East Coast trains and the mysterious rail enforcement officers

Are nationalised East Coast Trains listening to their customers? For a while I thought maybe just maybe they are. For you see on quite a few trains there has been a chap who looks just like a policeman with a lovely uniform, which tells everyone he is a railway enforcement officer. Seemingly his job is to stand in the corridor down the side of the catering car to stop any standard class passengers wandering into first class.

Now I could be wrong, he could have been a REVENUE enforcement officer (something different as I understood it). I thought railway enforcement officers were there to perform a public safety role and not ticket enforcement, which one would assume would be down to regular East Coast staff.

I would have welcomed someone doing a good check of tickets as we all know the very expensive barriers installed at my station dont read valid tickets and let anyone through who has any old ticket. Good for them for protecting taxpayers money I thought! Sadly disappointment presented itself. Now, if he was a revenue enforcement officer he didn’t check a ticket, and if he was a Rail enforcement officer why on earth do East Coast feel they need a uniformed “heavy” to stand in a corridor? The poor chap look so embarrassed he couldn’t force himself to make eye contact with passengers.

If they are really flush with funds maybe they are going to reintroduce the direct debit scheme for commuters, or let us know what scheme is replacing it?

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6 Responses to East Coast trains and the mysterious rail enforcement officers

  1. Bruce says:

    actually interesting point, he can't stop anyone walking into first class, the first class ticket is for a seat in first class. You can wonder through with a second class ticket. could find himself on the end of a legal action especially once the train is north of the border. BTP are the only people who can actually order people about. Train staff can advise but cannot stop people without good reason.

  2. toryradio says:

    Thats very interesting if true. Could be interesting if they were ever challenged on that.

    • Leeds says:

      Incorrect, he can stop you going into to first class. The National Rail Conditions of Carriage state:
      "If you have a standard class ticket and you travel in first class accommodation
      without permission (which includes occupying seats or standing in any part of the
      carriage), you will have to pay:……."

      • John says:

        This seems to conflict with their practice of allowing standard class passangers to eat in the dining car when it isn't full. This can be a canny way of occupying a first class seat for a standard price if you can sit there long enough

      • toryradio says:

        Though of course they have removed the dining car from many services. So in a morning all their staff travelling for free in 1st class can benefit from free tea and coffee (and indeed a bacon sandwich on one instance) while mere fare paying standard class passengers dont even get a trolley service which was also scrapped. Nice perks if you can get 'em.

  3. toryradio says:

    Leeds – yes I thought as much. I suspect that's the same National Rail Conditions of Carriage which allow for first class to be declassified or opened up when people are standing on trains. I may live to see the day that it actually happens on a train. Then again…….

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