Train Graphic
Great Western Passengers' Forum
15.12.2019 - what changes?
Great Western Coffee Shop - [home] and [about]
Read about the forum [here].
Register and contribute [here] - it's free.
article index - [here]
 tomorrow - UK General Election
15/12/2019 - Santa Special - Melksham
15/12/2019 - GWR Timetable recast
16/12/2019 - Network Rail Surgery, BWT
24/12/2019 - No GWR trains, Paddington
25/12/2019 - No GWR trains (at all)
Random Image
Train Running @GWR Twitter Acronyms/Abbreviations Station Comparator Rail news GWR co. site Site Style 1 2 3 4 Chat on off
Next departures • Bristol Temple MeadsBath SpaChippenhamSwindonDidcot ParkwayReadingLondon PaddingtonMelksham
Exeter St DavidsTauntonWestburyTrowbridgeBristol ParkwayCardiff CentralOxfordCheltenham SpaBirmingham New Street
December 11, 2019, 08:08:09 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Forgotten your username or password? - get a reminder
Most liked recent subjects
[81] Worcestershire Parkway Station project - ongoing discussion
[80] Crossrail - The Elizabeth Line - ongoing discussion, merged to...
[76] Server issues
[56] Advent Quiz - 2019
[53] What's happening on 15th December 2019?
[38] How is it doing? - a couple of passenger counts
News: A forum for passengers ... with input from rail professionals welcomed too
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar Login Register  
Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: Delayed  (Read 925 times)
froome
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 429


View Profile Email
« on: December 01, 2019, 10:13:53 am »

Trains are often now shown on platform screens just as 'delayed' but without any explanation of why or any suggestion of when they might arrive. This extremely frustrating, and on unstaffed stations, particularly late at night, this really isn't acceptable. An example from last night.

We were returning from Stroud to Bath Spa via Swindon in the late evening and were caught up in all the delays caused by an issue between Didcot and Swindon, so we ended up an hour late home (after midnight). However, that is not the problem.

For those travelling the other way, i.e. from Swindon through Stroud to Cheltenham and Gloucester, their train was just described as delayed on the screen at Stroud, and from what I could hear (from the other platform), calls by people waiting appear to have gathered no useful information. Their train was 25 minutes late when our train left Stroud, and when we pulled in at Kemble I looked to see what the screen there was saying. It just said 'delayed' (by now about 50 minutes late) but there was just one man stood on the platform, which appeared to be in total darkness, who I could see was shouting towards our driver, presumably asking for any information. It was freezing cold last night, and I know precisely how that man must have felt. No information to say whether he should go off and find somewhere to keep warm, so he was having to just stand around on a dark platform waiting for a train for which the only information available was delayed. As it was, he would have been much better advised to catch our train to Swindon (which was then due to return along the line back towards Cheltenham), where he could have at least kept warm, but by the time our train pulled in, he wouldn't have had time to do that (our train was also running late).

I appreciate that situations where 'delayed' is used are due to nobody knowing when an issue will be resolved, but a bit more explanatory information would be helpful, in this case as an example might even have been a life saver...

You have someone left stranded alone on a dark platform with no information in freezing weather. If the screen had said that the train was held up between Didcot and Swindon and unable to move, and advice is to travel to Swindon and wait there, then he could have made that choice.
Logged
Timmer
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 5318


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2019, 11:12:58 am »

I think you hit upon a frustration to be found up and down the land by passengers waiting for a train when the dreaded ‘delayed’ appears or is announced by automated announcement as it isn’t able to tell you something you don’t already know. Not so bad at a station that is staffed where an announcement by a human can be made if of course they know what’s going on.
Logged
IndustryInsider
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 7698


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2019, 11:16:14 am »

Yes, there’s still very much a human can do that a computer can’t to add a bit of detail and finesse here and there.  Something that is often lost on most industries, not just the railways, I feel.
Logged

To view my GWML Electrification cab video 'before and after' video comparison, as well as other videos of the new layout at Reading and 'before and after' comparisons of the Cotswold Line Redoubling scheme, see: http://www.dailymotion.com/user/IndustryInsider/
grahame
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 27307



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2019, 01:09:17 pm »

There are occasions - and this is one of them - where things co-incide ... as you were posting (or perhaps a few minutes after), Froome, I was at Melksham Station watching the 10:47 to Swindon change to 10:49 and then to DELAYED.  Cue very serious concern (not quite panic) on the part of people waiting there.   It had gone from on time, to slightly delayed, to "I don't know when your train will be along".

Being in the know ... (1) an IET had just gone through on the single track and (2) The 10:47 was shown as being between Trowbridge and Melksham and (3) the system says "delayed" if the train takes significantly longer than it should between two reporting points ... I was able to let people know that the train was waiting for the train that had just gone through to get out of the way, and estimate that the delay would be around 5 minutes.

Granted "delayed" was correct ... but if I as an informed station friends volunteer can work it out, it shouldn't be beyond the means of some clever programmer chappie or chapess to come up with a more fine tuned headline. "10 minutes away, awaiting signal"  would be appropriate for a train that has left Chippenham but is not cleared through signals 1293 and 1297, or for a train that has left Trowbridge but is not cleared through signal 119.  And if that's too long a message for the box available, "See detailed message", where the is plenty of space for that longer text.   Shouldn't be rocket science, shouldn't need manual interventional every incident.
Logged

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest and of RailFuture
froome
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 429


View Profile Email
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2019, 01:34:00 pm »

There are occasions - and this is one of them - where things co-incide ... as you were posting (or perhaps a few minutes after), Froome, I was at Melksham Station watching the 10:47 to Swindon change to 10:49 and then to DELAYED.  Cue very serious concern (not quite panic) on the part of people waiting there.   It had gone from on time, to slightly delayed, to "I don't know when your train will be along".

Being in the know ... (1) an IET had just gone through on the single track and (2) The 10:47 was shown as being between Trowbridge and Melksham and (3) the system says "delayed" if the train takes significantly longer than it should between two reporting points ... I was able to let people know that the train was waiting for the train that had just gone through to get out of the way, and estimate that the delay would be around 5 minutes.

Granted "delayed" was correct ... but if I as an informed station friends volunteer can work it out, it shouldn't be beyond the means of some clever programmer chappie or chapess to come up with a more fine tuned headline. "10 minutes away, awaiting signal"  would be appropriate for a train that has left Chippenham but is not cleared through signals 1293 and 1297, or for a train that has left Trowbridge but is not cleared through signal 119.  And if that's too long a message for the box available, "See detailed message", where the is plenty of space for that longer text.   Shouldn't be rocket science, shouldn't need manual interventional every incident.

Exactly. On the screen at Stroud, I kept watching the delayed train show all information anyone could possibly want - how many carriages, which zone to stand in etc - except the most vital bit of information, where the train was. It could easily have said it was between Didcot and Swindon, and then people would at least have had an inkling. But it didn't.
Logged
Adrian
Transport Scholar
Sr. Member
******
Posts: 143


View Profile
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2019, 05:24:42 pm »

"Delayed" seems to mean that a train hasn't left a station or passed a timing point within a certain time of when it was predicted.  When the reason is that another train has been pathed in front of it, the system doesn't seem to be intelligent to make an appropriate re-calculation, and give an updated delay.

The same issue sometimes means that an earlier predicted time is given for a train that is following one showing a later time.  This, of course, means they show in the wrong order.  When the first train arrives in the platform the system sorts itself out, but that doesn't stop some passengers who weren't paying full attention from getting on the wrong train.

In these days of AI, railway information systems seem still to be remarkably stupid.
Logged
stuving
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 4299


View Profile
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2019, 05:44:46 pm »

I suspect it works like this:

The ETA predictor is based on the timetable itself plus numbers for the timing slack so it can predict recovery. (Of course if the reason for losing time is still present, any ETA based on recovery will keep slipping.) For that to be worth doing, the train has to be on the move - so if it isn't, the ETA is "delayed".

For anything more clever, you are looking at (as a minimum) some model of the track layout, how trains interact, signalling...in other words the signalling system. Worse, the bit where the relevant knowledge is kept is route setting - people (signallers), or an ARS. Nether was equipped with a direct interface you can plug into the CIS to transfer an explanation of what it expects to happen next.

Now, what about TM (traffic management), which is being tried out at the moment? It sounds as if that does sneak its tentacles inside the ARS and observe what it's up to - is there anything there that can help predict better ETAs?
Logged
paul7755
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 4664


View Profile
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2019, 07:46:47 pm »

I think this word “delayed” appears in the “expected time” slot on a typical 3 line display, I doubt it can actually display anything much more detailed in that position.  It’s also likely it is displayed long before the exact reason has actually been worked out.

But is it really better than just letting the calculated time edge ever upwards like they used to do?

Paul
Logged
janes
Jr. Member
**
Posts: 17


View Profile
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2019, 01:57:39 pm »

What annoys me is when the train is actually standing in the platform but the screen is showing as "delayed" and then it just leaves without updating a departure time first. This seems to happen regularly at Reading for example - so if you are on the concourse or the footbridge and the train you want is showing "delayed" you would not exactly be breaking into a sweat to make it to the platform, when in fact the train is about to depart imminently and the doors close just as you are coming down the stairs/escalator.

I have been caught out by this more than once and have seen penty of other people just miss trains in this way too. Surely there must be some way to address this e.g. an announcement saying that "The delayed XX:XX to YYYY is almost ready to depart - please can any passengers wishing to board this train make their way to the platform now" or something?
Logged
Do you have something you would like to add to this thread, or would you like to raise a new question at the Coffee Shop? Please [register] (it is free) if you have not done so before, or login (at the top of this page) if you already have an account - we would love to read what you have to say!

You can find out more about how this forum works [here] - that will link you to a copy of the forum agreement that you can read before you join, and tell you very much more about how we operate. We are an independent forum, provided and run by customers of Great Western Railway, for customers of Great Western Railway and we welcome railway professionals as members too, in either a personal or official capacity. Views expressed in posts are not necessarily the views of the operators of the forum.

As well as posting messages onto existing threads, and starting new subjects, members can communicate with each other through personal messages if they wish. And once members have made a certain number of posts, they will automatically be admitted to the "frequent posters club", where subjects not-for-public-domain are discussed; anything from the occasional rant to meetups we may be having ...

 
Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.2 | SMF © 2006-2007, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
This forum is provided by a customer of Great Western Railway (formerly First Great Western), and the views expressed are those of the individual posters concerned. Visit www.gwr.com for the official Great Western Railway website. Please contact the administrators of this site if you feel that the content provided by one of our posters contravenes our posting rules (email link). Forum hosted by Well House Consultants

Jump to top of pageJump to Forum Home Page