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December 16, 2018, 05:07:38 pm *
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Author Topic: On Train Information Irritants  (Read 398 times)
Celestial
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« on: December 06, 2018, 03:36:10 pm »

Hello all, been lurking for a while and decided to sign up and take the plunge.

I've noticed that the new express trains announce when approaching Reading after leaving London to change for the Rail-air link to Heathrow. Why is this?  Is it just that whoever programmed the announcements didn't give it enough thought?   Another airport announcement which niggles me on the new trains is that at Bristol they say to change for Bristol International Airport, when International was dropped 8 years ago (I suppose I should be thankful that it doesn't say Lulsgate!).

Whilst I'm on a roll, I find the scrolling information screens on some of the trains around Bristol and Cardiff very irritating. They are constantly on, even between stations, and the combination of size, brightness, movement, and continued scrolling means its impossible to ignore them.  By the end I want to scream if I see See It Say It Sorted one more time.

Apologies if these seem like trivial matters compared with cancelled trains, overcrowding and the usual complaints I read on here.   
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patch38
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« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2018, 04:12:20 pm »

Welcome! Weirdly I posted another observation about announcements at almost exactly the same time. Maybe the mods want to merge?
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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2018, 04:26:06 pm »

Welcome! Weirdly I posted another observation about announcements at almost exactly the same time. Maybe the mods want to merge?

One of them was thinking about that.   May do so if it seems logical in the follow ups.

Hello all, been lurking for a while and decided to sign up and take the plunge.

I've noticed that the new express trains announce when approaching Reading after leaving London to change for the Rail-air link to Heathrow. Why is this?  Is it just that whoever programmed the announcements didn't give it enough thought?   ...

A warm welcome from me too.

I have also wondered this ... at the somewhat haphazard nature of other connectional announcements too.

I am undecided between ...

a) An annoucement to help people who have got on the Cheltenham Spa Express or the Atlantic Coast Express thinking it was the Heathrow Express to get back where they belong.  It's amazing how often I've come across people who have managed to catch the wrong train, so there is a serious element in this suggestion

b) A Contractual thing that states that if a service approaching Reading announces connections, these must include the Heathrow link.  Again - sounds silly, but actually it could be

c) It's not been thought through

d) Some perfectly reasonable explanation which I haven't been able to come up with.
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didcotdean
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« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2018, 04:30:18 pm »

There are some other oddities in the system. Was on an Oxford bound IET which invited passengers to change for 'Banbury and the North' at Didcot Parkway.
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Trowres
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« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2018, 08:54:06 pm »


Whilst I'm on a roll, I find the scrolling information screens on some of the trains around Bristol and Cardiff very irritating. They are constantly on, even between stations, and the combination of size, brightness, movement, and continued scrolling means its impossible to ignore them.  By the end I want to scream if I see See It Say It Sorted one more time.

Apologies if these seem like trivial matters compared with cancelled trains, overcrowding and the usual complaints I read on here.   

It isn't trivial; poor visual design doesn't get the recognition it deserves and some people can be badly affected (see. e.g. "Visual Stress" : Arnold). What's more, it should be avoidable by good design. The continuous repetition of the scrolling display isn't needed. Its eyecatching effect is exacerbated by reflections: I counted 7 separate images of the same display on a recent journey, via reflection in windows, glass partitions and ceiling panels.

On other trains (IIRC the IET is one culprit) the display doesn't have to scroll - the refresh rate is simply too low and the display flickers.

The blue/white displays on the 158s are much better, but someone ought to have arranged for Filton to appear on the same screen as Abbey Wood while it is sequencing through the station calls. It looks like two separate stations!
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froome
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« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2018, 10:19:56 pm »

I caught a London bound train at Stroud a few days ago and when it approached Swindon the train announcement said 'change at Swindon for Kemble, Stroud, Stonehouse, Gloucester and Cheltenham, despite having just stopped at these stations on its way to Swindon! It didn't mention changing there for Chippenham, Bath Spa etc, which is what half the train wanted to do.
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eightonedee
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« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2018, 11:07:35 pm »

...and earlier this week the walking writing on a North Downs service between Guildford and Reading got the destination right, but insisted that the next station was Thatcham and it would also be calling at Theale throughout the journey!
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CyclingSid
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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2018, 09:32:36 am »

On the horizontal screens, more a problem on SWR than GWR, there are sometimes large gaps part way through the list of stations. I sometimes wonder if somebody has inadvertently done the equivalent of CR+LF which throws the system.
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paul7755
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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2018, 10:40:00 am »

On the horizontal screens, more a problem on SWR than GWR, there are sometimes large gaps part way through the list of stations. I sometimes wonder if somebody has inadvertently done the equivalent of CR+LF which throws the system.
I think (from distant memory of a previous discussion somewhere) that some of the longest SWR station lists take up two separate messages.  Some sort of memory size issue.

Paul
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ChrisB
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« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2018, 02:41:37 pm »

GWR & the rail-air coaches are both run by FirstGroup - thus advertising their own wares....
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