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December 17, 2017, 09:31:20 PM *
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Author Topic: Gone - but not gone if you know enough!  (Read 748 times)
grahame
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« on: October 13, 2017, 08:17:14 AM »

I travelled home overnight Wednesday / Thursday on the Caledonian Sleeper / connected to 07:45 off Paddington - the "St David".  On time from Paddington - And stopped even before Royal Oak (overtaken by an underground - how humiliating).  Virtually to a halt just before Twyford.  Severe slack at Sonning Cutting. Crept through Moreton cutting. Result of steady loss of time - 14 late (public timetable) into Swindon.   08:53 for an 08:49 connection to Melksham.   

A Full green ahead of the train as I got off at Swindon suggested that the "Melksham Flyer" had not left just ahead.  However, it wasn't to be seen on the electronic departure board in the circulation area.   Quick shout (friendly one  Wink ) at the guy in the information point "Melksham?" - he took a quick look at his screen - "hurry along to platform 2 - that's under the subway and at the front of the platform".

I did (hurry along - thank goodness I'm getting better and can hurry!) ... not on the screen at the top of the main stairs but dashing around the corner (brisk walk not running on the platform!) there she is.   Screen at platform ends suggests that the 153 is the 09:36 to Cheltenham Spa, but "the knowledge" suggests otherwise ... and sure enough she pulls out at 08:57 - 8 minutes late, after St David has left, and after letting an up freight pass too.

"Smoke and Mirrors"?   Had I not known a little about rail travel, I could have assumed the connection had missed. Why was it gone from the departure boards?   Why had the platform end display been updated early?    Changes made a full four minutes (at least) before it left.



I'm aware that cancelled trains are "lost" from the boards at the time they should have left too, and personally I find this unsettling - it's as if the trains had never existed in the timetable and the railway is glad to was it's hands of those awkward customers who had been waiting for the train.  I would personally prefer cancellations to remain shown for at least a period after they were due to leave, giving people time to be comfortable with the alternatives.  Thoughts on this?

As an aside, although 8 late off Swindon, the TransWilts service arrived right time into Westbury according to Real Time Trains - but that may be a subject for a different thread.
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TransWilts Rail - Linking North to West and South 9 times a day. [see here]
ChrisB
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« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2017, 09:05:50 AM »

Quote
I would personally prefer cancellations to remain shown for at least a period after they were due to leave, giving people time to be comfortable with the alternatives.  Thoughts on this?

Not for me - I would rather know that the service had gone/been cancelled (ie gone from the departure boards) once the time of the service had passed - so within a minute of booked departure. If it had left, it would disappear, so why not if cancelled?

But to be clear, whether or not a service is cancelled, it should appear on the boards up to the booked time, I agree.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2017, 09:49:08 AM »

Screen at platform ends suggests that the 153 is the 09:36 to Cheltenham Spa, but "the knowledge" suggests otherwise ... and sure enough she pulls out at 08:57 - 8 minutes late, after St David has left, and after letting an up freight pass too.
I wonder if anyone got on thinking "Ooh, we'll be in Cheltenham nice and early"? Wrong information is worse than no information.
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Day return to Infinity, please.
bobm
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« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2017, 10:13:04 AM »

I was coming up the stairs to catch the following 09:00 to Bristol just as the St David pulled out so must have just missed you.

Seems there was something awry yesterday as from Platform 4 I heard the system announce the 08:49 to Westbury just as the tail lights crossed from the bay to the Down Main - so at least 60 seconds after the doors must have closed and locked.
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broadgage
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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2017, 10:59:09 AM »

I can see the merit of removing a train from the departure indicator VERY SHORTLY before departure so as to avoid people holding the doors and otherwise causing a commotion and delay.
This should in my view be no more 30 seconds to one minute before departure. And that should be ACTUAL departure, not timetabled.

I suspect that the policy of removing late trains from the indicator has originated from some young marketing whizz kid.
Many customers feel that punctuality on the railway is poor. This may be addressed by removing late running services from displays ASAP. The average customer will then see far fewer late departures displayed and conclude that things have improved.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2017, 11:06:44 AM »

I think it's far simpler than that - the software is programmed to remove trains very shortly after they are timed to leave - and it needs manual intervention to mark them 'late' or 'delayed' to hold them on the board. Depending on where this is controlled from, I guess it can get missed if that person is engaged elsewhere/doing something more important etc
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