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Author Topic: Fiasco at Maidenhead station today  (Read 10446 times)
aj
Jr. Member
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Posts: 58


« on: May 19, 2011, 07:54:08 PM »

As many of us who travel through Maidenhead by train know, quite a few of the station staff there are, well, how do I put this politely, not always as customer-focussed as perhaps they could be. Thus, last year during the heavy snow, those of us desperately trying to get to Heathrow by train were treated to a staff member loudly complaining to his colleague, in front of us all, "why are all these pillocks travelling, stupid people....".

It's quite normal when trouble occurs - in fairness, often due to circumstances beyond their control - that they will simply allow passengers to mill around in confusion, without any attempt to make any announcements, or watch in what I can only assume is amusement as bewildered passengers board trains to Cookham on platform 4, thinking they are going to Paddington, because - yet again - the electronic signs are down (why, mysteriously, Slough never has these problems, I don't know....)

But today's fiasco really does top anything I've seen yet. I arrived to find the usual milling crowd, and apparently an 'incident' had occurred causing the line to Bourne End to be suspended. The direct train from Paddington to Bourne End arrived. Passengers were brusquely ordered off it to join the throng. The train was routed into a siding a few hundred yards up the line, while another train stood empty on platform 5, signed to Marlow.

By eavesdropping on staff conversation (the only way you can normally find out anything at Maidenhead), I overheard that supposedly the driver would then come back down from the siding and take the other train to Bourne End. We waited... and then, it transpired, in what seems to me, a truly astonishing lapse of safety procedures, we could see that two passengers had not left the train as they should have, when it was cleared at the station platform. They had to be escorted back down the track.

A passenger took some photos and was immediately ordered by one of the station staff to delete the pictures. He refused. There was an altercation but clearly several of us were going to take the passenger's side, so the staff member withdrew.

I imagine there's been a fairly substantial breach of safety procedures here, something, understandably, the station staff would have preferred not to have been made public. I'm beginning to think it's about time First Great Western got a bit more proactive about resolving the long-term problems at Maidenhead, regarding staff behaviour to passengers, the ongoing problems with announcements and electronic signage, and so forth. In fairness I do understand that it can be a difficult and demanding job, but I frequently change trains at Slough, which is obviously an even larger and busier station, and these problems don't seem to occur there.
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Gazzetta
Sr. Member
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Posts: 288


« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2011, 11:18:57 PM »

Before JH starts talking about steam trains and how reliable they were, I was at Maidenhead today as a regular commuter.  Sounds like I missed all the fun.  I waited for the 5.46 to leave which didnt and I completely agree with the comments about the attitude of the FGW staff at Maidenhead station.   Barry at Cookham ......... legend by the way.   As a regular commuter I have considered the alternatives.   Chiltern Line is great but do I want to drive to Beaconsfield ?   Drive ?  Company has taken away my company car and given me a cash allowance instead.   So I am learning to ride and hoping to bike in soon enough.   In the meantime complain as much as possible.   Post as many messages as possible on Twitter or Facebook and shame them into improving customer service.
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CH
Full Member
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Posts: 227


« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2011, 10:19:12 AM »

Agreed!  Barry at Cookham is great but at Maidenhead they sometimes almost seem to revel in our confusion.  Communication is non-existent until there is a crowd standing round them and then they are surly (at best).

Very frustrating!
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Joni
Newbie
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Posts: 44


« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2011, 10:47:16 AM »

If you were involved in last night's shambles - do complain. Pick up a leaflet from Cookham station, you should get your fare back from FGW. As to signage at Maidenhead, it's a disgrace and there have been no clocks for almost a year now. Go out of your way to press the 'information' button and ask for the time!

The staff at Maidenhead are very poorly trained, it's difficult to believe that they work for the same employer as Barry, who is fantastic.
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Kiki1
Sr. Member
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Posts: 304


« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2011, 12:26:38 PM »

Do you have an idea why the two passengers failed to disembark when requested ?
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Joni
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Posts: 44


« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2011, 01:03:41 PM »

Possibly listening to music, so didn't hear announcement.
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Gazzetta
Sr. Member
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Posts: 288


« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2011, 01:07:00 PM »

Can anyone explain why a train is unable to move because two passengers are on board.   As far as I can read on wikipedia a train has been specifically designed to move with people on board.
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shambles
Newbie
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Posts: 1


« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2011, 07:48:10 PM »

with the fiasco of thursday evening i was the the 16 40 from maidenhead to marlow we ere delayed outside furze platt due to crossing problems then delyed between bourne end and marlow because a car had gone over a crossing just missing the train which was the cause of the problems during the evening .
i know ive had problems before on the marlow line with connections but they are not always the fault of the station staff at maidenhead
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Kiki1
Sr. Member
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Posts: 304


« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2011, 01:06:54 AM »

Possibly listening to music, so didn't hear announcement.

Or disabled/hearing challenged.

Until there is more information, it would be worth putting this criticism of the rail services on the back boiler untilfacts turn up.
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Joni
Newbie
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Posts: 44


« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2011, 06:04:30 PM »

The information screens at Maidenhead rarely work - fact.
There have been no clocks at Maidenhead station since September 2010 - fact.
The staff at Maidenhead are at best, uncommunicative and at worst, rude - fact.
There were no trains running to Cookham for a considerable period on Thursday evening, with no coherent explanation - fact.
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Kiki1
Sr. Member
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Posts: 304


« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2011, 10:22:51 PM »

Thanks, for failing to provide relevant info on the two passengers.
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Joni
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Posts: 44


« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2011, 11:42:25 PM »

Didn't realise you were refering only to the alleged H&S lapse. I didn't see the passengers, I was crammed on a train on platform 5B with half a million others. I wouldn't be surprised if the passengers actually got on at Maidenhead though, as of course the train indicator boards are incorrect more often than not. They possibly thought they were heading to Paddington.
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Kiki1
Sr. Member
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Posts: 304


« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2011, 11:18:48 AM »

I was crammed on a train on platform 5B with half a million others.

It's like Potters Bar all over again.

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wannabe
Administrator
Hero Member
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Posts: 539


« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2011, 12:34:29 PM »

That's a ridiculous comment. People had family members killed at Potters Bar. In this incident some people were inconvenienced after a near miss.
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Kiki1
Sr. Member
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Posts: 304


« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2011, 11:56:34 PM »

That's a ridiculous comment. People had family members killed at Potters Bar. In this incident some people were inconvenienced after a near miss.

Don't blame me, I didn't start the exaggerations.
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