"Boarding" and "alighting"

Status
Not open for further replies.

GuyBarry

Member
Joined
19 Jul 2011
Messages
85
Does anyone actually use these terms other than in official notices and announcements? I used them in a thread recently, but they sound very old-fashioned and pompous, and I wonder how many passengers actually know what they mean. I suspect there may be some who think the signs saying "do not alight here" are saying they can't smoke a cigarette :)

"Getting on" and "getting off" are probably a bit too informal, but why not just talk about "joining" and "leaving" the train?
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

GB

Established Member
Joined
16 Nov 2008
Messages
5,730
Location
Somewhere
"Boarding" I'd say is pretty standard as it is also used in the shipping and airline industry. I agree with your opinion on "alighting" tho, sounds a bit odd.
 

tsr

Established Member
Joined
15 Nov 2011
Messages
7,393
Location
Between the parallel lines
I believe some of the automated announcements on Electrostars and possibly the visual displays on Turbostars use the word "leaving" rather than "alighting". To be honest, I've never heard of it causing any real problems, but foreign travellers and younger people might find it unusual.

Manual announcers often use the term "leaving", too. Phrases such as "I'd like to welcome passengers who have joined us at..." are also common, as you will no doubt have found.

"Boarding", on the other hand, is indeed fairly universal and almost certainly understandable by anyone with a good grasp of English!
 
Joined
29 Aug 2010
Messages
696
Does anyone actually use these terms other than in official notices and announcements? I used them in a thread recently, but they sound very old-fashioned and pompous, and I wonder how many passengers actually know what they mean. I suspect there may be some who think the signs saying "do not alight here" are saying they can't smoke a cigarette :)

"Getting on" and "getting off" are probably a bit too informal, but why not just talk about "joining" and "leaving" the train?

The terms boarding and alighting are neither old fashioned nor pompous. It is correct use of the language. What is horribly incorrect is the way Southern Conductors tell pasengers to "mind the gap whilst alighting the train". You cannot alight a train but you can alight from a train. Then again, the same company tell us that "We are now approaching Victoria/London Bridge/Brighton/wherever, our final destination".
 

AeroSpace

Member
Joined
28 Jul 2010
Messages
131
How about embarking and disembarking?

In my mind, you can embark upon a journey but not upon a train, whereas you can disembark from a train but not from a journey!

Is this right?
 

LNW-GW Joint

Veteran Member
Joined
22 Feb 2011
Messages
14,737
Location
Mold, Clwyd
Does anyone actually use these terms other than in official notices and announcements? I used them in a thread recently, but they sound very old-fashioned and pompous, and I wonder how many passengers actually know what they mean. I suspect there may be some who think the signs saying "do not alight here" are saying they can't smoke a cigarette :)

I've seen the terms entrain and detrain somewhere which sound even worse.
 

Bob M

Member
Joined
20 Dec 2008
Messages
77
What I really dislike is the use of 'change' for alight, as in 'Change at Southampton Airport Parkway for Southampton Airport" . This is a regular use on SWT, and it is just plain wrong!
 

WestCoast

Established Member
Joined
19 Jun 2010
Messages
5,438
Location
Glasgow
I am sure many RailUK members would be thrilled if the American term detraining was adopted instead. Hmm, "detrain here for", no? :lol:

Didn't London Underground replace 'alight here for' with 'exit here for' in their announcements?
 

Eagle

Established Member
Joined
20 Feb 2011
Messages
7,106
Location
Leamingrad / Blanfrancisco
I am sure many RailUK members would be thrilled if the American term detraining was adopted instead.

"Detrain" is used in the UK, but only in a transitive sense, as in "the guard needs to detrain passengers in an emergency" (or, passively "passengers were detrained at Crewe and made to await the next service").
 

Nym

Established Member
Joined
2 Mar 2007
Messages
8,411
Location
Somewhere, not in London
I am sure they use change here for in the case of intra-LU connection information..

Oh aye, I'm sure I've heard all of them on LU before, but I really don't pay that much attention honestly. The last LU journey I made from Vic to Euston I just turned into a commuter and got rather irritated by every single other person on Victoria Road walking too slow and had my headphones in.

I might pay more attention when I'm down on the LU lines more often. (Roll on September)
 

ainsworth74

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Global Moderator
Joined
16 Nov 2009
Messages
22,661
Location
Redcar
Am I the only person that doesn't care at all what language is used to describe people leaving a train or changing at a station or when a train is approaching it's terminus or approaching the next station as long as it's understandable?
 

David10

Member
Joined
25 May 2012
Messages
391
Location
Manchester
Its like all the variations of Mind the gap, we now have Mind the step down onto the platform, Mind the gap between the platform and the train amongst others. And it is announced at platforms where the gap is tiny, yet not at stations where the gap is actully quite large.:s At Wandsworth Town in inner London the difference between train and platform must be 50 centimetres.
 

MetroDriver

Member
Joined
26 Apr 2011
Messages
126
Location
West Midlands
I'll throw another term in the pot then.... "detram" ;)

On our tram system, we use the official terminology as should be expected, but when having to evacuate passengers or 'remove' them if the tram goes out of service due to a fault - we use the term in our public address announcements both on the tram and at the stops... I've always wondered just how many of "Joe Public" actually know what we are talking about, as it does sound an odd terminology?
I half expect some to think we are taking the tram apart there and then.... :D
 

LE Greys

Established Member
Joined
6 Mar 2010
Messages
5,389
Location
Hitchin
You embark and disembark from aircraft and ships not trains

Surely you enplane and deplane from aircraft, since a bark/barque is an old word for ship.
[/etymological pedant mode]
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
The terms boarding and alighting are neither old fashioned nor pompous. It is correct use of the language.

Quite right!
 

Stigy

Established Member
Joined
6 Nov 2009
Messages
3,896
Not specific to the thread I'm afraid, but whilst we're on the subject of incorrect language used by TOCs, thought I might add that it bugs me on SWT's CIS displays when is say something like "If you are travelling to Liss and Liphook, you must alight from the front 8-coaches of the train....etc etc"....It would be a bit more (not entirely though) understandable if they had said "Customers travelling to Liss and Liphook" as one surely can't be travelling to more than one station on one train...Can they?

"If you are travelling to Liss OR Liphook" is what is should say, of course. I do understand there's a human element to what goes in to the CIS though, as it's all typed in to a computer by an office type person...

Also gets me on the length of some of the "short platform" displays on CIS. In my eyes "Customers/Passengers travelling to Clapham junction must alight from the front 8-coaches of the train because this of a short platform at this station" is far too long winded for those travellers wishing to read the other important stuff on the screen in a timely manner (such as calling pattern), and should instead say something like "Front 8-coaches only for Clapham Junction, due to short a platform."
 

TheJRB

Established Member
Joined
14 Feb 2011
Messages
1,165
Location
Ashford, Kent
Yes "leave" is definitely used on the Electrostars: "Please ensure that you take all your personal belongings with you when leaving the train." I'm sure I was on a 375 approaching Canterbury West last year where passengers were advised to "change" for Canterbury City Centre and Cathedral instead of alight/exit.

How about ingress and egress? :D
 

Clip

On Moderation
Joined
28 Jun 2010
Messages
10,616
Am I the only person that doesn't care at all what language is used to describe people leaving a train or changing at a station or when a train is approaching it's terminus or approaching the next station as long as it's understandable?

No.

As long as you understand what a person or announcement is saying then it really doesnt matter at all.

Same with train and railway station.
 

DownSouth

Established Member
Joined
10 Dec 2011
Messages
1,545
Surely you enplane and deplane from aircraft, since a bark/barque is an old word for ship.
[/etymological pedant mode]
Thanks to the use of airships as the first commonly accessible form of airborne transport, a lot of naval terminology has migrated across to the world of aviation. That's what happens as new technology demands the growth of new language to suit it, some words are invented and others are adopted.

Remember this next time you board an aircraft (which usually has the airline's insignia on the rudder) from the gangway and then take your seat (on either the port or starboard side if it's a single-aisle jet like a 737 or A320) somewhere between the captain and the galley.
 

ls1911

Member
Joined
14 Feb 2012
Messages
19
Am I the only person that doesn't care at all what language is used to describe people leaving a train or changing at a station or when a train is approaching it's terminus or approaching the next station as long as it's understandable?

I thought it was only me that thought that!!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top