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Author Topic: Where's my train/carriage ? Wonder no longer..check scrolling displays  (Read 2833 times)
grahame
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« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2019, 09:09:45 pm »

* My other half who, despite living here for 12 years, can still get lost driving from here to Sainsbury's on the other side of town

Knowing which town that is ... even the bus drivers get lost.

There is a serious issue in this thread about information provision. The need for the 'headlines' to be easily understood and compete for the very rail-unaware, yet with a layer of icing on that cake for the railnerds to provide useful data for [us].

The train for Newport was shown as on time on the board, and "at Challow". Really the "on time" was right for the typical passenger; the "at Challow" really didn't add anything as - err - that's where you might have expected the on-time train to be.  Arguably more useful to give intermediate stations and expected arrival times after it left Swindon.

But ... displays of rail information are tailorable these days from the base information, and "at Challow" is probably of more interest to BobM than "calls at Bristol Parkway and Newport only. This train does not call at Patchway, Pilning or Severn Tunnel Junction".

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grahame
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« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2019, 09:23:18 pm »

For those of you who are not certain what a Challow lamp looks like ,
This may through some light on the matter🙂

https://classicpressurelamps.com/threads/challow.227/.

Crikey WP.  There seems to be a website for EVERYTHING these days..... Grin

Perhaps we need a separate thread for these everythings!

http://www.telegraphpoleappreciationsociety.org
https://www.derwentart.com/en-gb/c/about/company/derwent-pencil-museum
https://www.pylonofthemonth.org

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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2019, 09:59:41 pm »

Despite my Avatar I deny all knowledge of the first one....... Tongue
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Gordon the Blue Engine
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« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2019, 09:31:57 am »

Certainly no information is better than wrong, non-useful or non-understandable information (which we all know is not uncommon on platform CIS’s), so taking account of this and the  space limitations on the screens I favour short clear messages – I agree with Industry Insider on this.  So…:

“on time” (or x minutes late) instead of “passing Challow” or “between Twyford and Reading”  (although it could be argued that the expected departure time already gives this information)
or
“this train may be delayed – please listen for announcements” instead of specific details of signalling, OHLE, train etc problems.

Announcements can give more detailed and probably more up to date information as oral messages are easier to deliver quickly eg “this train will not call at Pangbourne because a broken down (not failed, which is a railway term) train is blocking one line at Tilehurst.  Passengers for Pangbourne should travel to Goring and catch the next train back to Pangbourne.” 
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2019, 03:59:51 pm »

Quote from: grahame
There is a serious issue in this thread about information provision. The need for the 'headlines' to be easily understood and compete for the very rail-unaware, yet with a layer of icing on that cake for the railnerds to provide useful data for [us].

I agree with the first bit of your sentence but not necessarily with the second. I  don't think there is any need for announcements to be tailored to "railnerds" at all, because we all have our own ways of finding out what is going on, be it modern mobile wi-fi as Realtime Trains and other railway-related sites get checked, or the old fashioned ways (although many are not as easy as they used to be given the demise of droplights) such as looking out for signal aspects ourselves, or spotting "C" and "T" boards as we passed them, or noticing an unusually heavy brake application when we felt one. I also feel that announcing too much technical information (term used loosely to encompass all things of enthusiast interest only) may only serve to further confuse the ordinary passenger.

My personal gripes are intercom systems where one or more PA handsets aren't working properly leading to inaudible announcements, and automated systems that tell lies. I shall now expand on that statement  Grin

I have come across quite a few cases in the last year or so when I have been unable to decipher what is being said over the intercom, and I have brought it to the attention of passing train managers and catering staff whilst on the train. Sometimes I have been met with disbelief (such as a guy pushing a trolley through an 800 last Sunday who clearly had no problem in projecting his voice) and I have to tell them that whilst my eyesight is failing my ears are as good as they have ever been. Unfortunately the staff making the announcements cannot hear themselves through the intercom and so simply will not know that they are using a dodgy handset unless someone tells them. And it is beginning to become apparent that maintenance and testing of these devices is not being carried to a high enough standard at the depot. I have to say that I have only found this problem on GWR and XC trains but that is not to say that they don't exist elsewhere, just that I haven't observed any instances.

As regards automated systems that tell lies, the ones on the GWR 800s appear in my experience to be the worst, closely followed by HEX that often just seem to display algebraic calculations rather then words... Once upon a time I was on an 800 from Chippenham to Bristol and, on just coming out of the western portal of Box Mill Lane tunnel, the automated announcement and the display in the coach told us that this train  was bound for Paddington and the next stop would be Reading. I just wondered how many passengers who got on at Swindon or Chippenham were now having kittens because they thought they were on the wrong train. Another example was again last Sunday when travelling from Padington to Chippenham, when the automated display in the coach got stuck at "We are now approaching Swindon" and was still saying so as I got off 17 miles later.

Conversely on the other side of the coin, a couple of years ago I was on a Swansea to Paddington during an engineering occupation, diverted after a Swindon reversal via Melksham and the Berks & Hants. The train manager almost took on the role of a tour guide, explaining why we would be going more slowly than usual on the single line beyond Chippenham, pointing out the Westbury White Horse as we passed and also the Kennet & Avon canal around Bedwyn. I somehow doubt he was tested for that during route learning!   Grin
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Henry
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« Reply #20 on: May 29, 2019, 10:04:58 am »

  The 'Zonal Announcements' finally arrived at Totnes yesterday.
  Initial reaction was a bit confusing, although you could not fault the accuracy of the
  announcements. I think if  anyone who listens will find them useful.

  Being Totnes you could add ;-  Twilight zone for those who haven't got a clue.
                                               Area 51  for those on another planet.
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johnneyw
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« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2019, 10:45:54 am »



  Being Totnes you could add ;-  Twilight zone for those who haven't got a clue.
                                               Area 51  for those on another planet.

[/quote]

From a few years back

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johnneyw
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« Reply #22 on: May 29, 2019, 10:48:02 am »

And a year or two earlier:

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Gordon the Blue Engine
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« Reply #23 on: June 21, 2019, 12:06:13 pm »

On Tuesday at Reading the scrolling display for the 1625 stopper to Didcot on P12, showed train on time and currently between Twyford and Reading. At 1623 the starter signal changed to yellow with first feather (ie routed to Feeder main), so obviously a freight was coming first: screen still showed 1625 on time.  An empty stone train came though at 1625 (IMHO moving quite quickly seeing as he was on a single yellow!): the 1625 to Didcot followed and eventually left 6 minutes late.  Worth noting that there was a “human intervention” apology for the delay on the station PA.

This illustrates again that driving the screens from the timetable and track circuits without human intervention has its limitations when trains run out of course, which is of course the time when passengers most need accurate information. 

I’ve no idea why the empty stone train was running out of course. However, for the screens to show a train as on time when it’s clearly not going to be isn’t helpful.  Worth noting that the statement “the train is currently between Twyford and Reading” was certainly true, the issue was that it was stationary for about 5 minutes.

Finally, the information on number of coaches was not shown on the scrolling display.  This can help passengers spread out and reduce dwell times, so I hope this is not a permanent feature of the latest scrolling screens.
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rogerw
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« Reply #24 on: June 21, 2019, 06:07:14 pm »

Don't rely on the scrolling information to find your carriage. Twice on last three journeys to London I have found myself at the wrong end of the platform for my reserved seat as the information has been wrong.
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jamestheredengine
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« Reply #25 on: June 22, 2019, 11:24:08 am »

Don't rely on the scrolling information to find your carriage. Twice on last three journeys to London I have found myself at the wrong end of the platform for my reserved seat as the information has been wrong.

The one that seems to happen particularly frequently (at least on the up Capitals United) is that the information screens decide that First Class is at the rear of the train, which turns out to be wrong about half of the time; interestingly, when the information screens decide it is at the front, they are invariably right – so I deduce that they must default to the train being in reverse formation, which is very strange.
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TonyK
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« Reply #26 on: June 28, 2019, 09:22:30 pm »

Went to Reading on Monday and Exmouth on Friday from Temple Meads.

I notice that platforms are zoned numerically for the IETs at Temple Meads, Bath and Reading and perhaps other stations to show where carriages stop.
Rather confusing in that the carriages are labelled alphabetically and then not necessarily in sequence. I had to watch the scrolling display go through several times to work out where my carriage stopped.

At Bristol and Exeter the scrolling carried an extra line of information that I had not seen before along the lines of  'The train is currently between station x and y, or y and z' and it was  updating as it came closer. I think this is a good, helpful move.

The same, in both cases, at Tiverton Parkway and Exeter St Davids. I had business close to Exeter Central station yesterday, so caught the train from Tiverton. At P1 at Exeter St Dave, there stood an Exmuff-bound two-car pacer, still locked less than 5 minutes before departure, with quite a crowd around each door. The CIS, and the announcements, said that the train consisted of 4 carriages, which raised general amusement and comments of the "Wrong sort of counting" ilk. I had a crafty look at RTT, and found that the train from Barnstaple had just passed Newton St Cyres, and was heading into P1. Which is how, after it had joined up to the waiting two cars and all the passengers had disembarked, I ended up with my own carriage.
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