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Author Topic: New Platform Markings at Reading  (Read 2221 times)
ray951
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« Reply #15 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.
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eightonedee
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« Reply #16 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.
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #17 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.
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Clan Line
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« Reply #18 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.
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eightonedee
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« Reply #19 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.












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stuving
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« Reply #20 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.
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grahame
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« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2019, 08:21:26 pm »

No zones at Cardiff yet  Grin
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Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest and of RailFuture
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« Reply #22 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? 
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To view my cab run over the new Reading Viaduct as well as a relief line cab ride at Reading just after Platforms 12-15 opened and my 'before and after' video comparison of the Cotswold Line Redoubling scheme, see: http://www.dailymotion.com/user/IndustryInsider/1
stuving
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« Reply #23 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.
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« Reply #24 on: May 01, 2019, 04:45:44 pm »

Yes, pretty sure!  Though I was looking across from platform 11.
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To view my cab run over the new Reading Viaduct as well as a relief line cab ride at Reading just after Platforms 12-15 opened and my 'before and after' video comparison of the Cotswold Line Redoubling scheme, see: http://www.dailymotion.com/user/IndustryInsider/1
stuving
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« Reply #25 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.
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stuving
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« Reply #26 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.
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eightonedee
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« Reply #27 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.....
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Lee
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« Reply #28 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...

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stuving
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« Reply #29 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.
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