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To think it's wrong that train companies can charge so much for such a miserable, dangerous journey.

(37 Posts)
wanderingwondering Sat 19-Sep-15 16:01:31

Last week dh and I caught a train-we were 45 minutes early so were lucky enough to get seats. Train continued to fill up with people standing in ailses and doorways until it departed and at the next station even more people got on until people and luggage were wedged all along the aisles.
At this point I started feeling sick and faint and tried to get to the bathroom. It was impossible and I actually passed out onto the lap of some poor other passenger. Rest of passengers mangaged to pass me along the aisle to the toilet whereupon I couldn't get in as even more passengers were wedged in there. Eventually I managed to get in and lie down for 5 minutes and felt a bit better. Dh managed to get through and we debated pressing emergency button but figured there was not much anyone could do even if they managed to get through the people without stopping the train which would have been very inconvenient for everyone and tbh I just wanted to get home.

Once home we emailed the train company to enquire about the maximum people safely allowed on the train to be told that there was NO maximum!
If there had been a fire or accident i can't see how people could have been safely evacuated.
It perhaps would've have been so bad if we hadn't paid £50 each for the privilege.

FarFromAnyRoad Sat 19-Sep-15 16:07:07

You lay down in a train toilet? Really? Are you very small and compact then?

saltlakecity Sat 19-Sep-15 16:08:42

No offence but I think you're overreacting. It's the same on many types of transport. The underground for example I'd often heaving and it's a case of squishing as many people on as they can. How do you propose they 'police' a limit on numbers? Count them all?

saltlakecity Sat 19-Sep-15 16:09:47

And its not the train company's fault you were ill. Should you have been travelling?

travailtotravel Sat 19-Sep-15 16:13:41

Lots of us do this every day, paying more for the opportunity. I do it to get to work. If you don't travel a lot I admit it could be a surprise but really, its the same with most public transport these days. Overpriced and overcrowded.

wanderingwondering Sat 19-Sep-15 16:14:47

Haha-yes I can assure you I lay down! It was fairly spacious and I was a bit curled up I suppose!
No I wasn't blaming them and I felt fine before I got on the train-just a random too hot fainting thing- it just made me think that had there been an emergency people couldn't have been evacuated safely in time.
I hadn't really thought about the tube-I guess because people are only on them for a few minutes generally but this was a 2 hour horrible journey.

Mrsmorton Sat 19-Sep-15 16:14:52

I do a journey like this every Friday. Never felt sick at all, imagine how the people who didn't have seats must have felt.

Do you faint frequently?

Cabrinha Sat 19-Sep-15 16:15:37

It sounds grim and I'm sorry you were ill. I've certainly found it frustrating to regularly sit on the floor for a two hour journey at full price.

But you already had a seat, so you'd have needed to lie down whether the train was empty or full, so other than having to disturb a lot more people to get there, I don't think it made that much difference to you how full the train was? You'd have been ill either way.

The evacuation plans would be based around full (over crowded) carriages. Don't all of the windows come out?

Unescorted Sat 19-Sep-15 16:16:56

You wouldn't lie on the toilet floor of my daily commute - you would be sharing with the contents of the toilet.

If you had pulled the emergency cord because you felt a bit faint / sick you wouldn't have got out alive.

saltlakecity Sat 19-Sep-15 16:20:14

Some people are on the tube for an hour or more. London isn't small.

wanderingwondering Sat 19-Sep-15 16:21:33

I would have lain down in a cesspit tbh.
Ok fair enough-if there is an emergency plan that caters for such overcrowding then IABU and I'm sorry that lots of you have to endure this every day and pay for the privilege.

MamaDuckling Sat 19-Sep-15 16:27:25

Sorry some of the posters on here seem to be giving you a hard time! I agree, tube/under an hour commute, I guess you have to play sardines (I do both daily), and accept it.

But if I'm paying £50+ for a long journey I expect a certain level of comfort - e.g. able to get to the loo or buffer cart. I don't think it'd be unreasonable to expect train companies to put a cap on numbers once the journey is an hour or more.

CookieMonster101 Sat 19-Sep-15 16:51:54

I also think some people get more dizzy then others. I often use London transport and a lot of the time I feel extremely dizzy and sick. I'm not claustrophobic but I struggle with the extreme heat and closeness to other people - mean sometimes you are basically hugging other people you are so close.

Poor you, I agree trains are too full for he price we pay

gamerwidow Sat 19-Sep-15 17:08:57

I think yanbu. we're all used to crappy services on the train but it doesn't mean it is OK. The cost of train travel is ridiculously high especially when you have to tolerate the journey you describe.

brokenhearted55a Sat 19-Sep-15 17:57:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Witchend Sat 19-Sep-15 18:02:30

They do get full. I've had to wait for another train due to current one being full. It was full due to a cancelled one, not a lot they could do except apologise, which they did.

Nonnainglese Sat 19-Sep-15 18:07:55

I presume you were traveling with Great Western? This is typical situation on any weekday for their unfortunate passengers.

Catonthematwiththehat Sat 19-Sep-15 18:23:39

It is a typical situation as many people have said but that doesn't mean it's right. I think trains in many areas are far too crowded and doubt how easily they would be evacuated if an accident were to happen, but it's the Kind of thing I can't see changing. Demand out strips supply and the train companies make a nice profit.

Bumdance Sat 19-Sep-15 18:57:55

No, there is no legal maximum. Ironically, the fuller the train the safer you are if there is an impact - you are less likely to go flying! If it is a controlled evacuation (i.e. substantial delay or something) it doesn't really matter how many people are on board. If it's an uncontrolled evacuation (fire etc) then yes, you're disadvantaged compared to an emptier train but that would be true even if there was a legal maximum imposed.

On the subject of legal maximums and capping the number of passengers permitted to travel, just how would that be enforced? It would mean an end to walk up tickets, which is one of the great pluses of train travel, particularly compared to travel by plane. You could never look at the beautiful sunny weather outside and decide to go to the food festival in Liverpool, for example, because you would have had to book in advance for any kind of event in all likelihood.

You'd also need to staff and barrier every single station across the UK as it would be utterly ridiculous to expect the driver/conductor to be able to police a cap. That's not going to do anything to lower ticket prices! How would you feel if you wanted to do a 7 minute journey and were told you couldn't because the train was at capacity and needed to wait an hour? Who would decide the capacity? What about kids travelling for free, presumably we would eliminate that or at the very least impose some kind of charge for the admin involved in booking them on a particular service to ensure the cap isn't breached? Would you need to book luggage too?


Can you tell I have some involvement in the industry? There are wider issues around capacity (as in the number of carriages/trains that can operate on the network rather than people on a train) that need to be looked at by the government and the way the franchise system has been developed means that train companies are severely limited in what they can do to improve their services. The whole thing is a mess. Personally I don't believe that renationalisation will result in considerable improvements, at least not for some time (substantial time) and it will bring its own problems and its own lack of incentives for improvements but I do certainly feel that the current system needs a shake up!

OP, I'm really sorry you felt ill. It's utterly unpleasant to feel that way and not be able to move or do much to improve your immediate environment. I completely empathise and hope you're feeling better now.

wanderingwondering Sat 19-Sep-15 19:00:44

To my knowledge passengers on planes are not standing wedged shouldner to shoulder in a passage that's deigned for people to be able to walk down?!
Dh offered to move (although there was nowhere really for him to go) but I thought I was going to throw up so tried to head to the loo.
Anyway, as I say-I'm not blaming them for how shit I felt-it was the fact that it was so difficult to move to any form of relative comfort that made me worried for an emergency

Phineyj Sat 19-Sep-15 19:16:45

No, YANBU. I think there are some circumstances in which only seated passengers should be allowed. Iirc that used to be the rule on the TGV in France.

MrsBertMacklin Sat 19-Sep-15 19:20:59

My anxiety attacks are triggered by feeling trapped or hot in trains, so I sympathise.

I also get annoyed about the overcrowding on principle of cost but try to remind myself that the ticket price is for transportation, not a seat. Nonsense rationalisation I know, but it helps me not get too wound up about it.

OneBreathAfterAnother Sat 19-Sep-15 19:23:17

They could cap numbers, but they'd have to run more trains, so more maintainance time, and doses would go up substantially to account for the lowered profits on each journey and the need for ticket machines and conductors at each station.

I am sorry you felt ill, though.

(I learned consultancy for a big rail company in the UK, I don't just take a random interest in their profits and costs!)

fuckingfuming Sat 19-Sep-15 19:47:17

i took my family on a day trip in the summer holidays. the journey was just over an hour. i booked and paid for our tickets a week in advance. when we got on the train, it was standing room only, and it was packed. we all had to stand, including my 14 and 10 year old autistic children, as no one was willing to give up seats. i didnt mind standing myself as i am fit and well enough, but my children both have balance issues so struggled. a couple of people got off, which gave 2 seats spare. i put the 14 year old on one, and sat on the other myself with my 10 year old sat on one knee, and my nt 9 year old daughter sat on the other. very uncomfortable with 5 stone of child sat on each leg, but had to be done.
bus from the station was just as bad, and an old woman had a go at my 10 year old for not giving up her seat. i politely told her that not all disabilities were immediately visible, and that my daughter was autistic and couldnt stand on a moving bus.
the bus back to the station at the end of the day was busy but not as bad, although i ended up standing as 9 year old dd2 sat on a sideways facing seat and fell asleep so i stood in front of her to stop her falling off.
the train home was even worse, with all of us standing the entire journey. to top it all off, the woman manning the barrier in the station was incredibly rude as we were a little impatient to get through the barrier and out of the station as we were all exhausted.

wont be doing that again in a hurry.

wanderingwondering Sat 19-Sep-15 19:48:08

It just seems crazy when pitted against the 'Health and safety gorn mad' edicts one comes across in other areas of life.

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