When will passenger RRs have incidents like United/American?

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When will passenger RRs have incidents like United/American?

Postby SouthernRailway » Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:53 pm

After a bloodied passenger was hauled off a United plane, and after an American Airlines flight attendant nearly got into a fight with a passenger after knocking another passenger with a stroller, I'm wondering:

When will Amtrak or a commuter railroad have a similar incident?

I fly regularly and have had good experiences with American Airlines on-board crews; I've found them to be generally friendlier and less gruff than commuter railroad on-board staff at least.

Or have these incidents already happened on trains and nobody cares?
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Re: When will passenger RRs have incidents like United/Ameri

Postby SemperFidelis » Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:05 pm

As the issues of overbooking and crew repositioning are not problems with Amtrak or commuter railroads, I would doubt a "similar" incident would ever occur.

When someone is removed from a train, as many of us who use NJ Transit can probably attest to, it is normally due to disruptive behavior. Police getting rough with a drunk, violent, or disruptive person is generally met with a more positive response from the travelling public than is the manhandling of someone who is just trying to get home and is being forced off due to an already unpopular airline policy.

Many, many of NJ Transit's conductors do need a lesson or two on how to address a customer properly, though.
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Re: When will passenger RRs have incidents like United/Ameri

Postby mtuandrew » Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:33 pm

I suppose there could be an incident, it's not unheard-of for either government employees (let alone people who work for contractors like Keolis) or railroaders to crack under pressure. SemperFi is right though, the overbooking issue is a non-issue for either Amtrak or commuter services - but overcrowding, sure.

As long as none of these railroads have WMATA-scale service meltdowns, anyway. That could ratchet tension high enough to cause violence.
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Re: When will passenger RRs have incidents like United/Ameri

Postby Backshophoss » Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:05 pm

If someone is removed from a train,that person is "handed over" to the police,RR,State,or local.
On Amtrak,refusal to show ticket(evade fare),being a disruptive person or "3 sheets to the wind" drunk turns into a removal.
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Re: When will passenger RRs have incidents like United/Ameri

Postby donoteat » Fri May 05, 2017 11:05 am

I don't think anyone will be beaten bloody and dragged off a train until taking the train becomes as inconvenient and stressful as flying is.
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Re: When will passenger RRs have incidents like United/Ameri

Postby litz » Fri May 05, 2017 1:15 pm

Actually, you don't even have to be handed over.

Unlike an airplane, which has to land at an airport ... all a train has to do is stop.

Anywhere.

There is absolutely nothing that says Amtrak (or any other railroad) is required to deposit you at a station, or - in fact - anywhere in particular at all. All they have to do is stop at the nearest crossing, deposit you on the ground, and inform you that if you don't walk away from the tracks, you're trespassing. And that's it.

(and you'd be shocked how effective that is in getting someone belligerent to stand down, particularly if you actually stop the train)
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Re: When will passenger RRs have incidents like United/Ameri

Postby Backshophoss » Fri May 05, 2017 7:31 pm

Not too long ago a passenger boarded at ABQ was taken off the Chief at Lamy,was "3 sheets to the wind" drunk,and was handed over
to the Santa Fe County Sheirff
This was reported by the local CBS TV station. http://www.krqe.com
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Re: When will passenger RRs have incidents like United/Ameri

Postby Ken W2KB » Fri May 05, 2017 8:38 pm

litz wrote:Actually, you don't even have to be handed over.

Unlike an airplane, which has to land at an airport ... all a train has to do is stop.

Anywhere.

There is absolutely nothing that says Amtrak (or any other railroad) is required to deposit you at a station, or - in fact - anywhere in particular at all. All they have to do is stop at the nearest crossing, deposit you on the ground, and inform you that if you don't walk away from the tracks, you're trespassing. And that's it.

(and you'd be shocked how effective that is in getting someone belligerent to stand down, particularly if you actually stop the train)


Not entirely accurate. Common carriers such as Amtrak have under the common law an obligation to exercise a high duty of care with respect to the safety and well-being of passengers. That duty extends to unruly passengers, and the railroad must ensure that the location at which the passenger removed from the train is reasonably expected not to in any way cause harm to the passenger. If the location is in a dangerous or remote area, weather conditions are hazardous to health, etc. the railroad is liable in a tort claim for damages, which may be substantial, to that passenger and perhaps to others such as dependents of that passenger.
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Re: When will passenger RRs have incidents like United/Ameri

Postby mtuandrew » Fri May 05, 2017 11:26 pm

Anywhere safely and within reason, then. Posters here have described several unplanned stops for unruly passengers at remote road crossings or urban commuter stops, met by local authorities, and depending on their behavior brought to accommodations of either the voluntary or steel-bar varieties. Much harder to make unplanned stops from 30,000 feet.
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Re: When will passenger RRs have incidents like United/Ameri

Postby ExCon90 » Sat May 06, 2017 12:42 pm

I would think that being met by local authorities at a grade crossing, however remote, ought to be in compliance with the "high duty of care" standard. Leaving someone just standing there as the train leaves would be another matter.
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Re: When will passenger RRs have incidents like United/Ameri

Postby Tadman » Sat May 06, 2017 3:47 pm

I think thats why they call the police - leaving someone with the police can hardly be considered poor treatment from a personal safety standpoint.

I once saw a drunk removed from 8 at a remote Nebraska grade crossing, into the hands of the local 5-0.
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Re: When will passenger RRs have incidents like United/Ameri

Postby Ken W2KB » Sun May 07, 2017 8:38 pm

Tadman wrote:I think thats why they call the police - leaving someone with the police can hardly be considered poor treatment from a personal safety standpoint.

I once saw a drunk removed from 8 at a remote Nebraska grade crossing, into the hands of the local 5-0.


Agree. Having the police respond satisfies the duty of care.
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Re: When will passenger RRs have incidents like United/Ameri

Postby n2cbo » Tue May 16, 2017 12:32 pm

SemperFidelis wrote:Many, many of NJ Transit's conductors do need a lesson or two on how to address a customer properly, though.


The KEY word here is CUSTOMER!! Many RR employees don't really look at passengers as CUSTOMERS, and that the railroad is providing a SERVICE to them. I guess since there is NO competition, i.e. only one railroad (either Amtrak or a commuter railroad) that has service to the area, many RR employees have the attitude that "we're the only game in town", so it's OUR way or NO way...
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Re: When will passenger RRs have incidents like United/Ameri

Postby ExCon90 » Tue May 16, 2017 1:41 pm

Some years ago a union official (!) wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper complaining that the relevant operating authority was wasting money on advertising because the only people who ride are the ones who have no choice. He may not have been the only one who thinks that way. (On the other hand, I'm sure train crews must get tired of being held personally responsible for service failures by unthinking riders, but that seems to "come with the territory.")
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Re: When will passenger RRs have incidents like United/Ameri

Postby litz » Tue May 16, 2017 3:42 pm

ExCon90 wrote:I would think that being met by local authorities at a grade crossing, however remote, ought to be in compliance with the "high duty of care" standard. Leaving someone just standing there as the train leaves would be another matter.


You'd be surprised though ... you stop a train, and give someone a choice of "calm down or get off", it's amazing how an empty stretch of nowhere at a crossing will get them to back down.

If you DO end up having to put them off, you do so into the hands of the constabulary ... but often the threat alone is enough to stop the problem and you don't even have to contact the authorities.

Also, as noted above, it's an entirely different matter when you have to descend from 30,000 feet and make an unscheduled landing.
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