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All across the Great Western territory => The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom => Topic started by: grahame on June 28, 2021, 03:54:09 am



Title: On train announcements - number to be reduce??
Post by: grahame on June 28, 2021, 03:54:09 am
From ITV News (https://www.itv.com/news/2021-06-27/repetitive-train-announcements-to-hit-the-buffers)

Quote
Repetitive train announcements to hit the buffers

For many train passengers on daily commutes, they're up there with rail replacement buses for sheer tedium and annoyance.

Repetitive announcements urging people to "See it, say it, sorted", apologising for the late running of services, informing you of what station the train is approaching and has just left and encouraging travellers to take a moment to read the safety instructions leave many a commuter reaching for the volume button on their ear buds.

Now, though, it seems these announcements could soon terminate here.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps has promised in a recent white paper that: "There will be fewer annoying and repetitious recorded announcements."

The Sunday Times reports that on a journey from Manchester to London last week, passengers endured 17 pre-recorded messages, including three mentions of the security plea to see it and get it sorted.



Title: Re: On train announcements - number to be reduce??
Post by: IndustryInsider on June 28, 2021, 09:07:15 am
Yes, there are too many.  And also too many manual announcements that are far too l-o-n-g - I’ve had a bit of a moan about that before.

It’s not just on-train announcements either.  Station announcements are just as bad.

Let us hope this initiative comes to something.


Title: Re: On train announcements - number to be reduce??
Post by: ChrisB on June 28, 2021, 10:59:49 am
Arrival/departure info need to be given for those with sight issues, so I’m not fussed with those before/after each station…but otherwise yes


Title: Re: On train announcements - number to be reduce??
Post by: Bob_Blakey on June 28, 2021, 02:34:00 pm
Arrival/departure info need to be given for those with sight issues, so I’m not fussed with those before/after each station…but otherwise yes

...and the on-train PIS screens need to be used properly for those with hearing issues.


Title: Re: On train announcements - number to be reduce??
Post by: CyclingSid on June 28, 2021, 05:33:28 pm
It also helps if they have the correct announcements for the service, although this might be peculiar to the RDG - WAT services.


Title: Re: On train announcements - number to be reduce??
Post by: Red Squirrel on June 28, 2021, 06:16:51 pm
I suppose it's hard to get this right, but these messages can be rather frustrating. For me, the worst thing is when you've paused a conversation while the message plays, and then just as you think it's over and start to talk again it pipes up again with one of the standard messages that's repeated ad nauseam.



Title: Re: On train announcements - number to be reduce??
Post by: eightonedee on June 28, 2021, 06:34:19 pm
While we are having a good moan-

I cannot find a voting button for my views, which are-

1 - Yes - cut the "See it, say it, sorted" type of announcement.

2 - Yes - if they are automated, get them right! Nearly 20 years of commuting on Turbos with frequent problems including - announcements from the wrong line, announcements one or two stations out, in "reverse" order - often linked to the same problem on the "walking writing" internal signage.

3 - Get the volume right - often they are too quiet (useless - and often the case with announcements by train crew which are often given when things are going wrong and passengers really want to hear them) and just sometimes unbearably loud.

4 - Each station should be announced clearly shortly before arrival.

5 - We should not forget the needs of the visually impaired - so concentrate on telling people where they are and where they are going.




Title: Re: On train announcements - number to be reduce??
Post by: FarWestJohn on June 28, 2021, 07:21:28 pm
All it needs is arriving at and next station is ****

It does not need 'this a Great western service to ****'  twice at every stop.

Starting from PNZ it is never ending.

Drives me mad so I wear ear defenders



Title: Re: On train announcements - number to be reduce??
Post by: broadgage on June 28, 2021, 08:20:20 pm
One advantage of GBR should be a reduction in the LENGTH of announcements.

Olde style "This is the First great western service for Taunton, the next station stop is Reading. Thank you for travelling with first great western"

New style "This train is for Taunton, the next stop is Reading"
Simply reducing the branding announcements has roughly halved the length of the announcements. And replacing "station stop" with simply "stop" saves a bit more.


Title: Re: On train announcements - number to be reduce??
Post by: johnneyw on June 28, 2021, 09:12:04 pm
Over the years, I think I've developed an immunity to them...which can be unfortunate when I've switched off prior to an announcement being made to which I might have wished to have paid more attention.


Title: Re: On train announcements - number to be reduce??
Post by: Bmblbzzz on June 28, 2021, 09:18:23 pm
"Station stop" is annoying and seems like a tautology, but I've always understood (possibly incorrectly) that it was for the sake of precision. Not every station is stopped at and not every stop is for a station (although it should be). Arguably passengers don't need to know about the stations not stopped at and there should be no chance of anyone mistakenly alighting when the train has stopped due to a red signal (which there could have been in the slam door days). And however precise the phrase is, it's ugly.


Title: Re: On train announcements - number to be reduce??
Post by: Bmblbzzz on June 28, 2021, 09:24:17 pm
What information do people need to know about the train?
While waiting on the platform:
  • Where the train is going
  • What other stations it calls at
  • If their ticket is valid on it

Once on the train:
  • Announcement of the next station (to be stopped at) in good time to gather belongings etc, bearing in mind some people are slower moving
  • Destination and next stop for reassurance to newly boarded passengers

Your list may vary.


Title: Re: On train announcements - number to be reduce??
Post by: TonyK on June 28, 2021, 10:01:57 pm
Virgin Trains have the worst "Attention everybody!" music, with a sort of synthesised jingle that sounds like the Moonpig ad played on a number of slightly out of tune Rolf Harris Stylophones. Then follows the various entreaties to mind your luggage, read the safety card, and next station information, some of it accurate. GWR are a little less intrusive, but still annoying. I know we live in an age of risk aversion and over-cautious warnings in every walk of life to protect the business from being sued, but the more I hear a message, the less I listen to it.


Title: Re: On train announcements - number to be reduce??
Post by: jamestheredengine on June 28, 2021, 11:10:57 pm
1 - Yes - cut the "See it, say it, sorted" type of announcement.
And even more so TfW's awful epic pre-recorded bilingual announcement exhorting people to wash their hands, keep their distance, pay their fares, tuck their shirt in, avoid having their luggage blown up by the British Transport Police, and mind the gap between the train and the platform. If they got Reginald Bosanquet to read it, it might end up in the charts.


Title: Re: On train announcements - number to be reduce??
Post by: grahame on June 28, 2021, 11:56:53 pm
Where a train is running to schedule:

Once between stations - very occasionally twice (on the start AND ten minutes before next arrival on runs of over 25 minutes):

This is the train for stations to Exeter, Plymouth and Penzance. The next stop will be Taunton in about 10 minutes. Change at Taunton for connections to Bridgewater, and for stations to Minehead.

Upon arrival in each station:

This is Taunton. This is the train for stations to Exeter, Plymouth and Penzance. The next stop [for passengers] will be Exeter St Davids.

When a train is being held up and delay length is unknown:

We are being held at a signal because of animals on the line ahead of us.  I don't know how long we will be here, but it should not be too long.  I will give you a further update when we get moving, or in 15 minutes if we're still here.

When the train has been held up and delay length is known - on the end of between station announcements:

We are running around 25 minutes late due to animals on the line earlier in the journey. We may be delayed by a few minutes as we carry on because we have lost our booked path on the line, and have to get through as best we can around all the other trains


Title: Re: On train announcements - number to be reduce??
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 29, 2021, 06:50:30 am
Can't say they hugely bother me, I'm usually reading/day dreaming/working (or a combination of all three!).

I think the opinions that really count here are those of the visually impaired who rely on audio, rather than visual guidance.

I'm happy to put up with something that's possibly mildly irritating if it makes their lives easier, and I count my blessings.


Title: Re: On train announcements - number to be reduce??
Post by: TonyK on June 29, 2021, 08:02:00 am
1 - Yes - cut the "See it, say it, sorted" type of announcement.
And even more so TfW's awful epic pre-recorded bilingual announcement exhorting people to wash their hands, keep their distance, pay their fares, tuck their shirt in, avoid having their luggage blown up by the British Transport Police, and mind the gap between the train and the platform. If they got Reginald Bosanquet to read it, it might end up in the charts.

I had forgotten about Wales. Perhaps the Welsh version could be set to Cwm Rhondda?


Title: Re: On train announcements - number to be reduce??
Post by: Lee on June 29, 2021, 09:43:40 am
1 - Yes - cut the "See it, say it, sorted" type of announcement.
And even more so TfW's awful epic pre-recorded bilingual announcement exhorting people to wash their hands, keep their distance, pay their fares, tuck their shirt in, avoid having their luggage blown up by the British Transport Police, and mind the gap between the train and the platform. If they got Reginald Bosanquet to read it, it might end up in the charts.

I had forgotten about Wales. Perhaps the Welsh version could be set to Cwm Rhondda?



Title: Re: On train announcements - number to be reduce??
Post by: froome on June 29, 2021, 10:06:09 am
While we are having a good moan-

I cannot find a voting button for my views, which are-

1 - Yes - cut the "See it, say it, sorted" type of announcement.

2 - Yes - if they are automated, get them right! Nearly 20 years of commuting on Turbos with frequent problems including - announcements from the wrong line, announcements one or two stations out, in "reverse" order - often linked to the same problem on the "walking writing" internal signage.

3 - Get the volume right - often they are too quiet (useless - and often the case with announcements by train crew which are often given when things are going wrong and passengers really want to hear them) and just sometimes unbearably loud.

4 - Each station should be announced clearly shortly before arrival.

5 - We should not forget the needs of the visually impaired - so concentrate on telling people where they are and where they are going.




Yes, nos 2 and 3 are particular bugbears of mine.

I really don't understand why so many trains have announcements or even more often screen information that is both wrong and misleading. Often it is one or two stations out, and can easily lead to someone who does not know the area well (or isn't concentrating on looking outside) getting out at the wrong station. One train I recently travelled on had on screen information for a completely different journey displayed for the whole journey, and people would get on, look at the screen, assume they had got on the wrong train and get off again. We (the passengers) had to shout to them that they were on the right train.

I've raised these issues with on-board staff, and they usually haven't noticed themselves and say they can't control them.

Volume of announcements is rarely right. They seem to usually be just too muffled to be able to hear clearly what is being said.

And while it is slightly off-topic, why do large stations like Temple Meads have announcements on different platforms at differing volumes at the same time, so that one drowns out the one you are trying to hear on your platform?


Title: Re: On train announcements - number to be reduce??
Post by: jamestheredengine on June 29, 2021, 09:45:08 pm
1 - Yes - cut the "See it, say it, sorted" type of announcement.
And even more so TfW's awful epic pre-recorded bilingual announcement exhorting people to wash their hands, keep their distance, pay their fares, tuck their shirt in, avoid having their luggage blown up by the British Transport Police, and mind the gap between the train and the platform. If they got Reginald Bosanquet to read it, it might end up in the charts.

I had forgotten about Wales. Perhaps the Welsh version could be set to Cwm Rhondda?
Cedwch bellter, golchwch ddwylo,
Prynwch docyn, byddwch saff,
Cedwch afael yn eich bagiau
Rhag ffrwydriadau'r camera craff.
Gwyliwch wagle, gwyliwch wagle!
Bob un orsaf i Gaerdydd!
Bob un orsaf i Gaerdydd!


Title: Re: On train announcements - number to be reduce??
Post by: TonyK on June 30, 2021, 11:14:53 am
Very topical! ^^


Title: Re: On train announcements - number to be reduce??
Post by: Rhydgaled on July 03, 2021, 03:52:39 pm
I suppose it depends how long the travel time between stops is (on a service with lots of stops close together this wouldn't work) but I'd assume you have something like "Welcome aboard, this is the 09:57 service to Fishguard Harbour calling at Port Talbot Parkway, Llanelli, Carmarthen, Whitland, Fishguard & Goodwick and Fishguard Harbour, our next stop is Port Talbot Parkway" just after departure from each scheduled calling station (and, possibly, every 7-10 minutes on a service that is sat in a platform at the origin station waiting for its departure time) plus "we will shortly be arriving at XXX' just before each scheduled station call.

Have this bit OR 'your attention please' - NOT both - if you use 'your attention please' then you can put 'thank you' at the end.
I really don't understand why so many trains have announcements or even more often screen information that is both wrong and misleading. Often it is one or two stations out
Some systems cannot handle request stops; they might start out correct but then a request stop comes along and either the information system assumes the train stops (and nobody wants the stop, so it doesn't stop) or it assumes the train doesn't stop (and somebody requests it, so it stops) and gets either one stop ahead or one stop behind. I'm guessing those systems are linked to the door controls so that, if the door opens, it advances to whatever it's database says the next stop should be.


Title: Re: On train announcements - number to be reduce??
Post by: FarWestJohn on July 03, 2021, 06:13:20 pm
I don't see why you need announcements when the train starts moving from a station stop. The folks on the train have been told many times where the stops are. The new folks boarding have been bombarded with both visual displays and oral announcements when waiting for the train. Many modern trains also have the destination and next calling point outside the train near the doors. Possibly all that is needed is the next station stop is ***.


Title: Re: On train announcements - number to be reduce??
Post by: grahame on July 04, 2021, 07:35:14 am
Poll closed:

Quote
Are there too many on train announcements?
Yes - there should be less   - 24 (85.7%)
There are about the right numbers   - 1 (3.6%)
No - there should be more   - 0 (0%)
Don't know - not thought about it   - 0 (0%)
Doesn't matter to me   - 3 (10.7%)

Apart from confirmatory votes (such as in support of our constitution) I don't think I have ever seen such a strong result one way or other here, and with only a few "don't care" votes too.

A strong message to thems who decides on announcements that they are irritating the bajebas off their regulars, though they do have to balance the reduction in announcements with the risks involved with not informing occasional travellers - who are unlikely to be voters here, that they must mind the gap between the train and the platform, take all their possessions with them on leaving the train, and tell someone if they see something suspicious.



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