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Jacobite train

Be aware the Hogworts Express is out of service until at least 31 July. Mechanical problems discovered as reported in The Scotsman. I'm sure they're trying hard to restore service.

Posted by
6439 posts

Oh dear. From other news reports the issue seems to be that the 'derogation' to use old style cars with manual opening doors (rather than automatic doors) has suddenly been withdrawn.
The doors already have secondary locking to prevent opening when the train is moving, but it looks as if someone has suddenly gone way over the top.
Also some sudden requirement to have stewards at every door to prevent anyone from either leaning against the door, or opening the window to actually enjoy the scenery and the Highland air.
My question would be - why pick on the Jacobite when the same issues arise on every standard gauge preserved line or almost all excursion trains round the main line network.
This is not the fault of the train company, but of the independent inspectors. The train company have done everything that was expected and required of them.
Either someone needs a dose of common sense or something quite radical will have to be done with the coaching stock.

Posted by
1978 posts

My question would be - why pick on the Jacobite when the same issues arise on every standard gauge preserved line or almost all excursion trains round the main line network.

Don't put that idea into their heads isn31c - they would as well... Makes you wonder how we all survived back in the days when that rolling stock was used on all BR trains...

Posted by
5355 posts

According to the ORR report WCRC were allowing - even encouraging - passengers to operate the secondary locks themselves. Plus the inspectors observed passengers leaning on train doors & hanging out of open windows while the train was moving without staff intervention. When you have an ORR inspection it would be expected that the agreed procedures would be followed.

Posted by
33126 posts

well I can speak quite vociferously about the risk to life of heads out windows. Very unpleasant. That's just dumb!

Posted by
160 posts

A professional railwayman and railway enthusiast got his head knocked off a few years ago at Balham, and more recently there was a similar death near Bath. I can see why there are concerns about people putting their heads out of windows now. (Do NOT do it, there are signal posts and telegraph posts close to lines that can be very dangerous.)

Posted by
6439 posts

The Jacobite is now cancelled until at least 3 August.

Even before the prohibition notice it was running 'top and tailed' [that is front and back of the train ] with diesel engines [Class 37's for anyone interested] due to the fire risk from sparks in the lineside vegetation.

It is not clear whether the Scotrail services are currently very busy, due to people re-booking on to them, or whether people are just not making the journey.
Scotrail are already running 4 car trains- which is the maximum platform capacity, and don't have the train cars anyway to add more room.

Posted by
6439 posts

The suspension of service is now further extended until at least 9 August.

Also, a crack has been found in one of the spans of the Glenfinnan Viaduct. Network Rail have now submitted plans for the repair of it, which it is envisioned can be done on night shifts thus NOT requiring the closure of the line for the work to be undertaken.

Posted by
6439 posts

The morning service restarts on 9 August, the afternoon service on 11 August.

They are now advertising for stewards, paying £12 per hour, which is barely above minimum wage, and not really a living wage in a tourist town like Fort William.