Here’s the email I sent to the Office of Rail and Road to complain about heating on Southeastern trains after my official complaint under Southeastern’s Complaint Handling Procedure didn’t yield a response.
I’ve missed out the bit where Transport Focus are complained to as that’s just another unnecessary step put in the way of a legitimate complaint about a Train Operating Company.
A complaint that could affect the health of passengers travelling daily on Southeastern’s Networker rolling stock.
Read on for the complaint…
Complaint to the ORR
There has been an ongoing issue over several years with the heating on Southeastern’s Networker trains (class 465/466).
It has been more obvious this winter after the heating was turned off during daytime hours during the warmer months in 2015 - an initiative that I worked on in with Dartford Rail Travellers’ Association and Southeastern.
I have seen on the HSE site here - http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/hsis6.pdf - that the guidance for surfaces where the vulnerable could be shouldn’t exceed 43C - typically approaching 80C
Surely a train carriage counts as a place where someone who may not be able to react to hot temperatures could be? e.g. children, or those described in the linked document.
I have been raising this to Southeastern since late last year, and early this year have brought my own IR thermometer to take readings.
My first article on this situation was here: http://serailaction.uk/2016-01-19-Stop-The-Roasting.html and have followed up since via twitter reporting trains where the temperature is excessive. I know that their twitter team monitor my tweets and pass them on to management, as I’ve had several follow-ups from other issues I have raised
Customers legs are within a couple of inches of the heating grill typically - which has a surface temperature of 50+ degrees typically
Examples can be found in various tweets:
and a short video I made on the effects of direct heat from a radiator exhibiting similar temperatures to Southeastern’s trains on a bottle of water: https://twitter.com/SERailAction/status/690091215694491648
On 29th February I submitted a formal complaint using Southeastern’s Complaint Handling Policy ( http://serailaction.uk/2016-02-29-new.html ) during my first journey after being away from work/travel for over a month due to emergency surgery. I would’ve hoped something would have been done during that time, but sadly not.
I haven’t received a response to my complaint 17 working days later
Is this an issue that the ORR or HSE see as potentially dangerous for younger passengers/those that could be scalded on these surfaces/those that could experience health problems from excessive temperatures?
I’m happy to provide more information if needed, and a number of the SERAG group members have bought IR thermometers and can measure temperatures on their services too.
Southeastern Railway Action Group - serailaction.uk