‘We feared for our lives on packed train’

The Bolton News: Traveller Mark Fry Traveller Mark Fry

A RAIL passenger has described feeling “real fear” as hundreds of people packed on to a train heading from Manchester to Bolton.

Mark Fry and his wife were heading back from a night out in Manchester to their home in Blackrod when they were squashed on to a train bound for Blackpool North.

The couple were forced to spend the entire journey trapped in the train’s small toilet.

The 43-year-old said: “I have never experienced anything like it, people were panicking and others were crying as more people crammed on — there was so much tension in the atmosphere and children were being squashed.”

Mr Fry claims that the problem was caused because of a lack of staff at Manchester Victoria.

He said: “There was nobody checking tickets, everyone was fending for themselves, it was bizarre and when we got to Bolton, literally hundreds of people got off the train — there was definitely a point where I thought someone could have got killed, we were like sheep in a pen and myself and my wife were forced into the toilet, we had no choice.”

On the day of the incident, the Rugby League World Cup final was held at Old Trafford on November 30.

This meant that thousands of fans flocked to Manchester and this combined with the start of the Christmas shopping period led to many more rail passengers. A spokesman for Northern Rail said they had made extra provisions.

A statement read: “We planned for, and provided, more than 6,000 extra seats to services in and out of Manchester to cater for Christmas shoppers and sports fans. We know that some people were unable to get onto their preferred train and we are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.

“We will continue doing everything we can to provide as much capacity as possible with the fleet of trains we have.”

The Bolton News has launched a campaign to reinstate axed carriages from our overcrowded rail services.

Comments (9)

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5:12pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Comment777 says...

If the train was soo crowded you had no reason to hide in the toilet as the ticket collector would not even attempt to check tickets...

Welcome to failed England where the rich feed of the fear and acceptance of the masses....
If the train was soo crowded you had no reason to hide in the toilet as the ticket collector would not even attempt to check tickets... Welcome to failed England where the rich feed of the fear and acceptance of the masses.... Comment777

6:57pm Thu 12 Dec 13

I Burrow says...

I experienced same issue several weeks ago. Rugby , concert , and others. Accident waiting to happen out of Victoria. Why is It health and safety deals with Sometimes small things and glaring big ones get put down to not enough resourses ! assume its easier to tick böses on the small ?
I experienced same issue several weeks ago. Rugby , concert , and others. Accident waiting to happen out of Victoria. Why is It health and safety deals with Sometimes small things and glaring big ones get put down to not enough resourses ! assume its easier to tick böses on the small ? I Burrow

8:16pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Andy Higham says...

I guess he hasn't been on a tube in london
I guess he hasn't been on a tube in london Andy Higham

10:37pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Keaneo7 says...

heading back from a night out and children where on the train? sound's like someone has been exaggerating to me. ye the trains are over crowded, not enough carriages, and vital trains have been stopped but never have I feared for my life :S and I make the journey atleast twice a day, more at weekends and at peak times =/
heading back from a night out and children where on the train? sound's like someone has been exaggerating to me. ye the trains are over crowded, not enough carriages, and vital trains have been stopped but never have I feared for my life :S and I make the journey atleast twice a day, more at weekends and at peak times =/ Keaneo7

11:01pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Lancashire always says...

Overcrowded trains have been a problem for years they are doing something about it though they are taking carriages off I am just waiting for the cheap tickets to go on top of the train ha ha ha ha Merry Christmas xx
Overcrowded trains have been a problem for years they are doing something about it though they are taking carriages off I am just waiting for the cheap tickets to go on top of the train ha ha ha ha Merry Christmas xx Lancashire always

1:30am Fri 13 Dec 13

Blackrod says...

Many I know are getting off the train earlier than Blackrod because you can't always get through the people to get off! Many are getting on for free as no one is checking tickets, though an inspector couldn't get through the people. I can no longer travel on train as can't stand for more than 10 min without leg giving way. GOK how others going on in my situation that work rather than claim benefits.
Many I know are getting off the train earlier than Blackrod because you can't always get through the people to get off! Many are getting on for free as no one is checking tickets, though an inspector couldn't get through the people. I can no longer travel on train as can't stand for more than 10 min without leg giving way. GOK how others going on in my situation that work rather than claim benefits. Blackrod

11:45am Fri 13 Dec 13

blkres says...

This is what it is like everyday! I commute from blackrod to manchester 5 days a week and its like this every day. At least you got on the train! I quiet often see 2 pass by me before i can even get on. If i am crammed in the doorway, i am just grateful to be on a train and getting home!

Its a total disgrace... they should not be allowed to run like this... but they wont do anything about it... until something tradgic happens.

Sign the petition!
This is what it is like everyday! I commute from blackrod to manchester 5 days a week and its like this every day. At least you got on the train! I quiet often see 2 pass by me before i can even get on. If i am crammed in the doorway, i am just grateful to be on a train and getting home! Its a total disgrace... they should not be allowed to run like this... but they wont do anything about it... until something tradgic happens. Sign the petition! blkres

11:49am Fri 13 Dec 13

JJKBolton says...

Enough is enough, Northern Rail / First Group Managers, MPs TfGM and all the rest must now be publicly held to account in parliament and or a court of law.

In the event of loss of life, I am sure that with all the years of documented evidence re dangerous overcrowding, rail managers, quangos and MPs wouldn't have a leg to stand on if it came to a corporate manslaughter charge.

If we analyse the NR statement in detail, they don't actually say they provided any more capacity on the train in question, only that extra capacity in and out of Mcr was provided, it is no secret that there is more than one railway line going into and out of Mcr..
Could NR be more specific about which services extra capacity were provided for? ---------- “We planned for, and provided, more than 6,000 extra seats to services in and out of Manchester to cater for Christmas shoppers and sports fans. We know that some people were unable to get onto their preferred train and we are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused".

The following are simple enough questions which if NR are really up to the job will answer in these columns, -
Q - Why do platform staff not prevent trains from becoming dangerously overloaded ?
Q - What would the NR response be if a train breaks down between stops and passengers had die from heat exhaustion and suffocation?
Q - Will NR trot out and rely on similarly bland statements if an incident and fatalities do occur?
Q - Do NR really think that their bland statements will defend them against manslaughter charges and if not why do they think the public buy them now ?

I respectfully suggest to NR that they do answer these questions just in case god forbid the worst does happen, because regardless of whether another department or agency will or will not allow you to put extra capacity on, it is NR responsibility to ensure safety of travelling public on the trains that ARE ACTUALLY RUNNING at ANY time of day or night.

It really is that simple. I'm sorry to labour a point but making bland PR statements about being "committed to safety" will cut no ice in a court of law.
Enough is enough, Northern Rail / First Group Managers, MPs TfGM and all the rest must now be publicly held to account in parliament and or a court of law. In the event of loss of life, I am sure that with all the years of documented evidence re dangerous overcrowding, rail managers, quangos and MPs wouldn't have a leg to stand on if it came to a corporate manslaughter charge. If we analyse the NR statement in detail, they don't actually say they provided any more capacity on the train in question, only that extra capacity in and out of Mcr was provided, it is no secret that there is more than one railway line going into and out of Mcr.. Could NR be more specific about which services extra capacity were provided for? ---------- “We planned for, and provided, more than 6,000 extra seats to services in and out of Manchester to cater for Christmas shoppers and sports fans. We know that some people were unable to get onto their preferred train and we are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused". The following are simple enough questions which if NR are really up to the job will answer in these columns, - Q - Why do platform staff not prevent trains from becoming dangerously overloaded ? Q - What would the NR response be if a train breaks down between stops and passengers had die from heat exhaustion and suffocation? Q - Will NR trot out and rely on similarly bland statements if an incident and fatalities do occur? Q - Do NR really think that their bland statements will defend them against manslaughter charges and if not why do they think the public buy them now ? I respectfully suggest to NR that they do answer these questions just in case god forbid the worst does happen, because regardless of whether another department or agency will or will not allow you to put extra capacity on, it is NR responsibility to ensure safety of travelling public on the trains that ARE ACTUALLY RUNNING at ANY time of day or night. It really is that simple. I'm sorry to labour a point but making bland PR statements about being "committed to safety" will cut no ice in a court of law. JJKBolton

11:01pm Sun 15 Dec 13

BWFC71 says...

Andy Higham wrote:
I guess he hasn't been on a tube in london
I have and the tubes have nothing on Bolton's main rail line on that particular Saturday or everyday in the morning and afternoon peak!!!!
[quote][p][bold]Andy Higham[/bold] wrote: I guess he hasn't been on a tube in london[/p][/quote]I have and the tubes have nothing on Bolton's main rail line on that particular Saturday or everyday in the morning and afternoon peak!!!! BWFC71

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