Air Conditioning – 2014

2014, and 2013’s carriage temperature urgency has paid dividends! Look how few complaints 2014 brings! First, we’d like to delve into 2013’s air conditioning catastrophe and try to understand what went right.

So, let’s recap on the air conditioning scenario. It’s very simple. Some trains have windows, some have windows and air conditioning. In 2013, the air conditioned trains had window handles removed. Those trains without air conditioning, well, it’s anybody’s guess! Either way, passengers got more than they bargained for!

Train too hot? Train too cold?

Here’s a summary of the air conditioning nightmare, and what First Great Western has been doing to address it and prevent a repeat in 2014!

Window Handles Removed for Safety!

This makes sense. If bad boys are throwing things from windows, something needs to be done. Presumably the several CCTV cameras in each carriage would have been sufficient, but let’s continue!

Yes, Stephen, that’s what we thought too!

It’s definitely for safety

OK, it may be uncomfortable, but passengers will probably understand. What about emergency ventilation, if, for example, the air conditioning doesn’t work, and it’s the height of summer?

And It’s Officially First Great Western Policy!
We asked, as we thought it unfair that all windows be locked due to one (or a handful of) incidents. We were categorically told that window handles were to be removed for safety reasons. Clarity is great!

And It’s Not Officially First Great Western Policy!
Except, it wasn’t policy at all. It all gets very confusing!

But, that’s a different reason! Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Reg or John? There’s only one way to find out! And it’s unlikely you’ll find out from FGW!

Enabling Window Is A Tricky Business!
Adults on trains, some bright, some dim. Most capable of operating a handle! But, you can never take a risk! Adults!

You’re Not Giving It Long Enough!
Air moves, so it can take a moment or two for an air conditioning system to condition some air. That probably explains over 1000 complaints at last count!

It May Not Be A Safety Issue! You’ll Damage The Air Con!
We probably misunderstood the situation, and the window handles were instead removed to make the air conditioning system better work!

(Nice use of copy and paste!)

Seems like a poorly implemented air conditioning system if it’s so fragile! It must be a one off on that particular service! Get it reported, so it can be fixed urgently!

.. and still the complaints came!

But You Can Help Break It!
Yes! You can ask a member of staff to open the windows, thus breaking the already broken air conditioning!

Blow Was Definitely Not Set To Suck!
Some passengers had real issues dealing with 21 -/+ 2 degree temperatures, some even being mistaken into thinking the heating was on!

Urgent Action!
First Great Western recognise there are problems on some services. It’s being dealt with urgently! Problem solved!

(Nice use of copy and paste!)

With Horatio Hopwood and Handy Andy Mellors on the case, this is one problem to be dealt with swiftly!

OK, Urgent, But Give Us Some Time!
OK, fairly swiftly. Move along, nothing to see here!

The Money Ran Out
Although 10 days earlier, there probably wasn’t enough money to fix things; it was simply not cost effective before the end of a franchise.

The Problems Are Few And Far Between
We’ve seen a large number of complaints, but presumably these didn’t reach @fgw or First Great Western customer services! It definitely wasn’t, what became known as, Infamous Carriage E!

It Was Only Your Carriage!
It can’t be widespread problem, so why not push past the overcrowded passsengers and try other carriages!

Perhaps The System Was Blocked?

The System Self-Regulates!
Apparently, the system maintains a carriage temperature of 21 -/+ 2 degrees!

Sounds lovely! Thermostats, so everything is nice and automatic. It’ll be lovely and cool in summer, nice and warm in winter and early spring!

Broken thermometer, Matt. It simply has to be!

Or Is That 23 Degrees?

Thermostats Are Tricky!
Slippery little eels are thermostats, and they can be very fussy about outside weather!

The System Does Not Self-Regulate!
Apparently, the system does maintain carriage temperature of 21 -/+ 2 degrees!

We’re not sure how this works, but if anyone more familiar with thermostat theory can contact us, that would be lovely! We’ve just gone on dictionary definition!

Or There Is No Set Temperature?
Then it starts to get really confusing!

So, regulated at 21 -/+ 2 degrees, but it might actually be regulated at 23 degrees, but may not be regulated at all. OK, glad that’s all cleared up! In 2014, we found out the threshold had been tightened further to 22 -/+ 1 degree! We are no experts in air conditioning technology, but if our systems weren’t working, we’d probably aim for 15 -/+ 20 degrees, just to avoid complaints!

Too Hot For Air Conditioning!
Perhaps it simply gets too hot for a cooling system? Perhaps windows would be useful in that instance?

Passengers Are Causing An Issue!
On delayed, overcrowded trains, newly fitted and presumably tested air conditioning systems just aren’t meant to cope!

The cynical among you might have asked why the system had not been tested with typical passenger numbers!

If It’s Too Hot, We’ll Cancel
Fear not, passengers! As if delays and overcrowding aren’t enough, services can be cancelled if they’re deemed too hot. We can only imagine this to be 50+ degrees celsius!

First Great Western knows best! They’ll even decide on health and safety regulations there and then! Isn’t that simply marvellous!

If It’s Too Cold, We Protect The Environment!

FGW keeping you cool in winter, and protecting the environment!

FGW keeping you cool in winter, and protecting the environment!

Yes indeed! We wouldn’t want train engines running in winter!

The Issue Is Not Being Ignored!

A history of air conditioning problems!  More over at BBC

A history of air conditioning problems! More over at BBC!

Read on, dear reader. You’ve seen 2013, now let’s see 2014!


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