hrs on 6 February 2017, at Bank Station on the Docklands Light Railway, part of a coat worn by a passenger on the platform became trapped in the closing door of a train. The passenger was unable to release the coat from the closed door, but managed to partially take off the coat before it was dragged from her as the train departed. The passenger was not injured, but was distressed by the incident.

The incident occurred because the part of the coat which was trapped was too small to be detected by the obstacle detection system fitted to the train door. Additionally, the design of the door nosing rubbers meant that a relatively high pull force was required by the passenger to extract her coat. The member of Docklands Light Railway (DLR) staff on the train was unaware that the coat was trapped. His position when dispatching the train meant that he was dependent on a CCTV system to observe the doors during the dispatch, but defects in this CCTV system meant that the staff member was unable to observe the door of the train at which the incident occurred.

G-CPTN
14th Oct 2017, 16:44
So, the train was dispatched with an 'essential' safety system inoperative?

Blues&twos
14th Oct 2017, 17:15
I haven't read the full report yet G-CPTN, but the summary goes on to say the following (my bolding)

As a result of this investigation, the RAIB has made three recommendations. One recommendation is made to Keolis Amey Docklands, in conjunction with Docklands Light Railway Limited, to review the design of door nosing rubbers with a view to reducing the forces needed to remove trapped objects. The second recommendation, made to Docklands Light Railway Limited, seeks that their specification for new trains to be procured gives adequate consideration to the safety learning from this investigation in relation to pull-out forces. The third recommendation is also made to Keolis Amey Docklands; this is to improve its processes for the management of
platform observation equipment.
The RAIB has also repeated a learning point for staff responsible for the dispatching of trains; that door obstacle detection systems are not always able to detect small objects and therefore it is vital that a final, visual, safety check is made to ensure that no object is trapped in a closed door prior to a train being allowed to depart from a station

So according to the RAIB, even on a small enclosed rail system, a member of staff is still required to perform the final, visual safety check, which makes sense to me.

I guess this is the sort of issue many heavy rail drivers are concerned about with the removal of guards, especially as they are expected to dispatch significantly longer trains on a much larger network carrying many more passengers, but essentially using the same type of systems with the same fallibilities which contributed to this incident on the DLR.

uffington sb
14th Oct 2017, 17:32
GNR, part of the same company as Southern, operate all their trains as DOO.
During the peak, 12 car trains are common and if it’s a class 365, then that’s three four car units without any connection between each unit.
They do get dispatched by platform staff though either with a bat or CD & RA indicators.
Ding ding and away incidents caused by the guard still happen.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ding-ding,_and_away

Blues&twos
14th Oct 2017, 17:40
Thanks Usb, the CCTV camera used to monitor the front end of the train in the DLR incident was angled incorrectly such that the staff member couldn't see the door where the passenger's coat was trapped.
Although it is clearly possible to operate long trains at peak times using DOO, I'm unconvinced that it's sensible.

KelvinD
14th Oct 2017, 19:26
Wasn't there another incident recently (perhaps in East Anglia?) where a person dragged out of the offices and given a 10 minute crash to replace striking guards, opened the doors on the wrong side of a train?

uffington sb
14th Oct 2017, 21:35
KD. Experienced drivers also do that.
The driver sits on the left in the cab, and the door open controls are either side of the driving position. Left for left doors and right for right doors.
The monitors are on the drivers left side, which is fine if the platform is also on the left. The problem is when the platform is on the right and the monitors on the left. There is normally a sign on the monitors stating ‘Open doors other side’,
But it still happens.

Sallyann1234
14th Oct 2017, 21:40
KD. Experienced drivers also do that.
The driver sits on the left in the cab, and the door open controls are either side of the driving position. Left for left doors and right for right doors.
The monitors are on the drivers left side, which is fine if the platform is also on the left. The problem is when the platform is on the right and the monitors on the left. There is normally a sign on the monitors stating ‘Open doors other side’,
But it still happens.
Surely it would be simple to fit a proximity detector on each side of the cab, so that the doors wouldn't open if there was no adjacent platform?
With an emergency override, of course.

westernhero
14th Oct 2017, 22:06
20 years ago when I regularly took the last 00-15 train from Birmingham New St to Euston getting off at coventry I would often find before leaving that single women would ask if they could sit next to me as they didn't feel safe. I suppose they would be quite safe on a DOO train.....

I remember years ago a case of a driver stopping his train as he could see a red flag hanging from a bridge in front of him....only it wasn't a flag it was a 3 yo girl tied up in a rope and dangled off the bridge by local yobs after a bit of "fun" . I suppose with a robot train she would just be written off as ' one of those things you can't allow for '.

I'll stick with the train crew thanks.

Piltdown Man
15th Oct 2017, 10:59
The OP asked a good question. The answer though is probably a combination of timing, history and modern corporate management.

Modern corporations hate staff. The truly risible mantra of pathetic HR departments of “Our staff are our greatest assets” is pure bollocks. Because large corporations appear to be doing whatever they can to get rid of them. Staff are perceived as expensive, unreliable and unproductive contractual liabilities. So freeze or reduce their pay, fine them for any mistakes, put them on zero hour contracts and get rid of their pensions. And so on. Which all very easy until you bump into staff with power. The power to put you out of business. The power to grab your goulies and give them a really good tweak. Give corporations free reign and the only people directly employed will the board. Everyone else will be employed by the likes of Serco, Sodexo, Mitie and other similar scumbags on zero-hour contracts. And if you want to see what happens if you reduce everything to cash, just have a look at the goodwill shown to RYR by its workforce. They are showing the same level of care towards their company as their company shows them. Is this the future?

There is no doubt that staff on railways contribute to its safe operation. The unexpected and unusual can not be programmed into any system. And people need people to look after them. What hasn’t happened is a proper dialogue between the unions and train operators to come up with a practical way to operate modern railways. I say modern railways because technology has totally changed they way we now run these systems. But their function remains unchanged: to carry people and goods safely from one place to another. Yet neither side can see the future, one that involves people.

But the time has now come for the railway unions to sort out their future. Will the modern railway be one that has people, directly employed by the operator, at its core or are we going to get rid of them all? The timing for the unrest of the railways was coincidence probably caused by the way train operators have decided to make changes. The nature of rail unions is that they can be relied upon to react with their rather effective Stone Age cosh of a strike whenever they feel threatened. The reason rail unions are unliked is that their public persona and mantra remains embedded in the same Stone Age and it has not been updated. We are now more sophisticated and rail unions should spend a bit more effort in modernisation.

So I think we’ll just sit back and see what happens. And if we are going to reduce the number and skill of people employed on the railways, I’d like the law changed so that the directors are personally held liable for their operation’s safety. Let’s have none of this hiding behind the board room curtains and pointing towards a hapless manager and making them carry the can because the directors wanted to save a few pennies.

PM

Windy Militant
15th Oct 2017, 11:30
Saw an item about the new Singapore metro on the idiot box the other night.

A vast amount of money spent on a fantastic system like something out of a Gerry Anderson Century 21 production.

However for all that, if the train decides it's not well they still have to have drivers to override the system and return it to the repair depot, even if they call them technicians
Will we be seeing technicians strikes holding up the trains in future! ;)

KelvinD
15th Oct 2017, 13:20
Piltdown Man has hit the nail on the head. Go back a few decades and look at how many businesses have ended up. The company drives cost cutting measures here, there and everywhere until the balance sheet looks really bright. Then sell out to the first sucker who wants to buy the business.
Repeat the measure as above until the last sucker finds the business unsaleable. Then sack everyone and sell off the assets that are left.
On the safety aspect; I don't know if things have changed but if a train had a problem, causing it to stop in the middle of nowhere, a guard would hike back up the track and place detonators to warn oncoming trains, while the driver may need to head in the direction of the train's travel to place more on that side. Would a "ticket inspector only" train or an autonomous one would have the capability to do this?

scr1
15th Oct 2017, 13:29
A good news train story

Hogwarts Express rescues family stranded in Highlands - BBC News (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-41621266)

KelvinD
15th Oct 2017, 13:32
scr1: I read that one. You could hardly make it up, could you? Well done to the bobby who quickly thought it up and contacted the train company.

Piltdown Man
15th Oct 2017, 13:44
Trains in Britain are protected by a huge variety of different measures (AWS, DRA, TPWS, RETB, ATP etc.). Though apparently we are moving towards the European Rail Traffic Management System but this may not be fully implemented until 2046. The processes that protect us now are backed up by systems considerably more complex than detonators. Which is the point the RMT, ASLEF, NUR, TSA have failed to make it public. They appear to be incapable of playing any other tune than the ancient “the aspirations of our members...” It’s time for them to grow up, skill up and start playing the game properly. Then they might actually be able to look after their members and in turn, us!

PM

Krystal n chips
15th Oct 2017, 16:58
Trains in Britain are protected by a huge variety of different measures (AWS, DRA, TPWS, RETB, ATP etc.). Though apparently we are moving towards the European Rail Traffic Management System but this may not be fully implemented until 2046. The processes that protect us now are backed up by systems considerably more complex than detonators. Which is the point the RMT, ASLEF, NUR, TSA have failed to make it public. They appear to be incapable of playing any other tune than the ancient “the aspirations of our members...” It’s time for them to grow up, skill up and start playing the game properly. Then they might actually be able to look after their members and in turn, us!

PM

I had no idea safety was classed as a "game".....thanks for that revelation.

As for starting to "skill up", as the systems you state are already in place, then it seems to have missed your perception this may have already happened.

As for looking after "us", the travelling public, well as you now seem to think safety is a "game" you probably won't take kindly to me saying the more trained personnel you have with regard to mass movement of the public, the safer the public are.

Piltdown Man
15th Oct 2017, 23:32
Are you trying to be funny? I don’t think I even implied that safety was a game and it certainly wasn’t intended. So let me explain, again. The rail unions have not kept up with the modern world. The dogma they spout is from times past. The safety case they put out to the public is not well enough made to serve their membership.

And again to be clear, we need people driving and managing trains. Is that simple enough?

PM

Krystal n chips
16th Oct 2017, 08:55
Are you trying to be funny? I don’t think I even implied that safety was a game and it certainly wasn’t intended. So let me explain, again. The rail unions have not kept up with the modern world. The dogma they spout is from times past. The safety case they put out to the public is not well enough made to serve their membership.

And again to be clear, we need people driving and managing trains. Is that simple enough?

PM

To answer your question ( you may have missed the use of " " before and after the word game ) when it comes to safety it's one area of my life that I tend to take seriously.

The dogma therefore, in the form of what is almost a default setting whenever trade unions are mentioned on here, is the anti union sentiments you offer.

You seem to forget that safe operations are applicable to everybody who either works in the rail sector or who uses the services provided by that sector.

The rail unions have a justified interest therefore in ensuring safety is not compromised in whatever forms of "cost savings" management seek to offer as a cover for enhancing profits at the expense of safety.

Crownstay01
16th Oct 2017, 15:20
Trains in Britain are protected by a huge variety of different measures (AWS, DRA, TPWS, RETB, ATP etc.)... The processes that protect us now are backed up by systems considerably more complex than detonators.

Not quite. The "measures" you list are signalling/safeworking systems or adjuncts to them. They allow the control of and safe movement of trains, and prevent conflicting movements or trains exceeding their limit of authority.

When you talk about "protection" of a disabled or derailed train, as Kelvin D did, the word has a very specific meaning in our industry, and detonators are still used for that purpose in the U.K. and elsewhere:

rssb.co.uk/rgs/rulebooks/GERM8000-master-module%20Iss%201.pdf#page120

Cheers.

Mr Optimistic
16th Oct 2017, 19:38
Yes they have a justified interest in safety, after all their guy is at the pointy end. They also have a justifiable interest in promoting the interests of their members, and their own union. Enhanced profits are good, staff get paid, companies invest. So there is a balance, but not in your post.

Rail Engineer
16th Oct 2017, 19:40
Whilst, through experience, I believe that the RMT Drivers do have a point, and that Guards should be provided to operate the doors on peak services, the sad thing is that the leaders of the RMT have used this to further an unwinnable Political goal - the removal of the present Government - and so have lost both the support of the public, as well as the moral argument.


Quoting the RSSB as stating that operation of the doors singly by a Driver is safer, is inaccurate as it is taken out of context and is to do with movement of the train NOT door closure.

Jet II
16th Oct 2017, 19:59
Whilst, through experience, I believe that the RMT Drivers do have a point, and that Guards should be provided to operate the doors on peak services, the sad thing is that the leaders of the RMT have used this to further an unwinnable Political goal - the removal of the present Government - and so have lost both the support of the public, as well as the moral argument.


Quoting the RSSB as stating that operation of the doors singly by a Driver is safer, is inaccurate as it is taken out of context and is to do with movement of the train NOT door closure.

Is there any actual evidence that trains with just a driver are less safe than those with a driver and guard or more safe than automated systems?. Fully automated systems are used around the world so there must be some evidence on their safety performance.

G-CPTN
16th Oct 2017, 20:23
I don't often travel by train.
The last time (about eighteen months ago) the guard was constantly busy selling tickets (a task that he carried out diligently, including re-issuing our family tickets as he spotted a more advantageous discount).
At each station he had to break off and struggle through the crowded carriage to a door where he could see the platform - it seemed that it was that aspect of his responsibility that was liable to be at risk.

Rail Engineer
16th Oct 2017, 20:27
Well that depends upon how you ultimately define the level of safety you want.

Whilst there is no evidence that driver only operated trains represent a higher hazard than those with a Guard, the safety profile in operations has now changed from BR days, with modern rolling stock and control systems.

The issue is now one of what happens when a DOO train is involved in an incident where the Driver is immobilised, possibly fatally ? In these situations passengers are likely to exit a train onto the track whilst there are still trains operating or where overhead power lines may be down or conductor rails still alive.

More pertinently is the perception of personal security. Trains with Guards/train managers are more popular with the public than DOO because there is another person on the train. There presence can and in many cases does deter ne'er do wells and undesirables from entering a train or at least can result in their early removal. Outside of that in some cities, DOO trains become almost like childrens playgrounds where both young and old can roam about almost unchecked.

Placing the sole responsibility on a Driver on a very, very busy Southern commuter train in an evening peak where he may not be able to absolutely verify everyone is safe can never be guaranteed, indeed RSSB make an allowance for that happening. Even on routes where a Guard is provided people still do manage to get trapped and as has been pointed out can and do get injured or on occasion fatally injured.

It is reprehensible but very obviously a standard Left Wing practice to attempt to use any form of safety concern by Union members as a medium to operate a proxy guerrilla war. In this case as with Scargill, the RMT WILL lose. The issue is no longer an IR one but instead an out and out cynically staged and stated Political battle in which the Drivers are now mere onlookers unable to control events.


Apologies for playing the Political card but that is now the reality of where this dispute is.

flash8
16th Oct 2017, 20:40
More pertinently is the perception of personal security. Trains with Guards/train managers are more popular with the public than DOO because there is another person on the train. There presence can and in many cases does deter ne'er do wells and undesirables from entering a train or at least can result in their early removal. Outside of that in some cities, DOO trains become almost like childrens playgrounds where both young and old can roam about almost unchecked.

Last time was on the Train was likely Dorking Town/Deepdene to Redhill c1989... but I do recall the guard was called on numerous occasions due to trouble when I made that journey to College, usually drunks or kids (not me though I hasten to add..). And this was in deepest Surrey.... The guard was the boss and was looked up to akin to a Policeman... he (as it were) was well respected.

Roll on nearly thirty years... I suspect if anything this sort of thing has got worse. I find it incredible you can have hundreds of passengers with absolutely nobody on board to ensure their safety.

This is pure greed of course.. cut as much back as possible...

Rail Engineer
16th Oct 2017, 20:52
This is certainly the bad aspect of Capitalism, albeit that our way of using the Railways as a form of a free bank account since 1997 has led to this situation being allowed to develop.

It was never the case that Government (The Treasury) would ever have made available the amount of money that Privatisation has brought into the Industry but unfortunately Labour's attitude back in the pre-1997 period ensured that their supporters, and financial backers made huge sums and became enriched overnight, at the cost of frightening off foreign Railway operators who were looking for long term investment, aka GNER - which was destroyed for cynical Political and personal motivations. It was GNER who proved you COULD put in extra staff AND still make money. In fact GNER were the only franchise to ever pay money to the Government but unfortunately their faces didn't fit.

To really understand today's reality I recommend the Channel 5 documentary that has been running for the last Month at 21:00 each Monday evening. Well worth watching but massively depressing as each week has its own series of totally avoidable operational and infrastructure problems which the old BR professional railway staff find quite depressing.

Mr Optimistic
18th Oct 2017, 23:06
I would say that on late night journeys, it is reassuring to have a guard/conductor present on the train. Also, unmanned stations I find a bit off putting. I suppose there aren't guards at bus stops either but it does seem different!