Friday, 9 March 2007

The South West Trains Key to the Door

I experienced another predicament with the internal beeping doors this morning. These doors are giving me hassle this week! (see post) Those little green buttons are completely ineffective. The door slid shut as I approached it. Sensibly, I pressed the green button for it to open. It rudely ignored me. I pushed the button again, except this time a little harder. Still no response from the elusive door. I pressed it a couple more times with my thumb. No reply.

With a bemused expression on my face (at least, I hope it was bemusement rather than irritation) I looked around at my fellow passengers who were standing behind me, patiently waiting while I battled to get the door open. One man stepped forward to help. I am sure I saw a little ‘roll-of-the-eyes’ as I was clearly very incompetent, couldn’t open a blimming train door and here he was to step in. He pressed the button. I was quite relieved to see that the door did not open for him either (Hurrah, it’s not all about the strength of the button pushing, man!)

I was about to turn around and go into the carriage on the other side, when along came a South West Trains employee. One push of the button from her blessed finger and the door slid open obediently, straightaway. So, are they putting internal door codes into the fingertips of South West Trains workers in order to outfox the common, paying, passenger?

I think this is the case.


Anonymous said...


You write like Julie Burchill without wit, and she's witless!

Girl on A Train said...

It is healthy to spark a good debate, anonymous, so I am pleased to see some furious defendents of South West Trains on this website. When it comes to blogging, I may well be a whinge bag, but I am a hard-to-please passenger! (Although I do admit that my previous comment about a train waiting just beyond the platform is a little ridiculous in reality, however, I was applying my artistic license here!)

Those doors : the fact is that those doors did not open and it is the second time this week I have experienced problems with it! So, like it or not, those doors do not always work.
The aim of my blog is not to be witty, I am writing about commuting-my daily drudgery, so what do you expect.

Girl on Train, happy to have sparked a debate, always willing to argue about SWT

SpankyCottonPants said...

At the end of the day, many of the reasons that those doors don't open is because your fellow passengers think its a good idea to take the power off them (commuters, kids, old folk, they all do it).

Yes its a design flaw that Seimens (who built the trains) should have thought about, as they are not only fire doors, but emergency exits.

With regards to the link further up, you should browse the site for other commuters who seem to think we in the rail industry are all against the passenger... although an empty train is a trouble free train, we also are a little human if you just chat to one... maybe they can help sometimes!


Anonymous said...

If internal doors are such a problem, dare I suggest you find the carriage you wan't in the first instance before you actually get on the train?

Anonymous said...

How fucking stupid can someone be. I swear to god.

Girl on A Train said...

I am not sure what the name of the trains are, anonymous, but I am talking about the ones where you have to go through the internal doors to even get on the carriage. The long, white trains with more leg rooms.

Finally, I appreciate comments on my site, but I do ask for some respect. To the commenter above, while you may not appreciate my personal experiences with doors closing on me, it is childish to resort to petty jibes as if you are in the school playground. Please grow up who ever you are!

There we go. Girl on a Train telling-off over.

Anonymous said...

Do you mean the white 5 or 10 car Class 444 Desiros? They require you to pass through internal doors to get into or out of the carriages (except at the very front and end of a 5-car unit).

Daniel (memorex) said...


Your referring to the class 444 desiro trains.

Right. The internal sliding doors don't have a laser, (unlike external doors). So, they dont know if anyone is in between them. They close a set time after they've been opened.

Next. Be gentle with the buttons. They normally don't work if you hit them hard. Also, if you press it and it doesn't open and you hold it down, it's not going to work. Let go and press again.

Next, you can acctually pull the doors open. They're not very strong.

Finally, if all else fails, look up. Theres a green button which says "Emergency Exit". That will open the doors. It doesn't set off any alarms, and many rail staff use it, as it's much more reliable :).


Anonymous said...

I have to say I travel on SW trains every so often for years and never had a problem with the internal doors...until tonight.
First time was when I got on the train and subsequently couldnt get in a carriage. Secons time I couldnt get out of a carriage...which was frustrating cos I nearly missed my stop.
The "buttons" are not buttons before people start flying off calling people stupid etc and freaking out despite it being a free forum.
Anyone got an idea how/where the sensors are located on these contraptions?

jowdjbrown said...

I was quite relieved to see that the door did not open for him either (Hurrah, it’s not all about the strength of the button pushing, man!)

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