Thursday 15 March 2012

The Forbidden Zone

Someone left a comment on an earlier post asking about “carry overs”; taking passengers places they shouldn’t go. In the old days carrying passengers over a shunt signal and into sidings was strictly forbidden but OSN. 101 which I mentioned a long, long time ago has made it possible though it’s done under the authority of the signaller.

On Saturday I heard a bit of chat over the radio which sounded as if there was a problem detraining a passenger at MAA, I’m assuming that they were so far out-of-it that the staff couldn’t wake them. With trains stacking up in the Pipe behind there seemed to be a plan to leave the person on the train with a member of staff to “observe”, go up the sidings and then head back EB. I guess that job would fall to the Duty Manager running things rather than some poor CSA but sadly I’ve been unable to get any details other than what I overheard on the radio.

One of the objections the unions raised on this was that we might be instructed to take a sleeping passenger over a shunt signal and then when we change ends find that they’ve woken up and have woken up aggressive; no one wants to be stuck on a train with a psycho. At MAA this was not an issue as the trains going into the siding were “double-end” which is not a deviant sexual practice, it just means we have a TOp in both cabs so no one has to walk through the train.

Other than that “carry overs” are still a big no-no though it would appear that it is no longer an excuse to add to the unemployment figures. One of my colleagues was shutting up a train to take it into WHC sidings and failed to notice that a passenger had jumped on board. They were discovered later by the cleaning crew and the TOp was duly summoned before the TOSM but rather than receiving their P45 they were told that their detrainments would be monitored for a few months. It seems that LUL have noticed the number of cancellations for lack of TOps and come to the staggering conclusion that sacking us for the smallest infringement of the rules is perhaps counterproductive.

Which is just as well as almost every TOp I’ve spoken to has carried someone over at some time, usually when Station Staff have closed up the back six cars when reversing somewhere like WOO, NOR, NEP or DEB. Some TOps admit that they failed to report the error to the Line Controller as they didn’t want to drop the Station Staff in it and if the passenger is snoring like a pig being dragged over corrugated metal and reeks of alcohol then there’s a good chance they’re not going to wake up and cause a fuss.

Not that I’d ever do that.

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