Spanish Train Driver Abandons Passengers:
I recently read a report about how a spanish train driver decided to abandon his passengers, and jump ship the minute that his shift ended.
The incident in question occurred on Tuesday night, at 9:15pm. The train stopped outside Osorno, a small village; with the passengers initially being told that the train had stopped for technical reasons. 15 minutes later, they were informed that the train had stopped because the driver had ‘gone over his limit’ and got off. The majority of passengers were then forced to wait for 2 hours until a replacement bus service arrived to take them to Madrid.
The train company, Renfe, have opened an official investigation into the incident and have promised to reimburse all of the fares of the passengers who were involved.
So, why am I writing about this? Well, mostly it was just shocking to me that a driver could behave like this, and there’s something really important to be learned from this for all of us. As a driver, your passengers are your main priority. On this occasion, the driver behaved really badly. The rail union released a statement saying that the driver requested to be relieved; and that’s fair enough – nobody should have to work against their will, but when you enlist as a train driver you take an unspoken oath that the passengers come first. Unless there was a medical emergency, it seems to me that this driver gave up just a little too easily. Although we don’t have all of the details, Renfe might also be to blame. If the driver had finished his shift then they should have had a substitute lined up to replace him; which was clearly not the case.
Obviously this is all just speculation, but it seems like a spectacular failure on both the part of the driver, and the train company; with passengers suffering the consequences.