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France lead the way with driverless trains

phreakphreak Posts: 2,691
edited November 2011 in The bottom bracket
The French are never usually shy of cotowing to their trade unions, so it's heartening to see that they've launched driverless trains on their busiest Parisian line recently.

http://www.economist.com/node/21540284

Maybe this will give TFL the balls to stand up to Bob Crow?

Posts

  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    There has been driverless trains in London since the opening of the DLR.
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,691
    markos1963 wrote:
    There has been driverless trains in London since the opening of the DLR.

    Well sure, but the tube trains and overland trains still have very expensive drivers.
  • finchyfinchy Posts: 6,686
    I wonder how well these computers will do in leading the passengers to safety in case of a fire, terrorist attack, etc.
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,691
    Well firstly, I may be wrong, but I'm fairly sure that drivers don't do that anyway. Secondly that suggests there will be no staff on board at all. Finally I think that there have been no accidents on the lines running these ever. The DLR has run for nearly 25 years without a driver and hasn't had a single accident.
  • finchyfinchy Posts: 6,686
    phreak wrote:
    Well firstly, I may be wrong, but I'm fairly sure that drivers don't do that anyway. Secondly that suggests there will be no staff on board at all. Finally I think that there have been no accidents on the lines running these ever. The DLR has run for nearly 25 years without a driver and hasn't had a single accident.

    1: Yes they do. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4671767.stm

    2: Well, those people would have to get high pay for working anti-social hours, abuse from the public, etc.

    3: I said emergency or terrorist attack, not accident.
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,691
    Fair enough, we can carry on with 8% fare rises indefinately just in case someone decides to blow up one of our trains. Seems fair enough. I'm going to go out in full body armour tomorrow just in the off chance someone knocks me off my bike.

    Re #2, I have never once seen a train driver abused, not once. Bus drives sure, but that's generally because they don't communicate with their passengers.
  • finchyfinchy Posts: 6,686
    phreak wrote:
    Fair enough, we can carry on with 8% fare rises indefinately just in case someone decides to blow up one of our trains. Seems fair enough. I'm going to go out in full body armour tomorrow just in the off chance someone knocks me off my bike.

    You're getting a bit hysterical there. I'm just saying that in an emergency, which does happen sometimes, you need human beings, not computers.

    How come just about every other Western European capital can run cheap, efficient underground services? They have to pay their drivers too. You're surely not trying to tell us that the (ridiculous) £4 fare you have to pay to travel 5 minutes on the Underground is all to cover wages.
    phreak wrote:
    Re #2, I have never once seen a train driver abused, not once. Bus drives sure, but that's generally because they don't communicate with their passengers.

    When you mentioned staff being on trains, I took it you meant having low-paid staff in the carriages. What did you mean?
  • Am I spotting a little piece of 'news management' here? You go for ages without any mention of Driver-less Trains and then lots turn up :? Nothing to do with problems looming in the Capital?

    Remember Aesop's Fable about The Fox That Lost His Brush? Cue stories about the greed and selfishness of train drivers. If you lack the desire to obtain decent reward for your efforts, don't crab about those who have.
    The older I get the faster I was
  • markos1963 wrote:
    There has been driverless trains in London since the opening of the DLR.

    And don't forget that the Victoria Line used automatic operation right from the off back in 1967 - the train crew on that tube line are there as a "manual over-ride" just in case, as well as being in charge of door operation.

    David
    "It is not enough merely to win; others must lose." - Gore Vidal
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 65,275 Lives Here
    As it says in Faulks' One Week in December - "Tube drivers aren't paid for what they do, but for what they know".

    Y'know, if something goes wrong.
  • GazzaputtGazzaputt Posts: 3,227
    Central Line is automated. Drivers open and close the doors.

    Seen one train pull into Notting Hill Gate with the driver reading a paper :shock:
  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    phreak wrote:
    Well firstly, I may be wrong, but I'm fairly sure that drivers don't do that anyway.

    I can assure you as a train driver that drivers DO lead passengers to safety and Do save passengers lives.
    One driver at my depot whilst driving at 100mph saw a car parked on a level crossing in front of him. Knowing that he couldn't stop in time he put the train in emergency brake and left the cab to warn passengers to get down or move back. The impact caused a fire that engulfed the cab and severely damaged the front of the train. Perhaps a robot might be able to do something similar but I doubt it because of one thing, they lack the quality of human judgement.
    I have evacuated trains due to failures something a machine can't do as it can't walk with it's passengers down a track. The driver of the Virgin train that crashed at Greyrigg managed to phone and alert the services even though he was injured, could a crushed computer do that?

    Now I fully admit that I'm paid a very good wage for driving trains and whether that's fair is down to your point of view. I feel that my pay is justified for several reasons. My knowledge retention, like a pilot I have to know everything about my job and others on the railway even if I don't need it very often. I get tested on this knowledge several times a year and the pass rate for these tests is quite rightly very high. I work a flexible rostering system that can see me starting work at five different times a week, we have no 'tacho's' on trains so we drive for long periods until a job is done. This has a detrimental effect on our health with a typical reduction in our life expectancy of five to ten years ( our Union paper is full of obituaries of men and women in their sixties). If we do fall ill and fail a medical then we are out of a job, no redundancy or pay off that's it unless we can do another job on the railway(rare).

    All of this costs money but in the grand scheme of things a drivers wage is nothing in comparison to other costs. For instance a two carriage diesel train costs £1000 a day to lease from it's owners with the hirer picking up all the running costs of fuel and maintanance.

    Personally I don't have a problem with light railways being automated if it helps to improve transport for inner cities. It's much better than clogging up our streets with cars. As long as it's introduced as an extra service running alongside exsisting mainline trains then it can only be good for all.

    BTW Bob Crow doesn't represent train drivers, only tube drivers and other railway workers. Train drivers belong to ASLEF who's last national strike was in 1982 hardly a militant bunch of socialist anarchists.
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