Customer Reported Faults

Faults on trains.

We understand that there may be times when you are unhappy with the service we have delivered, and would like to reassure you that we work hard to fix any faults as soon as they are reported. Most of our station and train faults can be attributed to wear and tear, and unfortunately some to vandalism.

To provide more clarity, here is an explanation on our most commonly reported faults:

Heating and air conditioning defects reported by our customers are taken very seriously. Once reported, we ask our line of route technicians (based at various locations across our network but predominantly major stations) to investigate and rectify immediately. If they are unable to rectify the fault, the train is planned to return to one of our depots for rectification as soon as possible.

The most common reports we receive are whether customers feel our trains are too hot or too cold. This is dependent on the weather outside and with the British weather can vary from day to day. Additionally as you know from your own homes and families, temperature and personal comfort can also be a subjective matter. A number of our trains have air conditioning fitted but our older vehicles (those with opening windows) only have heaters fitted that are thermostatically controlled. With the heaters, technicians need to manually switch from winter to summer mode at the change of seasons and this can take a few days to complete.

Unfortunately there are times when we have to lock our toilets out of use. This can be due to blockages, broken facilities, cleanliness or a need to empty the tanks. We plan for when the tanks are to be emptied on a daily basis but, due to operational disruption, the carriage may end up at a location where no emptying facilities exist. As soon as a toilet fault is reported we ask our line of route technicians to look at the earliest opportunity and if they are unable to rectify the problem, the train is planned to return to the depot for rectification.

We have recently introduced free Wi-Fi to all passengers on our Intercity trains and at our stations. We have experienced some issues, including connectivity and compatibility. To address this, we carried out extensive testing and improvement / upgrade exercises with our suppliers to resolve the faults. We also plan to implement a new Wide Area Network (WAN) to provide faster and more reliable broadband to our stations.

Door faults can be caused by technical defects such as wear and tear of the operating mechanisms, loss of air pressure, the seals and the wiring. However, many door issues can be avoided by not holding doors open at departure time. Our engineering maintenance teams regularly check the doors internally and externally, and we also have a real-time monitoring system that can record when a door is slow to open or close. If a customer reports an external door fault, our technicians investigate as soon as possible. Internal and external door faults are checked during the train’s regular planned maintenance.

Our Customer Information Screens (CIS) and public address (PA) system for announcements are all reliant on electrical systems.

The PA system includes an electronic sound amplification and distribution system, which enclose a microphone, amplifier and loudspeakers. If any problems are reported with these systems they are checked during the train’s regular planned maintenance. Depending on the fault reported we can investigate and, if necessary, change the volume settings to ensure clarity in our carriages. All trains leave the depot with a working PA system and where time and spares allow, a working CIS system. Trains will be specifically planned back to the depot to fix CIS systems where they cannot be fixed during during the train’s regular planned maintenance.