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Unread 19-11-2007, 22:27   #1
Thomas Ralph
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Default Joe the Train Host

We were lucky enough to have Joe as our train host on the 17:30 from Cork to Dublin yesterday. He seems far more active, helpful and obliging than the others, making announcements about what time connecting trains left at (so that people could leave the stations if needed), went through the train several times to get people to take bags and coats off seats, and told standing passengers where there were spare seats so they could go and sit down.

I remember him another time after a GAA match in Thurles when the first train to Dublin had forgotten to stop there, doing more of the same.

Why can't the other train hosts take a page out of Joe's book?
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Unread 19-11-2007, 22:36   #2
Mark Gleeson
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We could start naming and shaming here

That said I've been told not to id the train hosts who smoke at an open first class door while the train is stopped in Thurles
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Unread 09-12-2007, 10:46   #3
CorkMan212
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Joe isn't the only train operater to do the announcments and walk up and down the train after every stop, he makes anouncements but so do other operaters, you have to cut some slack for the rest of the guys too, they do their jobs too...
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Unread 09-12-2007, 11:19   #4
Mark Gleeson
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The train host has no operational function on the train, driver handles the doors, ticket checker does tickets. Except when things have gone wrong the train host never makes a pa apart from the welcome pa they should make on departure from Dublin/Cork. The train computer is programed with a number of default messages, including the emergency evacuation message. While traveling to Dublin the driver can do this as well

The sole function of the train host is to tend to the passengers on the train. While camped in first or head out door in Thurles having a smoke they can't do that, Irish Rail management agree that they need to be more visible

I had a argument with a train hostess once when I tried to board in Thurles, myself and the brother tried to board coach C where our reserved seats where, we where told in no uncertain terms go elsewhere. Ended up in coach G the whole way at the back.

Its just way too hit and miss who you get as train host

Last edited by Mark Gleeson : 09-12-2007 at 11:22.
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Unread 22-11-2008, 21:09   #5
Thomas Ralph
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My mum had Joe again today on the 0930 Cork-Heuston. He was very efficient on a train that had standing room only from Limerick Junction, making sure that people got their reserved seats, didn't generate fire hazards by leaving luggage around, and even ringing ahead to Heuston to arrange for extra ramps to get the several wheelchair passengers off and ensure they were aware that there was 110 standing passengers. I still am mystified as to why most of the other train hosts are nowhere to be seen during the trip.
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Unread 23-11-2008, 23:14   #6
ccos
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That said I've been told not to id the train hosts who smoke at an open first class door while the train is stopped in Thurles
you could let it slip to someone else who might accidently name and shame them
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Unread 14-06-2009, 21:07   #7
Thomas Ralph
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Had Joe again today; it's been a long time since I've seen him. He's still the only train host who enforces the quiet carriage. He also made an announcement apologizing for the lack of a trolley service, and offered to bring items from the snack car. When we were shortly out of Heuston, he made an announcement reminding people to have their tickets ready for exit validation.
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Unread 12-07-2009, 21:28   #8
Mark Gleeson
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Joe was in great form today, even told us of engineering works next weekend.
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Unread 04-11-2009, 14:10   #9
Ron Burgundy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Ralph View Post
We were lucky enough to have Joe as our train host on the 17:30 from Cork to Dublin yesterday. He seems far more active, helpful and obliging than the others, making announcements about what time connecting trains left at (so that people could leave the stations if needed), went through the train several times to get people to take bags and coats off seats, and told standing passengers where there were spare seats so they could go and sit down.

I remember him another time after a GAA match in Thurles when the first train to Dublin had forgotten to stop there, doing more of the same.

Why can't the other train hosts take a page out of Joe's book?
Is this the same Joe says if you points its assault

Your not allowed stand on the train

Its his train
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Unread 04-11-2009, 15:30   #10
Mark Gleeson
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I have conflicting reports, though on average Joe is in the better bunch, he is visible, customer aware and he doesn't take crap. It his train, he is in charge

For reference a train host ended up in hospital recently he intervened after a full on brawl broke out on board, he even lost his shirt in the process. Several other hosts have had to call in the gardai to remove extermely troublesome passengers.

It shows we need a member of staff onboard, the driver can't stop to sort these things out
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Unread 04-11-2009, 15:39   #11
Thomas Ralph
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I rather doubt it.
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Unread 04-11-2009, 15:49   #12
Ron Burgundy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson View Post
I have conflicting reports, though on average Joe is in the better bunch, he is visible, customer aware and he doesn't take crap. It his train, he is in charge

For reference a train host ended up in hospital recently he intervened after a full on brawl broke out on board, he even lost his shirt in the process. Several other hosts have had to call in the gardai to remove extermely troublesome passengers.

It shows we need a member of staff onboard, the driver can't stop to sort these things out
In charge does not give a licence to be rude to those who supply him with a job. A copy of the customer serivce charter could be delievered to said gentleman, it all seems to go one way with his rules.....

I disagree with the customer awareness comment personally, i found him to have an interest in those in the 1st class area only ( all 2 of them )

People in lot of jobs have to deal with trouble and its part of the job.
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Unread 04-11-2009, 16:36   #13
Mark Gleeson
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The train host has total responsibilty for the passengers onboard.

Reports are contradictory, my experience is very positive
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Unread 04-11-2009, 17:10   #14
PLUMB LOCO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson View Post
I have conflicting reports, though on average Joe is in the better bunch, he is visible, customer aware and he doesn't take crap. It his train, he is in charge

For reference a train host ended up in hospital recently he intervened after a full on brawl broke out on board, he even lost his shirt in the process. Several other hosts have had to call in the gardai to remove extermely troublesome passengers.

It shows we need a member of staff onboard, the driver can't stop to sort these things out
You mean the member of staff who used to deal with Fastrack, luggage etc...oh now what was he called ...a guard? I thought RUI favoured the skeletal approach adopted by IE - ATVMs, Eastern European security/toilet cleaners/gardeners to occasionally visit stations. The ostriches are coming home to roost!
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Unread 04-11-2009, 17:18   #15
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Guards are gone, there is no requirement to carry them anymore and they did very little but hide down the back

We have consistently stated a need for a member of staff onboard on intercity services to deal with passengers. Our policy document clearly states a need for a staff presence during a passengers journey and puts forward European best practice, which curiously is based on the manager who brought the train host concept to IE recent work in London.

Irish Rail have been dragged in by the RSC to explain the removal of all staff from trains. The problem lies with Irish Rail as they cant grasp the need for staff onboard and the unions who will block any attempt to merge the train host and ticket checker roles, and god forbid someone might train the train host how to perform safety proceedures there would be a strike, I'd end up doing the rule book actions on a Mk4 if the worst happens if I was onboard.

62% of IE's costs are staff, roughly twice other railways. There is a need for massive change

Last edited by Mark Gleeson : 04-11-2009 at 17:21.
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Unread 05-11-2009, 18:20   #16
Colm Moore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLUMB LOCO View Post
You mean the member of staff who used to deal with Fastrack, luggage etc...oh now what was he called ...a guard? I thought RUI favoured the skeletal approach adopted by IE - ATVMs, Eastern European security/toilet cleaners/gardeners to occasionally visit stations. The ostriches are coming home to roost!
I think there is a difference needed to the existing régime which varies from 8 staff standing around the ticket gate to no presence at all (just a the time they are really needed). There should be a constant presence of some staff, preferably on the concourse and platforms, not hidden in the back office or in first class.
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Unread 02-04-2010, 09:39   #17
Thomas Ralph
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Joe is currently on the 1000 Heuston-Cork telling people with laptops, DSs, and similar devices to watch out for the WiFi-enabled set.
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Unread 15-09-2010, 08:30   #18
Thomas Ralph
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He's shown up on the 0930 Cork-Heuston and is in his usual flying form. Ever helpful.
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