Close pass by rail replacement bus

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661-Pete
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Close pass by rail replacement bus

Postby 661-Pete » 9 Feb 2019, 2:34pm

Well, I was on the receiving end of a very close pass today.

I don't usually get this problem with the local buses - I think their drivers are reasonably well trained on this matter - but this was one of those rail replacement jobbies - non-local (a red double-decker, I think with London Transport livery). Drivers could have come from anywhere - often with no local knowledge (not that that should be of consequence).

What can I do? Probably nothing. Southern Railways will say, nothing to do with them. I didn't get a reg. no., not even sure of the bus company. And I didn't have my camera (if I did, the video would be on Youtube...). All I have is the exact time and location (which was about 100 yards from our local station, from where the bus had started out).

All I can say is, these buses are a damned nuisance - and not only to rail travellers who deserve a better service! Later this month the trains will stop running on our local (London-Brighton) line for a whole week. I anticipate plenty of friction. We need to take care....

Sorry about rant.
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foxyrider
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Re: Close pass by rail replacement bus

Postby foxyrider » 9 Feb 2019, 5:50pm

Bus replacement is usually organised by a sub contractor to Network Rail, the buses used are sub contractors to the contractor. (hese secondary contractors often use poorly maintained vehicles and anyone they can find with a PSV licence to maximise profit from the job. NR don't seem bothered so they get away with it.

If you don't complain no action can be taken, if there is a major replacement there will be 'stewards' directing things at major stations / start points of the services.

At the very least report it to the local plod.
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Barks
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Re: Close pass by rail replacement bus

Postby Barks » 9 Feb 2019, 5:56pm

All that should be necessary to identify the offender is time and place - they will be running to a timetable so narrowing down the actual vehicle/driver should not be that difficult - just report it and follow up accordingly.

Rob Archer
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Re: Close pass by rail replacement bus

Postby Rob Archer » 10 Feb 2019, 7:56pm

Bus replacement services are usually contracted by the train operator, not Network Rail so take it up with them. Unfortunately bus replacement is a fact of life (you can't replace track and run trains at the same time) but train operators have responsibility to ensure it's done safely. I dealt with bus replacements regularly as a station supervisor until 2017. Most of the drivers and buses we used were fine but I did regularly get reports about poor driving (particularly speeding) from passengers. On one occasion I was besieged by passengers getting off a bus who were clearly shocked by the ride. I spoke to the driver and it was very clear he was 'under the influence'. To cut a long story short he or his company didn't work for us again! That was a few years ago and I hope the industry is a bit more choosy about who they use but, as has been pointed out, buses are often sub-contracted.

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Re: Close pass by rail replacement bus

Postby brynpoeth » 10 Feb 2019, 8:17pm

Barks wrote:All that should be necessary to identify the offender is time and place - they will be running to a timetable so narrowing down the actual vehicle/driver should not be that difficult - just report it and follow up accordingly.

Might not be so easy, a train with a couple of hundred passengers would be replaced by several buses running close together :?
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jatindersangha
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Re: Close pass by rail replacement bus

Postby jatindersangha » 11 Feb 2019, 8:27am

661-Pete wrote:Well, I was on the receiving end of a very close pass today.
...


Hi Pete,

Was this Southern or SWR? If SWR, what time and route?

Thanks,
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MikeF
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Re: Close pass by rail replacement bus

Postby MikeF » 11 Feb 2019, 3:31pm

brynpoeth wrote:
Barks wrote:All that should be necessary to identify the offender is time and place - they will be running to a timetable so narrowing down the actual vehicle/driver should not be that difficult - just report it and follow up accordingly.

Might not be so easy, a train with a couple of hundred passengers would be replaced by several buses running close together :?
That's not usually how a bus replacement service operates. There isn't a long line of busses travelling along in convoy calling at every station.
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awavey
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Re: Close pass by rail replacement bus

Postby awavey » 12 Feb 2019, 12:40am

MikeF wrote:
brynpoeth wrote:
Barks wrote:All that should be necessary to identify the offender is time and place - they will be running to a timetable so narrowing down the actual vehicle/driver should not be that difficult - just report it and follow up accordingly.

Might not be so easy, a train with a couple of hundred passengers would be replaced by several buses running close together :?
That's not usually how a bus replacement service operates. There isn't a long line of busses travelling along in convoy calling at every station.


tbf it can vary alot, it depends on the train service its replacing,so can be from just a simple bus driving round every station by itself, or a whole fleet of buses that are linking up different lines and stations and transporting several hundreds of passengers at a time, and you have to have your wits about you just to get on the right flipping bus.

and they dont always run to timetables, alot of the major engineering works on the Anglian region lines, the buses are simply there at the station where the train abandons you, theyll depart as soon as they are full or near enough full, and actually I believe they are performance targetted just like delivery drivers, the more round trips they make in their alloted time, the more they get paid.

certainly some of the bus experiences Ive had on those have been down right scary in terms of how the bus was driven around other vehicles, and Id hate to encounter one of them on a bike for sure.

thelawnet
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Re: Close pass by rail replacement bus

Postby thelawnet » 12 Feb 2019, 12:59am

brynpoeth wrote:
Barks wrote:All that should be necessary to identify the offender is time and place - they will be running to a timetable so narrowing down the actual vehicle/driver should not be that difficult - just report it and follow up accordingly.

Might not be so easy, a train with a couple of hundred passengers would be replaced by several buses running close together :?


Depends on the route. For a typical commuter route, most tickets are bought on the day and many people will avoid the 'service' if there is a bus replacement running.

Also these services are running on Sundays when the trains aren't full. I don't know the numbers, but I think they replace one train with one bus.

brynpoeth
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Re: Close pass by rail replacement bus

Postby brynpoeth » 12 Feb 2019, 5:20am

Might not always be possible, some trains have twelve coaches. Sometimes one bus goes direct from the first to the last station (slow), another stops at all stations, some are not easy to drive to (very slow). Why do you love trains?

If a bus driver misbehaves the passengers could strike, or call the cops who could intercept
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brynpoeth
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Re: Close pass by rail replacement bus

Postby brynpoeth » 22 Feb 2019, 6:21am

Went on a replacement bus for a short trip, it is slow but I thought it would be nice to travel a different route
The driver was a yob playing loud music, I had to ask him twice to turn it off
His driving skills left something to be desired :?

The journey back was on a luxury coach, Plus One!
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foxyrider
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Re: Close pass by rail replacement bus

Postby foxyrider » 22 Feb 2019, 9:52am

awavey wrote:
MikeF wrote:
brynpoeth wrote:Might not be so easy, a train with a couple of hundred passengers would be replaced by several buses running close together :?
That's not usually how a bus replacement service operates. There isn't a long line of busses travelling along in convoy calling at every station.


tbf it can vary alot, it depends on the train service its replacing,so can be from just a simple bus driving round every station by itself, or a whole fleet of buses that are linking up different lines and stations and transporting several hundreds of passengers at a time, and you have to have your wits about you just to get on the right flipping bus.

and they dont always run to timetables, alot of the major engineering works on the Anglian region lines, the buses are simply there at the station where the train abandons you, theyll depart as soon as they are full or near enough full, and actually I believe they are performance targetted just like delivery drivers, the more round trips they make in their alloted time, the more they get paid.

certainly some of the bus experiences Ive had on those have been down right scary in terms of how the bus was driven around other vehicles, and Id hate to encounter one of them on a bike for sure.


They certainly aren't paid on a 'per journey' basis. My brother often does rail replacement (he's a coach driver, might be school bus one day and trip to Europe the next). The bus operator gets paid a flat per vehicle amount per day. That vehicle may do several trips, one trip or sit at the station all day doing nothing. It is very rare that more than one vehicle is used per train on most services.

As I said before, if the driver or indeed the vehicle are not up to scratch - complain.

Oh, and if you are with a bike it's worth just asking the driver if you can put it on the bus - many will actually be happy to do so if there is space - most train passengers don't travel with big cases etc so the luggage lockers are often empty.
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661-Pete
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Re: Close pass by rail replacement bus

Postby 661-Pete » 23 Feb 2019, 1:44pm

jatindersangha wrote:Was this Southern or SWR? If SWR, what time and route?
Southern (at Burgess Hill).

We've had a whole week's worth of replacement buses now, whilst there have been major repairs on the busy Three Bridges to Brighton line, hopefully it'll be finished on Sunday. Cycling through the town this past week has been far from pleasant, and Mrs P and I have been taking detours to avoid the area around the station.

Furthermore, on Tuesday there was a crash nearby involving one of these buses. Report here. It seems the double-decker collided with an overhanging tree branch. That would never have happened with a local service bus. For one thing, most of the buses are single-deckers, and the drivers will be very familiar with the route and any potential hazards. Replacement bus drivers, won't.

Once, many years ago, Mrs P was on a replacement bus and it nearly sliced its roof off trying to go under a low bridge. Luckily some of the passengers screamed out and the driver pulled up in time.

As pointed out above, the standard of driving on these buses leaves a lot to be desired.
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).