Are the LED displays at stations not used?

Status
Not open for further replies.

aformeruser

Veteran Member
Joined
23 Jan 2009
Messages
30,637
The 11:46 departure from Altrincham for Chester left at 11:44. This is despite an on platform LED display showing the departure time and the current time. Are these display screens not used by rail staff who arrange for the train departing?

I do understand that they can close the doors at 11:45:30 for an 11:46 departure. So if it that happened and the train departed at 11:45:45 no one could complain.

Northern Rail customer relations previously told me that any early departures are automatically reported and dealt with, so there shouldn't be any issue with posting the exact train on here.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

142094

Established Member
Joined
7 Nov 2009
Messages
8,789
Location
Newcastle
Northern have the radio-controlled watches that they go on for dispatch. I'm not sure where the time source is for the display boards, but at several stations these have been out by a minute or two, so I don't normally trust them 100%.
 

Crossover

Established Member
Joined
4 Jun 2009
Messages
8,010
Location
Yorkshire
A few weeks ago a Northern train departed some 90 secs early from my local station

Caused a bit of a stir on the platform!

To be honest, I don't think the clocks here are that far out and as the train was leaving it was announcing the train now approaching :roll:
 

aformeruser

Veteran Member
Joined
23 Jan 2009
Messages
30,637
Northern have the radio-controlled watches that they go on for dispatch. I'm not sure where the time source is for the display boards, but at several stations these have been out by a minute or two, so I don't normally trust them 100%.
NRE reported the train as leaving Altrincham 2 minutes early.

It's very rare for conductors on the Mid Cheshire line to look at their watch before departing every station. They normally look at them a couple of times over the 13 stations between Chester and Stockport.
 

Stats

Member
Joined
27 Sep 2009
Messages
943
According to Transport Direct, which I assume takes it's information from internal recording systems, the train is reported as leaving Navigation Road on time at 11:44. It is then reported as arriving at Altrincham at 11:43 and departing at 11:44. Odd.
 

aformeruser

Veteran Member
Joined
23 Jan 2009
Messages
30,637
According to Transport Direct, which I assume takes it's information from internal recording systems, the train is reported as leaving Navigation Road on time at 11:44. It is then reported as arriving at Altrincham at 11:43 and departing at 11:44. Odd.
There is no timing point at Navigation Road. Transport Direct must say 'On Time' automatically if not reported late at Altrincham. NRE always says 'No Report' for Navigation Road.
 

Failed Unit

Established Member
Joined
26 Jan 2009
Messages
7,493
Location
Central Belt
The 11:46 departure from Altrincham for Chester left at 11:44. This is despite an on platform LED display showing the departure time and the current time. Are these display screens not used by rail staff who arrange for the train departing?

I do understand that they can close the doors at 11:45:30 for an 11:46 departure. So if it that happened and the train departed at 11:45:45 no one could complain.

Northern Rail customer relations previously told me that any early departures are automatically reported and dealt with, so there shouldn't be any issue with posting the exact train on here.
I am sure if you write to Northern they will take that very seriously. Scotrail went though a phase of departing early (one train was left early 4/5 time in the same week), the black-boxes on the trains were checked and the complaints were upheld (doesn't help the passengers missing the trains) but I am sure the crew got told to keep a check on the time.

The annoying thing was that the early departure just meant a longer wait outside Glasgow so it wasn't as if anyone gained!

Next time I am around I need to take a photo of Polmont station, where you can see 3 clocks (platform 1 and 2 and the departure board) all showing different times!
 

ANorthernGuard

Established Member
Joined
8 Oct 2010
Messages
2,564
What my colleague has done is leave Navigation Road early and a simple not look at watch error at Altrincham, it happens to us all at some point and we go off what our docket says and NOT the time on the screens (even though at Altrincham they do always match).
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I am sure if you write to Northern they will take that very seriously. Scotrail went though a phase of departing early, the black-boxes on the trains were checked and the complaints were upheld (doesn't help the passengers missing the trains) but I am sure the crew got told to keep a check on the time.

The annoying thing was that the early departure just meant a longer wait outside Glasgow so it wasn't as if anyone gained!

Next time I am around I need to take a photo of Polmont station, where you can see 3 clocks (platform 1 and 2 and the departure board) all showing different times!
The guard will get a "suitable Conversation), we all make mistakes, if thats the owrst that guard has done he will have a very long and safe career (McNulty not withstanding)
 

aformeruser

Veteran Member
Joined
23 Jan 2009
Messages
30,637
Next time I am around I need to take a photo of Polmont station, where you can see 3 clocks (platform 1 and 2 and the departure board) all showing different times!
I appreciate old style station clocks can show the wrong time if not regularly checked. However, new digital ones should be radio controlled so shouldn't slip more than about 10s before getting a signal to update. I'm aware that sometimes the signal is scrambled but that normally gives an obvious error e.g. saying "20:13" in the morning opposed to being a minute or two out.
 

Failed Unit

Established Member
Joined
26 Jan 2009
Messages
7,493
Location
Central Belt
The guard will get a "suitable Conversation), we all make mistakes, if thats the owrst that guard has done he will have a very long and safe career (McNulty not withstanding)

I would hope it is along the grounds of - next time check your watch and we will say more about it if it is a one off. Black boxes are a pain, I once was stood at Market Rasen and the trian failed to stop on the platform, they changed ends and reversed to the platform. No-one in the management would have ever know and no harm was done.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I appreciate old style station clocks can show the wrong time if not regularly checked. However, new digital ones should be radio controlled so shouldn't slip more than about 10s before getting a signal to update. I'm aware that sometimes the signal is scrambled but that normally gives an obvious error e.g. saying "20:13" in the morning opposed to being a minute or two out.
They are the digital ones at this station, and they are less than 2 years old. Very strange.
 

aformeruser

Veteran Member
Joined
23 Jan 2009
Messages
30,637
What my colleague has done is leave Navigation Road early and a simple not look at watch error at Altrincham, it happens to us all at some point and we go off what our docket says and NOT the time on the screens (even though at Altrincham they do always match).

The guard will get a "suitable Conversation), we all make mistakes, if thats the owrst that guard has done he will have a very long and safe career (McNulty not withstanding)
Just to be clear I'm questioning the process not trying to criticise the guard who worked that service.

The display screens are what the passenger sees so can make the difference between a passenger going across to another platform to buy something from a vending machine or thinking they've not got time as the train is due imminently.
 

tsr

Established Member
Joined
15 Nov 2011
Messages
7,394
Location
Between the parallel lines
I have experienced trains leaving up to 60 seconds early on EMT and SN, but it's rarely more serious than that. FGW have been astonishingly lax on timings this past couple of weeks - one service left 51 minutes early by accident! Oops. Most of them are late, though, so evidently they're trying to make up lost time! <( ;)

The problem is that station displays, in my experience, are often up to 30 seconds out. If staff do not check their watches (and that is really not hard), then I don't see how they can keep to a precise timetable. There's one display in the concourse of my local station which will merrily show trains that departed 90 seconds ago, or trains that are about to depart but are three flights of stairs away. I have mentioned it to staff, but they're not really that interested.
 

Captain Speaking

Established Member
Joined
23 Feb 2007
Messages
1,194
Location
Wilmslow
In these days of atomic-clock accuracy from any cheapo GPS receiver, what excuse can there be for station time displays to be anything but spot on?
 

PR1Berske

On Moderation
Joined
27 Jul 2010
Messages
2,818
Location
Preston
Exactly

There's human error, from which we all suffer


And then there's Northern Fail trying to pull a fast one. And ironically enough, with Northern Fail, we all suffer too.
 

ANorthernGuard

Established Member
Joined
8 Oct 2010
Messages
2,564
Just to be clear I'm questioning the process not trying to criticise the guard who worked that service.

The display screens are what the passenger sees so can make the difference between a passenger going across to another platform to buy something from a vending machine or thinking they've not got time as the train is due imminently.
No worries, never assumed you did, as someone who does that route I can see almosty exactly what happened :D

Usually we leave Navigation Road early (if we get there too early) as the barriers can be down a heck of along time if the signallers made a slight foul up and we get released thru the last leg on the curve before Navigation Road.
 

185

Established Member
Joined
29 Aug 2010
Messages
3,765
The 11:46 departure from Altrincham for Chester left at 11:44. This is despite an on platform LED display showing the departure time and the current time. Are these display screens not used by rail staff who arrange for the train departing?
Daft to go early from a bigger station like that. Possibly a newbie.
 

Captain Speaking

Established Member
Joined
23 Feb 2007
Messages
1,194
Location
Wilmslow
Probably the cost of getting someone to go around and replace them all?
Presumably these displays are on a network to get their train time info. I'd have thought the time display would be sourced from the same server that drives the train time displays, so you only need to provide the accurate clock centrally, at the server?
 

142094

Established Member
Joined
7 Nov 2009
Messages
8,789
Location
Newcastle
Presumably these displays are on a network to get their train time info. I'd have thought the time display would be sourced from the same server that drives the train time displays, so you only need to provide the accurate clock centrally, at the server?
To be honest I have no idea where they get the time from, although I'd have thought it will be linked up to TRUST in some way.
 

tsr

Established Member
Joined
15 Nov 2011
Messages
7,394
Location
Between the parallel lines
Presumably these displays are on a network to get their train time info. I'd have thought the time display would be sourced from the same server that drives the train time displays, so you only need to provide the accurate clock centrally, at the server?
All I know about this is that some displays on the LU, particularly on the platforms of the Jubilee Line, have been seen by more than one person to either speed up or slow right down at second 59 of any given minute. This, I assume, is when it syncs with a time server. I have heard the time server is actually at a fairly central point in the network topography, with the server requested periodically to update the clocks on each computer, but I don't think it is built into any other system (e.g. TRUST). I may be wrong, and I'm more than happy to be corrected!
 

whhistle

On Moderation
Joined
30 Dec 2010
Messages
2,636
Northern have the radio-controlled watches that they go on for dispatch. I'm not sure where the time source is for the display boards, but at several stations these have been out by a minute or two, so I don't normally trust them 100%.
They should be the same as the watches.
 

LNW-GW Joint

Veteran Member
Joined
22 Feb 2011
Messages
14,127
Location
Mold, Clwyd
That nice Mr Doe of Rail Mag says there might be timing errors at stations from March 26 to April 6, because the transmitter of the radio signals in Cumbria is under maintenance.
No idea if this is the reason why, though.
 

142094

Established Member
Joined
7 Nov 2009
Messages
8,789
Location
Newcastle
They should be the same as the watches.
It should be, but with the various types of clocks, displays and computer systems it could be a hard thing to do.

In the end I'd expect most passengers to be at the station more than two minutes before departure, but if this isn't a one off then Northern need to step in and do something.
 

tsr

Established Member
Joined
15 Nov 2011
Messages
7,394
Location
Between the parallel lines
It should be, but with the various types of clocks, displays and computer systems it could be a hard thing to do.
To get every official device with a clock on any given large railway network showing the "correct" time (i.e. GMT or GMT+1 in a human-readable format, to the nearest second) it would be pretty hard, yes!
 

142094

Established Member
Joined
7 Nov 2009
Messages
8,789
Location
Newcastle
To get every official device with a clock on any given large railway network showing the "correct" time (i.e. GMT or GMT+1 in a human-readable format, to the nearest second) it would be pretty hard, yes!
Should have said 'would' not 'could'!

I normally try to get to a station a good ten minutes before the train is supposed to depart - allows for delays on route or the train leaving early. It also depends on what people find acceptable, and the frequency of the service. Two minutes might not bet that big a deal to some people but really the train should be leaving on time.
 

142094

Established Member
Joined
7 Nov 2009
Messages
8,789
Location
Newcastle
Radio controlled clocks are fairly easy to re-time millions of devices as it's all digital.
The point being that not every clock on every railway station is radio controlled, and the cost of changing them all over and paying someone to do that probably outweighs the benefits.
 

Eagle

Established Member
Joined
20 Feb 2011
Messages
7,106
Location
Leamingrad / Blanfrancisco

michael769

Established Member
Joined
9 Oct 2005
Messages
2,006
More advanced systems should be able to receive the Frankfurt signal as a backup (as long as they remember to subtract an hour, of course).
Unfortunately my watch seems unable to sync to the Frankfurt signal - though my wall clock seems to be managing.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top