“Mutiny on the trains”



Ah, French Résistance. :clipperton_island:

Lucky Londoners don’t get on the tracks every time we get a bit miffed - no trains would get anywhere - although I wouldn’t blame drivers for giving it a try (I can tolerate a bumpy ride).


Yep. Without condoning it I can see how it happened. I tried to board one of those trains at London Bridge but couldn’t squash on. Thank goodness. They were packed like sardines. Must have been very distressing.


An actual account from a passenger, which explains in great detail what happened inside the carriages.


That’s a sobering read. And contradicts the Southeasten timeline that suggests just over an hour between the train stopping and the passengers breaking out.


It’s also a somewhat political read, with several mentions of classic anti-privatisation cliches like “fat cat bonuses” - which makes me somewhat suspicious of the author’s bias.


Someone’s experience can be real even if their politics don’t chime with yours, Chris. And it’s a paranoid world you live in if you assume that such reports will inevitably be skewed to the point of falsehood. I’m assuming you wouldn’t have made such a comment if the political bias had agreed with your own.

I’d assume there are several hundreds of other passengers plus the emergency services who will be able to corroborate this account when the time cones.


The author starts his post with:

So Southeastern rail has infiltrated the major media companies and has manipulated all their reports?

That sounds a bit paranoid to me. :thinking:


I would suggest that there will always be an element of such language in any story, especially one written in the wake of such an emotional experience.

While I don’t agree with the actions taken that evening, I respect anyone choosing to express themselves. Disagreement with the language used, doesn’t make what happened any less real.


@ChrisBeach Fair point, but the level of specific detail in this report is easily verifiable. I started out reading it with an open mind (that opening phrase also made me wary) but the reminder of the actual physical challenges of being confined in those conditions for so long was what really struck a chord with me. I don’t care who owns Southeastern, those people should have been evacuated sooner.


It would have been great if they had. But they are the victims of situation exacerbated by people who forced open doors and stepped out onto the track, causing all power to be shut off.

I’m sure the fire brigade attended as quickly as the could, but in a situation like the last few days where everyone is struggling to get to work, and to get around London, I can completely understand why it took several hours.


I don’t think we know yet if that is the entire story. That was the point of my comment about timelines. If the first passengers broke out after an hour, why was the evacuation not started for a further two hours? We do not know.

In any case, the point of my comment was that the account was sobering in terms of what people were experiencing. Can we at least agree on that?


Having tried and failed to get onto one of those overcrowded trains at London Bridge, and seen with my own eyes how tightly packed everyone standing was, I can complete understand how people reacted irrationally.


A very telling account.

I do not know how an RAIB will contact potential passenger witnesses (or even if they do) but I trust the author Robin Clarke’s evidence will be heard. It is very relevant.

But what I do know is the RAIB will check:

Networks Rails incident reporting system which will have recorded what trains stopped where, when and for how long. It will also report on when the power was isolated and most importantly for what reason.

It will examine Southeastern’s records. This will include, at least from the more modern train a record of the quality of the power supply and any evidence of interruption of that supply. It will also examine the communications logs between its driver’s and them.

It will examine the infrastructure maintainer’s logs - when were they instructed to attend on site and what actions did they undertake.

Then the first responders’ logs will be checked.

They will then draw up a master time-line and cross-check timings to ensure they have an accurate picture.

The author refers to the poor quality of responses by Southeastern on Twitter during the incident - that will be a very significant point in the investigation.

Investigator’s will not be impressed by its evident quality or the nature and language employed. The operator is obliged to maintain and operate good communications with all parties involved in an incident.

As was said in earlier post - let the RAIB do its job. We will then have an accurate picture of the incidents.


That question needs to be directed at a combination of Network Rail, the Fire Brigade and Southeastern Rail. All of which, I’m sure, were stretched to breaking point that day, with a shortage rather than surplus of staff.


I had a look at his facebook profile and there is only one politician or political organisation in his list of likes. There is no reason to doubt the truth of what this individual has said, or the anger he feels towards the people he feels are responsible for his inhumane treatment.

Yup, definitely some paranoid thinking


Indeed, and when I said the timeline of this report contradicted that of Southeastern, I didn’t say it made liars out of the company, nor the opposite, that the blog report is in some way fraudulent. What the blog report does is tell us the experience in the train, and the assumptions passengers made based on the information they had. That is naturally a limited perspective. That does not, I repeat, negate the human sympathy I feel for people in that situation and my reaction to your first comment to me was made in that light.


But if I read the blog correctly this passenger is suggesting the power was switched off well before the prison break so that rail staff could manually de-ice the line. By this point they were about 2hrs into the delay and with the power off had no light or heat. So South Eastern’s line of “the passengers forced us to turn the power off” seems like at best it might be a somewhat disingenuous attempt to deflect blame and at worst a deliberate smear.

Let’s hope the truth will come out and most importantly that no passengers are ever subjected to an experience even remotely close to this in future.


Earlier, passengers forced their way out the train onto the tracks, causing power to be turned off as a precaution - but some passengers remained on the train - and on subsequent trains. I think the author of this blog post was one of those people.

Imagine for a moment this scenario - Southeastern suggests they all disembark after power is deactivated, and then in the dark, in the panic, on icy tracks, one member of the public slips and breaks their wrist, or worse. Suddenly, Southeastern is responsible for this injury.

In modern litigious times, companies have to be cautious - over-cautious IMO. And passengers are sometimes the victims.

It sounded like a truly no-win scenerio on these trains for both the passengers and the rail company.

That’s why I objected to the blog author being opportunistic and trying to score some political points.


His blog, his prerogative. Who are we to say he is not allowed to reflect how his experience chimes with his politics?

In any case, what you said earlier was that his political framing of his post made you doubt its veracity. That’s a very different statement.


Moving away from the “was it political or not” discussion and back to the matter at hand…

Going back off topic for a moment, the blogger claims to have been on the train, therefore is a “real life” account, any other suggestions or comments from those not on the train would be conjecture.
Making a couple of fat cat comments doesn’t make something political to me, it instead echos frustrations of someone who had a bad time, and is a way to very, rather than blaming the staff involved.