29 September 2014

28 days later…

…give or take a few days, Southeastern replied to my questions about heating

Sadly, it seems their comprehension of my email went out of the window and they decided to answer what they chose to. Badly.

I guess I’ll have to answer the questions again, it’s only fair, since we all deserve an explanation

Southeastern’s response

Dear Mr Rogers

Thank you for your recent webform on 20 August.

I’d like to start by stating carriage heating levels are thermostatically controlled and regularly monitored.

Some carriage settings were adjusted upwards slightly, following passenger feedback in winter 2012-13.

As I’m sure you’ll understand, all warm air systems require air to be heated to higher than the ambient temperature, just as a domestic radiator would be hotter than ambient.

I’d like to thank you for taking the time to make us aware of your comments and assure you that we’ll continue to monitor and adjust carriage settings as necessary.

Yours sincerely


Customer Relations Officer



So let’s look at what I originally asked them in my original message

HSE recommednations quoted were out-dated

Fine, they didn’t need to answer that, this was merely an observation * *Average London temperatures in July/August are from 13C to 23C (within the 13C-30C they claim was acceptable)

Fine, another statement that they didn’t have to acknolwedge

On Class 376 trains heating exhaust is blown directly above the legs of a seated passenger, at 31C

This was partially acknowledged, with a patronising explanation of domestic heater. Well, I don’t typically sit next to my radiator

WHO recommendations, and BBC article stating over 21C causes discomfort

Totally ignored, cos, I guess it’s acceptable to feel discomfort

Environmental commitments and lowering the set point to 18C for the health of passengers, and the environment


However, what Southeasterns response has revealed is that some carriages are in fact set ABOVE 21C, following passenger feedback.

So, as in my previous post to them, causing discomfort to passengers.

Time for a response

Because…it would be wrong of me not to wouldn’t it?

Here goes, this is what I sent:

Hi [redacted],

With reference to my previous communication Case ref: [redacted]

I would like to raise a few points based on your reply, and also to highlight some questions that remain unanswered:

  • I understand that to heat a train air needs to be higher than ambient temperature. You have, however, stated how a domestic radiator works - I’m sure you can acknowledge that most people do not typically sit within centimetres of their domestic radiator. Have you also taken into account my comments about the World Health Organisation’s recommendations for heat in this respect? Do you feel that it is ok for customers to have 30+C temperatures blasted directly at their bodies?

  • You have not acknowledged my observations that your HSE quotes were outdated, and also that London temperatures fall within your quoted numbers on your previous correspondence. Do you still stand by this?

  • You have not responded to my suggestion to lower the set point of heating on your trains, for environmental reasons, and also for the comfort of your passengers, instead, reiterating the 21C set point, and also advising that some trains are now set higher than 21C.

Over the last month, since my last communication with you on this subject, I have seen regular complaints on Twitter about excessive heating on trains - are you able to provide details on how many carriages have their thermostats verified each day before service, and how many are not performing to your defined specs?

I feel that your response to me, as well as your responses to customers via Twitter regarding this issue, have disregarded the concerns expressed, which is affecting the health of your passengers.

I look forward to your full, and thorough, response to the points raised above - I hope you can find the time to be able to answer all the points raised.

I will, as always, post any response to my blog, unless explicitly stated outside of your standard boilerplate disclaimer



And finally…

Want to express your displeasure at the 4 year Direct Award extension to Southeastern’s franchise agreement?

Then please fill in the petition I put together.



Related posts:

26 February 2015 | The Year So Far ...

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Related links

Southeastern Railway Action Group
Dartford Rail Travellers' Association
Dartford Rail Travellers Association (Facebook)
Dartford Rail Travellers Association (Twitter)