group action
19 January 2016 | Phil Rogers

It’s time to #stoptheroasting

I brought my IR thermometer to work today, and discovered that Southeastern were breaking HSE guidelines on safe radiator surface temperatures…

It’s been talked about a lot on Twitter over the years, about how hot the train was…and…I think we’ve just got used to it.

But…after my left leg being literally roasted on the Monday commute, I took some time to find my IR thermometer that helped with the #stoptheheating campaign over at DRTA, and was shocked to find this:


The Health & Safety Executive guidlines recommend that surface temperatures of radiators that could come into contact with people ‘should not exceed 43C’

So an extra 30.3C is way over the amount that the HSE recommend.

These are heaters that go within inches of rail users’ legs

I took another reading later on in the journey, a less toasty 51.1C, but still 8.1C above the guidlines from the HSE


What could you cook at 73.3C?

According to Heston Blumenthal, a 70C fan-assisted oven is great to roast a chicken

And another article states that above 70C the meat no longer holds its oxygen and turns grey. Just like your leg

What have Southeastern said so far?

Nothing on twitter.

However their Public Affairs Manager mentioned it in passing in an email to me earlier and said:

“With regard to your query about train heating, if there is an issue with a particular train, please let us know which service it is and we can arrange for the system to be checked. On a general level its fair to say that complaints about train heating are split 50/50 between passengers claiming its too cold and those complaining it too hot.”

Which I did! My first tweet to @se_railway had the carriage number in…they obviously didn’t read it.

The comment seems to follow their ongoing disregard for the fare paying customer

Time for Action: how you can help

Over the next few days, if you have an infra-red thermometer take it on your commute, and take the temperature reading of the service of the radiator on the train.

And tweet us @serailaction:

  • The service you took (timetabled departure time, and station)
  • The temperature reading
  • A pic of the temperature reading
  • The 5 digit carriage number of the train (it’s above the doors at either end of the carriage) - if you can see it
  • Also the type of train if you know!! or just a pic of the interior, I can figure it out

Or email if you’re not on twitter

And a selection of these will be featured on the website!

What do we want from Southeastern?

An acknowledgement that this is an issue. And a clear explanation of what they plan to do.

We’d also like to know if they’ve carried out a Risk Assessment of their heating on board trains, in line with the HSE’s recommendations.

As ever, any response will be shared.

Excessive heating so far

From Peter Mount:

Carriage 65883, Class 465 train, 54.3C

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