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Journey by Journey => London to Reading => Topic started by: eightonedee on April 03, 2019, 09:53:30 am



Title: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: eightonedee on April 03, 2019, 09:53:30 am
Yesterday evening I noticed what appeared to be new painted markings on Platforms 12 to 15 as below-

They seemed to be at regular intervals apparently dividing each platform into zones in ascending number order from east to west. Does anyone now what this is for - Elizabeth Line related perhaps?

I have also noted an enhancement to the dot-matrix signs on each platform. The row of "walking writing" in the centre showing the calling points of the next service also now show the arrival time after each station, and (sometimes) where the next train currently is. Last week's disruptions also enabled me to see that when the next train is delayed, the onward arrival times are adjusted, but they are no more reliable than Journey Check, indeed even more optimistic.

Nonetheless, a small useful improvement. I have not yet seen this elsewhere yet.


Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: IndustryInsider on April 03, 2019, 10:35:04 am
Zones are progressively being used to inform passengers where to wait on the platform.  They’re basically carriage number locations and are starting to appear on CIS screens.


Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: ellendune on April 03, 2019, 10:35:22 am
They ahve also appeared at Swindon so unlikely to be Elizabeth Line related.


Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: grahame on April 03, 2019, 11:45:29 am
Also starting to be used in announcements - at Chippenham telling people which zones to wait in for first class, standard class, for wheelchair access, and with cycles.   The thing that struck me right away was the length of the announcements and the need to listen through if you really want to make use of those spoken words.   Also appearing on the on-platform next train displays as the scrolling second line.


Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: SandTEngineer on April 03, 2019, 11:47:20 am
Shouldn't all of this been thought through as part of the introduction risk assessment carried out by the trains specifier.  Oh, hold on a minute...


Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: eightf48544 on April 04, 2019, 09:08:51 am
Obvious question what happens when train is in reverse formation?


Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: Clan Line on April 04, 2019, 09:22:10 am
Obvious question what happens when train is in reverse formation?

..............or it isn't the type of train that the Zone markings refer to ..........


Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: grahame on April 04, 2019, 09:40:09 am
Obvious question what happens when train is in reverse formation?

..............or it isn't the type of train that the Zone markings refer to ..........

The zones are numbered, and the coaches on the train are lettered.   And the announcements and scrolling displays provide a translation table.

Not sure if they're 26 or 23 metres apart though.  But then 23 metre carriages trains are typically just 2 or three carriages (rumoured to be going up to 5 on Cardiff / Portsmouth  ;D ) so the zone markers may not be that far out.  For IET with end doors v turbo with 1/3 and 2/3 doors, not sure how it's done.  "Roughly right /nearest marker" for Turbos, I expect!


Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: Phantom on April 04, 2019, 10:17:41 am
Obvious question what happens when train is in reverse formation?

Then the announcement is different

Have heard the announcements (and seen markings) at Temple Meads and Weston, whilst informative, for some reason they only get announced as the train is arriving - surely it would be better to give as much notice as possible to anyone needing this information

The other thing, with stations that have the newer electronic displays if shows which order the carriages are in etc on the rolling boards, Temple Meads and Weston still have the old rolling screens


Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: IndustryInsider on April 04, 2019, 10:23:24 am
It’s a ‘work in progress’ that’ll be progressively refined and rolled out across the franchise over the coming months.  The difference between 26m and 23m vehicles (and even 20m ones) won’t be enough to make that much of a difference even on the longest trains.


Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: Rob on the hill on April 04, 2019, 12:57:27 pm
This is how the zones/coach letters are now displayed on Tiger for Swindon:
http://iris2.rail.co.uk/tiger/renderstaffsoad.asp?file=30353A.xml

Reading don't seem to have adopted this change yet, possibly because there is still a mix of HSTs and IETs, whereas Swindon is now almost 100% IET.


Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: Richard Fairhurst on April 04, 2019, 12:58:12 pm
There are posters up at Reading explaining the change, though from the quick glance I got at one yesterday, I swear it said "to be introduced from December 2018"...


Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: grahame on April 04, 2019, 01:47:01 pm
This is how the zones/coach letters are now displayed on Tiger for Swindon:
http://iris2.rail.co.uk/tiger/renderstaffsoad.asp?file=30353A.xml

Quoting from that ... :
Quote
1st class zones 1, 2, 9 and 10. Standard class zones 3 to 8. Cycle space zones 2, 4 and 7. Wheelchair facilities zones 1 and 10. Train formation (Zones 1 to 5) L K J H G - A B C D E (Zones 6 to 10)
... not far off what the automated announcements are saying

If you know your stuff and listen carefully, it's all there. But I can't help feeling that if I have a reservation in coach B, perhaps I have to think and filter rather a lot to work out it's zone 7.


Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: ray951 on April 04, 2019, 03:22:59 pm
Is there any reason why they can't have coach numbers rather than coach letters?
Where 1 is the front of the train and 5,9,10 is the end, especially as they are no longer using semi-permanent labelling on carriages.
It would stop nonsense such as (Zones 1 to 5) A B C D E - L K J H G (Zones 6 to 10) which most people would struggle to work out while stood on the platform.

I appreciate front of the train maybe an issue for XC at Reading or Cardiff-Portsmouth services at BTM, but for most services this would work.

Is the use of letters a limitation of the reservation system or will it change when HST's are no more?


Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: eXPassenger on April 04, 2019, 03:27:40 pm
Is there any reason why they can't have coach numbers rather than coach letters?
Where 1 is the front of the train and 5,9,10 is the end, especially as they are no longer using semi-permanent labelling on carriages.
It would stop nonsense such as (Zones 1 to 5) A B C D E - L K J H G (Zones 6 to 10) which most people would struggle to work out while stood on the platform.

I appreciate front of the train maybe an issue for XC at Reading or Cardiff-Portsmouth services at BTM, but for most services this would work.

Is the use of letters a limitation of the reservation system or will it change when HST's are no more?


Since the internal layout of the coaches is not identical (first class etc) it will still be necessary to identify reservations by coach letter which is independent of the actual train configuration.


Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: ray951 on April 04, 2019, 03:31:33 pm
Is there any reason why they can't have coach numbers rather than coach letters?
Where 1 is the front of the train and 5,9,10 is the end, especially as they are no longer using semi-permanent labelling on carriages.
It would stop nonsense such as (Zones 1 to 5) A B C D E - L K J H G (Zones 6 to 10) which most people would struggle to work out while stood on the platform.

I appreciate front of the train maybe an issue for XC at Reading or Cardiff-Portsmouth services at BTM, but for most services this would work.

Is the use of letters a limitation of the reservation system or will it change when HST's are no more?


Since the internal layout of the coaches is not identical (first class etc) it will still be necessary to identify reservations by coach letter which is independent of the actual train configuration.

Yes I realised that this wouldn't work, just after I posted it, due to trains not always being in the correct formation. Asking somebody to look for Coach 3 in zone 7 is probably worse than asking them to look for Coach C in Zone 7.


Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: eightonedee on April 04, 2019, 09:46:07 pm
Thanks all for your information.

By this morning the orange squares has spread all over Reading Station, and this evening I heard (not entirely audibly, volume rather low) reference to zones in some announcements. I agree with Grahame's initial assessment - there seems too much information to take in at one go, and I expect it will bewilder rather than help those who are not regular passengers. I'll post further if there's anything relevant to report.

On the other subject I raised, I noticed this morning at Wokingham that arrival times at onward destinations were also being shown in the middle band of the platform dot matrix signs here too, although presumably this is an independent SWT installation instead of NR.


Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: Bob_Blakey on April 05, 2019, 08:50:24 am
A setup similar to this has been in use by SNCF for as long as I have been travelling regularly by train in France although, if I recall correctly, it relies purely on platform mounted digital displays rather than audible announcements.

Obviously I stand to be corrected.


Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: Clan Line on April 05, 2019, 09:35:29 am
A setup similar to this has been in use by SNCF for as long as I have been travelling regularly by train in France although, if I recall correctly, it relies purely on platform mounted digital displays rather than audible announcements.

Obviously I stand to be corrected.

..........and in Switzerland.


Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: eightonedee on April 13, 2019, 12:15:56 pm
After a fortnight of operation, my experience at Reading is as follows-

Quote
Posted by: Richard Fairhurst
Insert Quote
There are posters up at Reading explaining the change, though from the quick glance I got at one yesterday, I swear it said "to be introduced from December 2018".

Found it - by the lift shaft (see below) - it is not easy to read due to use of current spindly GWR typeface and title is misleading, as zoning also in use for Electrostars, and even platforms 4 to 6 has been marked into zones (IETs to Gatwick in due course?)

The use of zones does seem a little haphazard. They seem to be used in most announcements for Inter City services, and as well as being used on some platform arrival signage, they are now on the signs at the top of the stairs/escalators on the overbridge - see below for an example. There are though some shortcomings. This is one of three messages that constantly change at about 5 - 10 second intervals, the first being the usual time/destination/calling points (which can run to two screens on longer journeys), the second being a general announcement (currently letting you know that there may be amendments to services over the holiday weekend, without further details) and the zonal message.

I think that the information is too much to absorb in the brief view you get. Someone unfamiliar with the station and these signs is not going to know that it will be a fleeting view, nor are they going to wait to see if the message going to come around again, especially if they have little time to get down to  the platform to catch their train. Furthermore they are above most people's sightline.

Ironically, there are some large and prominent signs at a convenient level on the overbridge - see the third picture below. the advertising company JC Decaux has installed electronic advertising signs at platform level. Could National Rail see if they could arrange something for train information - a fixed not rotating view, and preferably black on white, not dot matrix  - with the destination/stopping points and zonal information?

As far as I can tell, zonal information seems only to be used for Electrostar and IET services. It is still not universal, and there is one service where it might be most useful and it is not used. One train I sometimes catch is the 18-57 departure from Reading, all stations to Didcot. It arrives as a 12 coach train from London on platform 13, the rear 4 are detatched (which invariably takes longer that the timetable allows!) before it departs. Clearly it would be useful for signage to tell the passenger that the coaches in the rear zones should not be used.

However even though the signs on platform 12 (the other platform face opposite 13) has full zonal information, the platform 13 sign simply tells you to listen to on-train announcements!

Overall, the initial impression that currently there is an information overload problem has been confirmed. It needs to be addressed as part of a more general overhaul/improvement of station signage at Reading - and presumably elsewhere. It could though be a useful feature if developed.














Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: stuving on April 13, 2019, 02:15:59 pm
When I was at Reading on Friday 5th, onward arrival times had arrived at the screens but they were still a zone-free zone. I did see that the marks were there along all platforms, odd though that looks at first. I guess that's just the railway's way of working - it's not likely that "any platform that could ever call for an announcement referring to zones" will rule any out.So it wasn't a big bang start of the new passenger information features.

I'm not sure you need coach->zone mapping information before you reach the platform, at least not in general. The ideal place for it is on the platform - and if you have enough displays there you don't need the markings do you? But in this respect, Reading isn't general - with two stars down, you might want to know which to use, though that doesn't call for as much detail.

There are still two of the old "huge phone" touch screens on the deck, though now demoted to just show NR public information posters in rotation. The one beside the lift up from P7, facing the enquiry desk, is not well sited for arriving passengers, though the other one on the north face of the P15 lift shaft facing Caversham is perhaps not bad for those entering on that side.


Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: grahame on April 16, 2019, 08:21:26 pm
No zones at Cardiff yet  ;D


Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: IndustryInsider on May 01, 2019, 04:16:31 pm
I note the zones at Reading for platforms 7-11 are marked out a different intervals to those on platforms 12-15, matching the length of vehicle that will most often stop there.  7-11 have zones 1-10 and 12-15 have zones 1-13.  I wonder (but somehow doubt) that the system will be intelligent enough to alter the information when an IET pulls into platform 15, or a 12-car 387 into platform 10, as either a planned or unplanned move? 


Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: stuving on May 01, 2019, 04:43:30 pm
I note the zones at Reading for platforms 7-11 are marked out a different intervals to those on platforms 12-15, matching the length of vehicle that will most often stop there.  7-11 have zones 1-10 and 12-15 have zones 1-13.  I wonder (but somehow doubt) that the system will be intelligent enough to alter the information when an IET pulls into platform 15, or a 12-car 387 into platform 10, as either a planned or unplanned move? 
Are you sure the relief platforms have just zones 1-13? Tiger is currently telling me the 16:53 to Didcot (2N42) will stop in zones 14 to 11 of P12B.


Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: IndustryInsider on May 01, 2019, 04:45:44 pm
Yes, pretty sure!  Though I was looking across from platform 11.


Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: stuving on May 01, 2019, 06:14:18 pm
Yes, pretty sure!  Though I was looking across from platform 11.

Well, now there's 1D93 advertised for P2, as "Train stops in zones 13 to 6. Wheelchair facilities zones 11 and 7." So maybe someone's noticed.

I did wonder what the point was of the zones on P1-6, and indeed they aren't being used. P12-15 are so far used on some trains (as above) but not others. I expected them to be used there only when IETs are slumming it, which is pretty common after all, though logic says XC services ought to be done as well. But, as you point out, neither of those is going to work at all well.

Clearly they need dynamically controlled mobile zone numbers ... or something.


Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: stuving on May 03, 2019, 06:54:54 pm
I had a chance to go and look at those numbers today in more detail. I was expecting to see the railway's own way of doing things in evidence, but was surprised to find the opposite is some respects.

On the through platforms, not only are P7-11 (Main Lines) set out on a 26 m spacing where P12-15 (Relief Lines) have 20 m, but they are numbered the other way round. This has some puzzling effects even for standard operations (387s in P12-15, IETs in P7-11 with no reverse running).

P7-9 (Down Main) : 1-10 with 1 at the country end, so the front of a down train is zone 1. Their lengths are all close to 305 m, so there's an unnumbered gap of more than one zone at the other end, but the stop board for all lengths is at the country end so this should work OK.

P10-11 (Up Main): 1-10 with 1 at the country end, and lengths 320/306 m.  The front of an up train will by next to the unnumbered gap if the stop board is at the end. However, while I didn't get there to look, I think the 9- and 10-car boards are set back from the end - which would solve that problem, if they get it right.

P12-13 (Down Relief) 1-13 with 1 at the London end, and 282 m long. All trains stop right at the country end, so the leading carriage is in the unnumbered zone (14). Isn't that odd?

P14-15 (Up Relief) 1-14 with 1 at the London end, and 282 m long. Provided the computer knows where the stop boards are, this ought to work for 387s, and the same applies for "reverse" running in P12-15 (common in these platforms).

Maybe there's some subtle rules about positioning stop boards that explain the apparent oddity of the zone numbering - what is clear is that these are closely linked.


Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: eightonedee on May 03, 2019, 08:28:18 pm
Stuving - this still does not explain the zone numbering on platforms 4, 5 and 6. I don't think they are being used yet.

I'll look out for someone from Wokingham with a tape measure when I'm next passing through.....


Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: Lee on May 03, 2019, 09:08:36 pm
Stuving - this still does not explain the zone numbering on platforms 4, 5 and 6. I don't think they are being used yet.

I'll look out for someone from Wokingham with a tape measure when I'm next passing through.....

JourneyCheck is reporting that our man is delayed due to the wrong kind of tape...

(https://www.bracknellnews.co.uk/resources/images/3984722.jpg?display=1&htype=0&type=responsive-gallery)


Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: stuving on May 03, 2019, 09:33:37 pm
Stuving - this still does not explain the zone numbering on platforms 4, 5 and 6. I don't think they are being used yet.

I'll look out for someone from Wokingham with a tape measure when I'm next passing through.....

I'm not sure there needs to be a specific intention to use them - just an instruction to put zone numbers on all platforms. I presume the pitch was required to be 20 or 26 m appropriately, so P4/5/6 should have either 1-12 or 13 at 20m (nominal length 268 m). I did mean to watch out of the window as we departed to see what happened up at the end - and predictably forgot.


Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: IndustryInsider on May 06, 2019, 08:38:52 pm
Stuving - this still does not explain the zone numbering on platforms 4, 5 and 6. I don't think they are being used yet.

I'll look out for someone from Wokingham with a tape measure when I'm next passing through.....

I'm not sure there needs to be a specific intention to use them - just an instruction to put zone numbers on all platforms. I presume the pitch was required to be 20 or 26 m appropriately, so P4/5/6 should have either 1-12 or 13 at 20m (nominal length 268 m). I did mean to watch out of the window as we departed to see what happened up at the end - and predictably forgot.

Zones on platforms 4-6 will be used when two trains are in the platform.  So, "This will be the front train only" will become "this will be the train in Zones 4-6".  Front train only was always a tricky one as of course when you walk onto the platform you could argue the one in front is the one nearest to you.


Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: bobm on May 31, 2019, 08:35:49 am
Of course it had to happen.

"Please stand in zone 4"

(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/platzone2.jpg)


Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: SandTEngineer on May 31, 2019, 09:51:38 am
When I next go to Reading I'll be listening out for the Twilight Zone then...... ;D :D


Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: ray951 on June 03, 2019, 04:27:10 pm
Zones have recently been added at Oxford, although this is the first time I have seen them in use.
Although they seem like overkill for a 2 car 165.
What is the point of the carriage letters and why E and D?

Notice the error as this service is standard class only and more than likely the train doesn't have any 1st class seating.


Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: grahame on June 03, 2019, 04:52:18 pm
Zones have recently been added at Oxford, although this is the first time I have seen them in use.
Although they seem like overkill for a 2 car 165.
What is the point of the carriage letters and why E and D?

Notice the error as this service is standard class only and more than likely the train doesn't have any 1st class seating.

For when the trains are used as 5 cars on the Cardiff - Portsmouth service, the three car units are A-B-C and the 2 cars are D-E.

We are getting used to announcements about First Class on TransWilts trains too.  And while at places like Chippenham it might feel like overkill, it does at least help people to know where on the 10 car platform the 2 carriages will be stopped.


Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: bobm on June 16, 2019, 09:32:36 am
Of course it had to happen.

"Please stand in zone 4"

(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/platzone2.jpg)

I can see a trend developing here...

(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/zone7.jpg)


Title: Re: New Platform Markings at Reading
Post by: eightonedee on June 29, 2019, 10:11:45 pm
I was somewhat surprised to see today that zone markings have appeared at Romsey.

I assume the longest trains here might be 5 car Turbo sets on the long distance GW trains, but does Romsey have passenger information systems to support zonal announcements (and are they necessary here?)



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