The passenger squashing quota…

Train pulling in to Blackheath Station
Coincidentally, Southeastern Trains had a sort of open day today, where a number of their senior managers were standing in Charring Cross station, ready to answer questions.

So I asked them whether there is any quota that they have to meet in terms of “how squashed are the passengers?”. The answer was revealing. They are allowed a squashed passenger ratio of 135%. So if a carriage has 100 seats, they are allowed 35 passengers standing up. This is only for journeys shorter than 20 minutes.

These numbers were off the top of his head, so may not be exact.

I also asked about the number of carriages on during rush hour. He said that they had to reduce the numbers during January, to get ready for a big shift on maintenance rotas, which should allow more carriages to be used in future during the busiest periods. Which is good.

I heard a rumour ages ago that the train companies have to pay National Rail a fee per carriage, which is why it is in their interests to run the shortest possible trains (within the squashing quota). This is true, and also (he pointed out) makes sense, as more carriages use more electricity and wear the track down more.

All in all, I think it is a great idea to have the management standing out there, to at least find out what the passengers leaving the cattle trucks are thinking! I just wish it was a bit less squashed.

2 Comments

Filed under blackheath, transport

2 responses to “The passenger squashing quota…

  1. Val

    That’s squashed? When I used to travel from Blackheath to Charing Cross in the late fifties/early sixties, we were so crammed in that I often travelled all the way on one leg because there wasn’t room to put the other foot down! We used to pray that the guard’s van would be unlocked and get in there because at least everyone could at least stand up straight, squashed together, rather than having to wrap ourselves around the already occupied seats as best we could. The station staff used to help push us into the carriages and force the door shut. I was always in fear that the door would spring open en route and I would be catapulted out! Incidentally, it was groper’s paradise! Unfortunately, we were so mashed together that it was impossible to see which hand belonged to which body!

  2. Bob Land

    The same situation in the 1950’s on the Catford Bridge to London Bridge journey.

    Often in the summer I used to cycle it back and forth.

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