“This train is between” on CIS Displays

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by B7rleThrasher, 13 May 2019.

  1. B7rleThrasher

    B7rleThrasher Member

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    I have noticed that many of the CIS Platform displays in the South West now include the message “This train is between XXX and XXX” after the scrolling station list has been displayed.
    On the weekend, I noticed that the next train at a Temple Meads platform was several hours away, but the CIS still said “This train is between Berwick and Newcastle”.

    I guess the key question is, how many passengers actually care or notice?

    I’m more frustrated that this message seems to have replaced “This train is formed of X Coaches” as I personally find this to be more more useful.
     
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  3. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    For those who don't use RTT it can provide a more useful indication than a simple expected time.

    It shouldn't have done, though LNR stations have a better version of this - they now alternate "On Time" (or Exp. NN:NN) with the train length. If the number of coaches is missing it's because it hasn't been entered.
     
  4. tnc1997

    tnc1997 Member

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    I noticed that GWR removed that message recently and I believe they replaced it with a message similar to the one below when they introduced zones:

    "Train stops in zones 4 to 6. Cycle space zone 4. Wheelchair facilities zones 5 and 6. Train formation (Zones 4 to 6) A B C"

    I've personally noticed that this message seems to be a bit hit and miss at Bristol Temple Meads in particular, for example at Bristol Parkway an example message for a CrossCountry service is:

    "1st class zone 3. Standard class zones 4 to 7. Train formation (Zones 3 to 7) A B C D F"

    This discrepancy in whether the message is shown can be seen when comparing the Tiger departures for Bristol Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway.
     
  5. 700007

    700007 Member

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    This was a feature brought in at the start of the year I believe (or the end of last year). This was firstly rolled out on TfL Rail on the line between London Liverpool Street and Shenfield, and within a few days had reached the whole Southeastern network too. There are also audio related announcements that read this information out.

    It’s a great nifty little feature that works well particularly on Metro services when the train is running late - well seasoned commuters waiting for a train at Stratford / International can see their train has already departed London Liverpool Street / London St. Pancras International and should be with them in no more than 7 minutes.

    On Intercity services I don't think it would be of much use as most passengers know the different stations the train passes. I can't imagine a leisure traveller from say York to London King's Cross will know har far or close their train is, knowing it has passed Northallerton or Yarm on time. Also probably not reassuring to commuters for example on CrossCountry if you are waiting for a train in Plymouth and the train has only left somewhere far fetched like Birmingham New Street!!
     
  6. FOH

    FOH Member

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    It lasted about a week and London Bridge before it was binned off again
     
  7. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

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    For me that's the key thing. It may well be comforting to commuters when a train is running substantially late, but that's like, at most 5% of trains. If a train is on time or only a few minutes late, then this feature adds no utility beyond showing the expected arrival time. And of course it takes screen bandwidth away from much more useful information like - where the train is going and how many carriages it is. As a computer programmer, this really feels to me like, some middle manager or engineer thought it was a cool idea, but didn't think through the full implications of taking display time away from other info. Much as it was novel the first time I saw it, I really wish NR would just bin the system - or at least, put in a rule that the 'train is between' info only shows up if the train is very late and not due to arrive for some time.
     
  8. brad465

    brad465 Member

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    On the SE Network (and possibly other areas as well), the location message can get confused if a train is fast/semi-fast and it says it's "at xxx" for a station it hasn't actually called at. The tracker is slightly clever though at key turnback stations, such as Strood for the Medway Valley line, in that it reveals where the inbound service is (using those words first in the message), even though it has a different headcode/is a different service to the outbound service it will form.
     
  9. pdeaves

    pdeaves Established Member

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    "This train is expected to arrive in XXX minutes". Oh yes, but where exactly is it? It helps me assess whether it will arrive on time.
    "This train is currently between XXX and YYY". Oh yes, but how long will it take to get here?

    There's possibly no way to 'win', here!
     
  10. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    Just have the display show the train on Traksy and the diagram on RTT. Sorted! Oh wait....
     
  11. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Quite a few stations do have "staff displays" (visible to the public; I assume they are so called not to stop you looking at them, but to stop silly questions and avoid any need for fonts to be big enough for accessibility regs etc) which are typically a signalling diagram or more "technical" departure board e.g. the one you can get from IRIS with TIPLOC codes on it.

    Oxford was the first one I saw, but there are quite a number of them now.
     
  12. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    Most main GWR stations have them now. They have also started to appear at Paddington.
     
  13. 700007

    700007 Member

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    Screen bandwidth depends on how the TOC chooses to output the data and what data it is replacing, if any. In the case of TfL Rail it doesn't show any information other than what the next train is and where it stops and the row they were using had no data populated in it anyways. TfL doesn't like talking about train formations on either LO or XR. Southeastern has just decided to slap this on the back of the string of text that says the status update and the train formation so not really doing any damage here. It is just a matter of playing it smartly.
     
  14. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I don't understand why so many TOCs seem to like to make a secret of formations, as it's really very useful information in working out which trains are likely to be overcrowded. Is it only LNR that puts them on the printed timetables? (A practice inherited from Silverlink and possibly NSE before them).
     
  15. cactustwirly

    cactustwirly Established Member

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    But not for HSTs, they have the usual "Formed of 8 coaches" & "First class at the FRONT/REAR"

    But don't get me started on that, it's literally information overload, literally takes ages to scroll through and see the calling points!
     
  16. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    You seen the new displays at Didcot, which show a formation diagram instead of the waffle? Bizarre that we've taken until 2019 to get what the Germans had in the early 1990s, though.
     
  17. eusd

    eusd Member

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    It was very much in use yesterday afternoon at London Bridge p4/5.
     
  18. tnc1997

    tnc1997 Member

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    I've noticed that these are present on the newer CIS displays in the Bristol and Bath area too, for example at Yate and Oldfield Park to name a couple.

    I personally find these much better than the lengthy textual description, although my local station got a traditional style CIS display installed not long before this new style was introduced :(
     
  19. Parallel

    Parallel Established Member

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    At Bath yesterday, the 17:37 to Portsmouth (16:30 ex Cardiff) was announced as the ‘rear coaches detaching and terminating at Westbury, travel in the front coaches only for Warminster - Portsmouth’ followed by a 2 car 150 rolling in, it was carnage. I’ve noticed on my usual morning and evening commute, my trains don’t get a ‘zones’ announcement, but almost every other train seems to. I’m wondering if it can’t be done with trains that are due to split/ lose/gain coaches en route. They could never do the ‘this train has X coaches’ either.
     
  20. Silver Cobra

    Silver Cobra Member

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    The CIS displays at the stations in the Thameslink core all have this feature.
     
  21. Romilly

    Romilly Established Member

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    At Charlton in SE London, the display seems to tell you where the train is only if the train is NOT on time. That seems like a helpful middle approach in a metro area.

    But equally, if I am at Thirsk waiting for a southbound train due in 50 minutes, I can see that - if that train is between Newcastle and Durham and happens to be 2 minutes late - I am not particularly helped by knowing that it is between Newcastle and Durham. On the other hand, as the due time gets closer, I would be reassured by knowing that it was now between Northallerton and Thirsk.
     
  22. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Established Member

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    If I'm waiting at Bristol and see that my train is near Berwick, I don't think I'm going to assume anything about its punctuality at Bristol!
     
  23. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Established Member

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    Yes there is - give an expected arrival time and ensure it's reliable. Knowing where a train is may be slightly interesting, but anything can happen between x and y which means the train may be very close but delayed.
     
  24. father_jack

    father_jack Member

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    It's not much good telling "normal" people that their train is between Filton Abbey Wood and Narroways junction, as these systems do.
     
  25. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

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    If you're waiting at Bristol and your train is near Berwick, you may possibly have arrived at the station a tad early ;)
     
  26. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    Nevertheless it is a good illustration of how the programmers have somewhat missed the point of it...
     
  27. tnc1997

    tnc1997 Member

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    Apologies for any confusion! If you read the quote in my post, I was referring to the train formation diagram, which Bletchleyite mentioned, as being useful, not the "this train is between" indicator.
     
  28. IceAgeComing

    IceAgeComing Member

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    Been in use consistently since I first noticed it late last year.

    Its very handy as a second check on how delayed a train might be: I had a case at Charlton a while back where the board said ON TIME two minutes before the train was meant to come in but the train was apparently in Greenwich so was ten minutes late. I'd rather have knowledge of where the train is and that its moving rather than just having a faulty delay figure.
     
  29. Typhoon

    Typhoon Member

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    I agree. To extend your example, if, in 3 or 4 minutes, it is showing as between Greenwich and Maze Hill then at least you know its moving, if it is still showing at Greenwich, there may be a problem.
     
  30. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    I first saw the 'this train is between X and Y' last month while at Waterloo East. I thought it a really good idea, and would like to see it implemented up my way on TfW and WMR. It's little bits of information like this that I find rather useful, and I'd imagine people waiting for passengers on a train to arrive before picking them up would also find it handy.

    Most people may not find it useful, but I certainly do. It's all fine and good using RTT to keep track of a train's performance but if it doesn't report back to the relevant system then using RTT is no real help.

    It's also useful for those who, like me, are sometimes short of mobile data or have a weirdly bad signal/the mobile network goes down unexpectedly. At least this way there's that little bit of information reassuring you the train is coming. Yes you can all suggest using WiFi if you like, but TfW WiFi and my device don't seem to like each other (same for GWR) and there's no WiFi at stations up here anyway!
     
  31. pdeaves

    pdeaves Established Member

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    That's the thing. A time can be reliable in 'moving time' terms and is fine until one of many external factors messes it up (medical emergency for one example). Then some folk would rather know where the train is at this moment.
     

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