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commuting hell

On 14 Feb 2012 at 1:34pm Jude wrote:
Can anyone remember the exact date of the evening of commuting hell in January when all trains down to south coast were held up by some inconsiderate b... who decided to jump in front of a train ?. Think it was a Tues/Weds. Just want to try and reclaim my fare.

Also does anyone have the direct email of CEO of Southern rail. I want to send a letter of complaint straight to him re last night's appalling service. I remember someone posted his email details here before but can't find the thread.

Many thanks
On 14 Feb 2012 at 3:25pm Southover Queen wrote:
I was on a train when someone jumped in front of it in Streatham. Horrible, and it did screw up travel for the rest of the day. I have to say I didn't think "inconsiderate" I thought poor barsteward to be so desperate. And I felt desperately sorry for the driver.
It was in December though, so presumably not the same event.
On 14 Feb 2012 at 3:31pm Tired wrote:
I have been commuting to London for 34 years and the start of 2012 has been the worst ever for delays and cancellations. Has someone taken their eye off the ball?
On 14 Feb 2012 at 3:38pm DFL wrote:
...and they'll want a bonus next !!
On 14 Feb 2012 at 4:46pm annoyed wrote:
Jude, why should you get a refund from the train company because somebody decided to disrupt their service by throwing themselves in front of a train? It was hardly their fault was it? Why not try and sue the grieving family?
It is a'holes like you that drag this country down, perhaps if you were a little less keen to make a claim for inconvenience, there would be more money in the train companies coffers to improve the service they offer.
On 14 Feb 2012 at 4:56pm And I feel Sympathy?? wrote:
So Jude, someone is so desparate to end their life in a most horrible, and you're just p1ssed off 'cause you were 2 hours late getting home. I really don't get it why alot on here think commuters are total pr1cks
On 14 Feb 2012 at 4:59pm observer wrote:
I agree with Southover Queen & Annoyed Jude, what a selfish thing to suggest, trying to reclaim your fair because some poor chaps life was so depressing he decided to end it. I hope you never find yourself in this position.
On 14 Feb 2012 at 6:33pm wanderer wrote:
and why would emailing Chris burchell help you,
He's a nice bloke I used to work for Southern and met him once.
There's a perfectly good help desk
Chris Burchell
Head office
Go Ahead House
26-28 Addiscombe Road
08451 27 29 20
On 14 Feb 2012 at 6:45pm grafter wrote:
Jude the obscure or perhaps the obscene?
On 14 Feb 2012 at 7:54pm ADT wrote:
Sorry, but I'm with Jude. He/she's probably got family who he wanted to get home to, along with hundreds of thousands of others. People kill themselves, that is awful, but it's not the original poster's fault. We get ripped off by the rail companies in this country, why not try to claim the £40 odd quid back?
PS Sorry Jude, don't know the date, but I do know you'll need the ticket and receipt.
On 14 Feb 2012 at 8:15pm Issy wrote:
Jude; What a horrible thing to say about someone who must have been going through hell. Maybe one day you will get depression and know what it feels like..or are you just trying to get a reaction?
On 15 Feb 2012 at 7:52am padster wrote:
maybe the poor soul who took thier own life was a regular commuter and it all got too much for him / her......careful jude this communiting lark seems to be getting to you , i dont envy those who need to get to london to work, it is truly awful.
On 15 Feb 2012 at 12:56pm Dr Placebo wrote:
I suppose it is one of the few ways of dying almost instantly....personally my preferred option would be a pile of sleeping pills and a bottle of good quality Vodka.
On 15 Feb 2012 at 1:10pm DFL wrote:
Who wants to die ? There's soooooooo much red wine left to drink !!
On 15 Feb 2012 at 5:10pm observer wrote:
I have had some flak with some of my threads but some of the replies on here are quite tasteless. Where are you Southover Queen or do you agree with them.
On 15 Feb 2012 at 5:45pm Observer wrote:
I am the original Observer on this forum (you can tell by the lack of spelling mistakes), I also work on the railway and having been directly involved in many incidents I can assure Dr Placebo that quite a lot of people survive albeit without several limbs and / or brain damage. Why people choose this method of attempting suicide is beyond me as it affects so many other people, not just immediate family and friends. I do agree, however, with the usurping observer that there are a lot of tasteless and insensitive posts on this thread.
On 15 Feb 2012 at 5:48pm Southover Queen wrote:
Do you mean do I agree with people who are being flippant about suicide, Observer? No, not really, because I can empathise too easily with someone who is so unhappy that they want to end it all. However I don't commute every day (thank god) and I can quite see how that alone could make you concentrate on your own experience of it rather than giving much thought to how a particular disruption occurred.

As I said earlier, I was on a train which someone chose to jump in front of, and realising that someone has killed himself using the vehicle you're on as the instrument does really make you think. Everyone in our carriage was aware that we had hit something - you could feel the jolt - and I think most of us realised what it was likely to be. Most of us were clearly quite disturbed by that, but there was a significant minority whose reaction was "how inconsiderate". I did feel desperately sorry for the driver, as I said, and I know that many never recover from the trauma of seeing someone kill themselves in front of you.

However, if you weren't actually on the train and you're just one of the thousands whose journeys are disrupted so that you maybe miss your flight or your daughter's wedding, perhaps you're entitled to feel differently. I wouldn't dream of condemning them because I don't know their circumstances, but equally it wouldn't be my reaction.
On 15 Feb 2012 at 11:19pm Jane S wrote:
On that dire evening I took five and a half hours and seven different trains to get 50 miles from Hampshire to Lewes. I thought fleetingly of asking for a refund, but like Observer & co I then thought 'It's not Southern's fault - they're doing their best'. But certainly I don't aim to tell anyone what to do.
On 16 Feb 2012 at 1:04pm Jude wrote:
Funnily enough I had every sympathy for the person who jumped in front of the train. I agree they must have been desperate and I shouldn't have been so flippant with my remark. I just wish, along with hundreds of thousands of other commuters that night, (selfishly, I know), that they had chosen another method to do it. I'm sure also the train drivers hate it and Southern staff who had to put up with hundreds of passengers not having a clue how they were getting home is difficult for them.

BUT Southern trains do need to have a contingency plan for events like this - like having the staffing capacity to deal with suicides, signalling failure, other delays. Quite often the reason the trains are cancelled or delayed is because 'the drivers are in the wrong place'. The train companies will often cancel a service rather than run it late because they get fined for running a delayed service. Some joined up thinking is also required of station staff. For example, I was tipped off a train at Haywards Heath, told to get train to Brighton and join the connecting Seaford train. However the Brighton train was slightly delayed and the Seaford train wasn't held to the consternation of about 300 passengers who had to wait another 40 mins for the next (delayed) train. The reason we were tipped off the train aT HH - no driver. The reason a Lewes train was taken out of service at Brighton - no driver. I had a long chat with a member of Southern staff who told me staffing levels were at the absolute minimum and the old BR policy of having spare drivers in station interchanges no longer happened. So all it takes is an incident on one part of the network to crate chaos across all of it. This makes travelling regularly on the network incredibly stressful and frustrating. My train to London Bridge is late virtually every morning and frankly I'm just fed up with it.
On 16 Feb 2012 at 1:32pm Southover Queen wrote:
I agree wholeheartedly, Jude. On the day that someone jumped in front of the train I was on, utter chaos reigned. After two hours we were eventually delivered to East Croydon where no-one had any idea what was going on, when there might be trains going towards Lewes or Brighton or which platform these trains might be going from if they did turn up. There was a very irritated looking Southern employee hiding in a booth who kept trying (and failing) to close the door to the space because desperate travellers kept asking questions. He just shrugged his shoulders when I asked how to get home. No-one had any access to current trains or a modified timetable, and it was completely shambolic. I don't understand why Southern Trains can't put a visible, helpful person out there on the platform(s) of a busy place like East Croydon, armed with an iPad or similar, who actually knows what's going on or can at least find out. Even if all they can say "I'm so sorry I don't know" it would be better than a grumpy old git with no teeth trying to slam the door in your face.
On 16 Feb 2012 at 2:38pm observer wrote:
To the original Observer, I would like to apologise for pinching your pen name. You are welcome to have it back and I can assure you I did not know it was used before. You must be very clever not to make spelling mistakes Wow!. This will be the last time I post on here with that name. Regards USURPING observer.
I wonder if anyone is using the pen name Southover Queen Ha Ha only joking. Goodbye one and all.
On 16 Feb 2012 at 7:10pm Trevor wrote:
Its all John Major's fault.
On 17 Feb 2012 at 2:43pm Jane S wrote:
What a nice second message, Jude.
Southern staff, like all (most!) human beings, vary: way back on another delay when some of us were stuck at Gatwick the Southern guy kept popping into the waiting room to check who was going where and to give suggestions and updates; he did seem to have an iPad or an iPhone so you're quite right, Southover Queen.

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