Why Southeastern should read Goldilocks and the Three Bears

goldilocks-flickr-25297401@N08-4340666761-cc-by-nc-licensedDuring this week’s cold snap we have been seeing passenger reports that some trains have had no heating; and also passenger reports that some trains are boiling.

Southeastern have told our colleagues at Dartford that it’s alright because “complaints about train heating are split 50/50 between passengers claiming it’s too cold and those complaining it’s too hot“.

But as children did Southeastern miss the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears? – which shows it is possible to have one bowl of porridge too hot and one bowl of porridge too cold.

Some passengers have been reporting that their different trains have had no heating at all. For instance:

Yet at the same time others are saying that their trains are boiling:

and even

Indeed the Dartford Rail Travellers Association have been reporting that on some trains the radiators are dangerously hot:

It seems that Southeastern’s spokesman would like us to believe that these are just different people’s views on the same reasonable temperature.

That does not seem plausible to us. These are reports from different trains. And it is hard to believe that someone would feel frozen in a carriage with a radiator at 89.2°C giving off heat.

What seems more likely is:

  • on some carriages the heating has failed completely.
  • on other carriages part of the heating control system – perhaps a thermostat – has failed, and so it is overheating.

This would explain why different customers are reporting very different experiences. And it would be down to a common cause of failures in rolling stock maintenance – which we know from the number of short train formations is already a problem at the moment.

Southeastern should stop trying to dismiss this issue, they should investigate what is really happening – and say what they are going to do about it.

After all, Goldilocks herself found that one bowl of porridge was too hot and the next one was too cold.

If you have any experience of trains being too hot or too cold – or “just right” – please do let us know.


Why Southeastern should read Goldilocks and the Three Bears — 4 Comments

  1. I have sadly travelled with Southeastern for many years. In the past trains have been sometimes cold, and heating failed – the driver would then announce it and we would move to another carriage. It is understandable and I would rather be cold than the train gets cancelled. However, this autumn/winter has been much worse so far. Windows were being opened since early December because it was really really hot and stuffy, especially on a train packed full of breathing people. Whether it is because of unusually mild winter and they have generic cold winter setting only, I do not know. Apparently temperatures are set in depots and cannot be changed???

    I have heard of people fainting and have felt overheated and sick myself, luckily I was able to take my coat off and sit down. However taking my coat off does not make it easier to breathe the hot and dry air. I and other people also stood near intercarriage doors – while they were open there was a bit of cooler air. Last Monday even a Thameslink train was hot hot hot (15.09 from City Thameslink to Sevenoaks – open windows again). There was one train in particular (6.55 Swanley to Victoria) that was very hot even in early autumn so I guess it had heating on then?! I did complain online to SE and got no response on that.

  2. Frequently the metro service to/from Sevenoaks has the heating on full blast, and most mornings myself and other passengers open all the windows before sitting down. It’s never necessary to have the heating on full blast.

  3. Am travelling on the 7.36 Albany Park to Cannon Street and it’s flipping freezing on this train. Many passengers all saying the same – that it’s too cold!

  4. @debbie Southeastern have been consistently unable to fix the thermostats on the carriage heating on the “465” metro trains, and so now they have completely disabled the heating until next winter. Clearly they don’t know what a British summer can be like!

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