Wednesday 24 July 2013

Train Policy Spotting

Amongst other interesting things I learned on the recent trip to Brussels with a train full of vapers (see here) was that Eurostar apparently don't have a policy on the use of e-cigs. Well, I say that but there could be one, it's just that the train manager seemed to use a lot of common sense.

He entered the carriage and asked if there was anyone who wasn't happy, and found that there was a party of three who weren't vapers. This was news to the travelling contingent as it had been assumed that the whole carriage had been booked for the trip. Fortunately - and maybe something to do with one of the three being a smoker and therefore not risk-terrified - there were no objections so it was OK to vape away.

This was good news in light of the recent typically Scottish decision - that is, ban everything, ask questions later - of Scotrail.

On the same subject, this sign at Newark station - sent to me by Pat Nurse - was intriguing.

As she rightly pointed out:
"We welcome smokers but not the smoke ....". My own view is that you cannot have one without the other but as smokers are always willing to compromise, and Network Rail clearly welcomes them, then would the company allow smokers to use E-cigs on board trains and on the platform which does allow smokers to be smokers without the smoke?
Worth asking, I thought. So I did. The reply from Network Rail surprised me somewhat, in a good way.
Dear Mr Puddlecote 
Thank you for your recent enquiry. 
I can advise you that the use of e-cigarettes is permissible within enclosed and within partially enclosed buildings and workplaces. 
The person may be challenged and be required to prove that they are using an e-cigarette. 
Kind Regards
Yes, really! Network Rail are happy to allow citizens to organise things for themselves by discussion, rather than issuing some haughty diktat from on high.

I thought that kind of trust in the public had been banned itself long ago! How refreshing, I thought. Shame they don't have the same attitude to entirely harmless outdoor smoking, but hey.

Newark runs trains on the East Coast line, so I asked them about their policy too.
Dear Mr Puddlecote

Thank you for your email received on 8 July 2013.

I can confirm that, at present, we do allow the use of e-cigarettes on board our trains. However, this policy is under review.

Thank you for getting in touch. Please do not hesitate to contact us again if there is anything else we can do for you.

Yours sincerely
Under review, eh? Hmm, sounds like someone at East Coast is preening their eyebrows and getting ready to massage their ego by way of a wagging finger.

Anyway, with my curiosity aroused, it would be interesting to paint a picture of how the various train companies view e-cigs at the moment, and what their policies are. I'd ask them all myself but before I do, if anyone has already requested a response from any of the scattered companies - or knows of a published online policy like Scotrail's bone-headed one - do please let me know to save some unnecessary badgering.


MisanthropeGirl said...

Someone asked the train operating company I use about vaping only a couple of months ago. Here is there reply:

"in line with rest of industry e cigarettes are not allowed. They still give off small amounts of fumes & hard to tell"

That pathetic excuse didn't go down too well with some.

nisakiman said...

This then begs the question "What justification do airlines have for banning the use of e-cigs on their flights"? I posted a link here a few days ago ( ) to the tale of a woman who was arrested, jailed, fined, had her ticket cancelled and was then thrown out of the country for using an e-cig on a plane. What justification could they possibly have had for such draconian retribution? If e-cigs are acceptable on a train, then why not on a plane?

The link is to a forum, and it is noticeable how little (like none at all) sympathy she got from other posters.

Truly, the lunatics have taken over the asylum.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Thanks for that. I guess we can close the file on C2C then. :(

Charlie said...

We have Network SouthEast employees as customers. They got a management email saying it is ok for passengers to vape on trains, but not employees...

Henry Crun said...

Hi Dick, have wander over to Raedeald's blog this morning. Then sweep your offices and home for spy cams and listening devices.

Henry Crun said...

Sorry, should be Raedwald, not Raedeald

Dick_Puddlecote said...

I suppose that's kinda understandable, many companies have policies on what staff may do while on duty. Even when smoking was more widespread in previous decades, uniformed workers were often under no smoking on duty policies.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Hmm, interesting. It's odd how quick some people are to accept that contravening a private company's policy is a 'crime'.

JonathanBagley said...

Northern Rail appears to be in a minority in having an explicit ban on ecigs on its trains and stations (don't understand that - didn't think they owned the stations). I vape on the way home quite regularly. It's possible without creating visible vapour, but depending on who's around I might not bother hiding it. A couple of us vape on the station in the morning and I walk through Mcr. Victoria vaping. Never had a problem. Never had a comment about the ecig or the 20ml liquid bottles at Mcr airport handbagage. Vaped invisibly on KLM two days ago.

nisakiman said...

Talking of 'vaping invisibly', why is it that some enterprising e-cig company hasn't developed a vapourless e-liquid, specifically for use on planes? The objection, it seems, is that "it looks like smoking" (sigh...), but obviously a vapourless e-cig wouldn't "look like smoking", would it? And even if airlines continued with their stupidity of banning e-cigs, it would have to be a pretty bloody eagle-eyed trolley dolly to spot a vaper! It would look just the same as sucking on the end of a pencil to any casual observer.

Jean Granville said...

In France, the situation is quite simple:
- in the train : BANNED
- inside the station (in Paris at least, but I presume the rules are the same everywhere) : BANNED
- in the Paris metro : BANNED
Wecome to France.

PatNurse said...

They should ban trains full stop in that case. They give off more fumes than tobacco or e cigarettes. Bloody hypocrites :(

ChrisPrice4 said...

They already did, some time ago - it was called Stealth Vape or something. Wasn't successful, because all you have to do is hold the vape in for a couple of seconds and zap! No vapour. Or if you can't do that, exhale through a handkerchief.

I think a stealth vape liquid needs to have a PG-alcohol base and no VG (absolutely no VG and not even in the flavouring), so you could always try DIY.

devilskitchen said...

I have duly fired off a request for policy clarification to South West Trains.


Dick_Puddlecote said...

Great stuff. Very interested to learn of their reply.

Starship Fighter said...

On the subject of policies from private companies I've just returned from a week at a Haven caravan site with my partner and kids and discovered that they have basically enacted a blanket ban on E-cigs this year - they had put up notices all around the 'entertainment suite' declaring that they are to be treated as tobacco and are banned in all enclosed spaces, but 'please feel free to use your devices in the smoking areas'. Last year I saw several vapers around the site and had plenty of conversations with curious smokers, but this year I haven't seen a single one apart from myself. Plenty of smokers mind because if I have to go outside to get my nicotine I might as well have a fag...

Simon Cooke said...

On a related matter - Bradford Council has no policy (ergo vaping is permitted) but I notice vapers clustered with the smokers outside the office. I've asked a couple of vapers - they rather assumed they couldn't do it inside (and, as ex-smokers, were used to the al fresco gasper.

Tom Gleeson said...

Irish Rail and Buss have banned the use of Ecigs from all their trains, buses and property, in keeping with the no smoking policy. They cite health concerns and confusion of the smoking ban as justification. Never stopped me from vaping on the train though.

Darab Suleman said...

Well I love to vape. I have collected some good <a href=">vaporizers in Vancouvers BC</a>. Traditional smoking has some hazardous effect on health.

Ernest Tom said...

E cigs should not be prohibited, the smoke and odour isn't bad enough to disturb the community around. Also it is not harmful to the health unlike the traditional cigarettes. We are a Vape store in vancouver bc and have a lot of happy customers for e cigarettes in Vancouver BC