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Author Topic: Slippery Announcements  (Read 1032 times)
trainer
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« on: October 17, 2017, 10:06:57 pm »

Today I arrived at Yatton (YAT) intending to board the local 10:50 to Temple Meads (BRI).  I was advised at the ticket office to board the first train as things were not running to time.  Good advice.

I boarded the late running train from Paignton to Paddington, due off YAT at 09:40 some 40 minutes down. Before boarding the CIS showed that the train was to be terminated at BRI and one senior lady at least was somewhat miffed that she was not going to be able to go through to Reading, but I assured her that there would be a reasonable connection at BRI - I did this in hope rather than certainty.  The conductor clearly informed us that the train was to be terminated early because of the late running due to poor rail conditions between Torquay and Torre: very precise and welcome information.  He went to give very clear details of what would happen on arrival at BRI.

He told us very helpfully:

We would arrive on Platform 5
Passengers for stations to Paddington (PAD) should go through the subway to Platform 13, where the 11:00 service would be waiting.
He also gave info for other trains.
Clearly a conscientious employee.

As we approached BRI and slowed the train gently passed across the station throat veering to the right through the points and to me it was obvious we were not landing on Platform 5.  However, everyone was preparing to leave the train by the time it was clear that not only were we arriving on Platform 13, but that the CIS was showing that this was indeed the 11:00 service to PAD.  I alighted and could see the bewilderment of some of my fellow passengers (none of whom had looked through the window to see the CIS as I had) as they passed by the people on the platform getting on their 'cancelled' train.

I guess someone decided to route the late train into the next diagram to help those on board have a smoother journey and that person may have been a route controller.  Some discussion must have taken place between NR and GWR to arrange such a thing.  Those staff clearly thinking of the passengers also tried their best.

Sadly the efforts of one conscientious member of the railway staff were wasted by the lack of accurate information from some other equally dedicated staff resulting in confusion.  Possibly it all happened at the last minute and it was too late to tell the on board staff of the change: who knows?  What I do know is that it doesn't add to one's confidence in being able to rely on the information given by even the most genuine staff.
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grahame
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« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2017, 07:02:17 am »

It sounds like a window of opportunity was grasped that's outside the norm (probably because it doesn't work out, what with crew diagrams to consider too) to drop a set back by an hour.   Real Time Trains shows it arriving into platform 15 at 10:45 and leaving at 11:00, with something else standing in as a special - 1Z12 - at 10:00.

The railways / incidents / operational changes are far more dynamic than many of us realise, and an announcement or piece of advise is usually a probability, but sometimes just a possibility.  Announcements tend to be held back until they become probabilities, but it doesn't always work out. Having had the odd occasion where I'm more aware than others as to what's going on, everyone's working to ease the passengers through changes. Part of that being because it's the right thing to do, but the selfish motive may be there too - "I really don't want me or my colleagues to be left with a load of unhappy people on my / their hands"; I mention that latter in passing though - the main driver for the vast majority of operational folks is to do the best for the paying customer.
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stuving
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« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2017, 09:14:01 am »

The announcement, as described, could have been based on quite limited information: your train is so late it will terminate and onward services are running as normal. Re-platforming the late-running train is to be expected, and might simply be not mentioned - it's not an onward service, is it?

In that case the TM may have been a bit too keen to fill in helpful details and not stopped to think about whether that incoming platform would change, and the implications. A more cautious "we may arrive in a different platform from our usual number 5; do check when we arrive" would, as you say, have been more helpful.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2017, 09:37:07 am by stuving » Logged
phile
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« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2017, 09:26:58 am »

Just baffled how you could have arrived on Platform 13 from the West,
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grahame
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« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2017, 09:39:55 am »

Just baffled how you could have arrived on Platform 13 from the West,

Real time trains confirms the arrival on the face opposite 13 - i.e. 15  Grin ... note that in my earlier reply  Wink
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phile
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« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2017, 10:29:30 am »

Just baffled how you could have arrived on Platform 13 from the West,

Real time trains confirms the arrival on the face opposite 13 - i.e. 15  Grin ... note that in my earlier reply  Wink

Missed your comment but would appear RTT was correct this time as very often the booked platform is still shown in retrospect even if it was a different one on the day.
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John R
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« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2017, 10:42:07 am »

It's not unusual for this to happen to a late running service from the west, with the spare HST at Temple Meads stepping up if available (and crew) to maintain a right time departure from there eastwards. What is unusual is it doesn't appear that the TM was advised, as on previous occasions they have made passengers aware of this.

It appears to have been slick work, with the inbound service only arriving from PAD at 0952, yet returning east on time at 1000.  Because of the long delay to the train from Paignton it also meant the 1030 departure had to be stepped up, and again that seemed to work without a hitch. 

So good operating practice, but shame the communication wasn't a bit better.
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trainer
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« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2017, 12:54:25 pm »

I am culpable in misreading the Platform no.  Apologies.  At least I didn't say Platform 14!  Roll Eyes

I agree much deft footwork by many and only let down by the communications.
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