Fainting Passengers!

In 2012 I witness my first fainting passenger on the service into Paddington. I had read such things on Twitter, but after contacting @fgw, was ignored. Ever more annoyed, I tried 2 submissions through their online contact form, with no response, before resorting to old-fashioned e-mail.



So First Great Western – passengers are fainting on your overcrowded services, and still you maintain they’re safe according to the letter of the law? You are a disgrace. Fainting Getting to Work. Safety… You’re making it very clear what you think of your paying passengers.

Here was First Great Western’s response:

Thank you for your email received [day] December 2012 regarding your journey between [starting point] and [destination].

I am very sorry for the crowded conditions you had to travel in which resulted in a passenger fainting. We take these matters very seriously and this has been logged for the attention of our managers.

I understand your concerns regarding the safety of passengers on-board. Whilst we never want any service to become uncomfortable, there’s currently no legal limit to the number of people we can carry on a train.

If a service becomes busy, our Train Managers are responsible for assessing the situation at each station whilst passengers are boarding and during train dispatch. If they feel that the service is overcrowded, they liaise with our Senior Controller who is aware of the impact any decision will have on our passengers and other services. Together they determine the best course of action to take, which could include missing stops en route or passengers disembarking at a station. Where there is no Train Manager onboard, our Driver adopts this responsibility.

Running more trains may seem like an obvious solution but there is a limit to the number of services we can run at peak times. The track between Reading and London is operating at full capacity and there are no additional timetable paths available to us. The Department for Transport is now working with Network Rail on the long-term plan to expand Reading station, which will give the extra capacity needed to run more trains at peak time. For now though this is our position and I understand how frustrated you must be.

I apologise for the lack of response from our @fgw twitter feed. We aim to respond to all queries through this media and I am very sorry that we did not address your comments. I have raised this matter with our twitter team and I trust this will not re-occur.

Thank you again for contacting us.

Yours sincerely

Valerie Pope
Customer Services Advisor

Thank you Valerie!

What we notice is the usual get-out-of-jail ‘no legal limit’ clause, blame the train manager, and if that fails, blame the Department for Transport. Sorry FGW, but that’s just not good enough. This is your ‘safety’ at work. I’m sure chiropractors and osteopaths are doing well. Wait until your first fainting-related injury. I hope they sue the ass off you.

Fainting passengers. Disgraceful.

Chances are the overcrowding will keep them upright! Failing that, they’ll appear on this page. We call this the Health And Safety page!

And still, we’ll fall back to those same safety non-concerns! Notice that those same ORR pages do say there are concerns over overcrowded platforms. Has anyone seen photos of overcrowded platforms on any websites?

Fainting passengers! What an amazing service!


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