Class 456 Destination Screens

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Deepgreen

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Apologies if this is covered elsewhere. I have yet to see a SWT class 456 displaying any information on their front destination screens. Every one I have seen has been blank, and the class has been in service with SWT for many months (over year, perhaps?). How is this squared with the requirements under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) to display such information? I think I recall class 458s requiring alterations to increase the size of their displays under the DDA requirements, along with the 442s. What is the problem with 456s showing this information?
 
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swt_passenger

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I think I recall class 458s requiring alterations to increase the size of their displays under the DDA requirements...

That 458 problem was an issue with the interior displays. The 458 cab front display can't be all that important, because from most viewpoints it is hidden by the gangway...
 

swt_passenger

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So perhaps DDA compliance doesn't extend to exterior displays?

Hard to know the answer to that. Some trains run around without front displays at all, and a number of classes (including 458s) don't have side displays.

I wonder if 456s are still a work in progress, and need matching mods on the 455s to make them all work together?
 

TEW

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But the screens don't work even if the train is only formed of 456s without any 455s in the formation.
 

PaulJ

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Without wishing to be picky, the DDA was repealed a couple of years ago...
 

Emblematic

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For DDA read RVAR or TSI then, it matters little as there will still be rules about the subject somewhere...

For trains built before 1999, there are no current regulations, hence the current non-accessibility of many classes. For trains built 1999-2009 RVAR applies. PRM-TSI applies for new build from 2010 onwards, and retrospectively to all classes from 1/1/2020 (hence the various mods/replacement of stock going on at present.)

The problem with the 458s on introduction was that they were designed to an early draft of RVAR and the legislation actually passed altered the minimum display size. Fortunately it was found that the display boards could simply be changed for a larger dimensioned component without major redesign work.
 

Goldfish62

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I may be wrong but I think what the original poster was getting at was not whether legally screens had to be used, but clearly new screens have been fitted, but are not being used. I have wondered why this is too.
 

Emblematic

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I'm pretty sure that the screens are unchanged from Southern, as they were fitted with dot matrix displays some time ago, as were Southern's 455s.
That may be the simple answer - if they've fitted SWT's existing PIS system from the 455s, it may have nothing to feed the external display as their 455s still have destination blinds.
 

Emblematic

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RVAR requires front displays of a certain set of dimensions.

PRM-TSI (whichthese trains need comply with, from 2020) specifies that a train front display (70mm minimum height) and platform displays giving "dynamic visual information" within 50m may be used in lieu of bodyside displays. Otherwise no requirement I could find (unlike RVAR.)
Interestingly, the assessment of the 456s notes this paragraph as 'N/A' - and the paragraphs covering bodyside displays as "Non-compliance accepted." So it appears that it's just up to the operator whether these displays are used.
 

Deepgreen

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So, the 456s can, effectively, just be run without front displays for historical equipment reasons? Are they the only suburban stock in Britain not to have such working displays? The whole thing seems to be something of a mess, and clear destination displays have perhaps taken too low a priority in rolling stock design of late.
 
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Emblematic

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Anything recent will meet all requirements, as no derogations are granted for new-build - there's little excuse when the requirements are known in advance. Bodyside displays are the main requirement, and arguably of far more utility than those at the front. It does seem that most operators are intent on doing the absolute minimum required to meet the regulations, there's a huge amount of remediation to older stock required by 2020. It seems that most of this work could already have been addressed during refits and overhauls, which would have been of huge benefit to disabled passengers during the present decade. There are some noteable exceptions amongst operators, but they are few in number.
 

jon0844

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So, the 456s can, effectively, just be run without front displays for historical equipment reasons? Are they the only suburban stock in Britain not to have such working displays? The whole thing seems to be something of a mess, and clear destination displays have perhaps taken too low a priority in rolling stock design of late.
I feel the same about faulty screens on other rolling stock (e.g GTR 317s) or even screens just not used in others (365s) and there being no real desire to force a TOC to make them work or have them set up properly for drivers to use (such as odd diagrams not having a code or whatever).

It would be mad to say a train couldn't run because of a broken display, but how long do you give to have it repaired before then threatening to say it can't go out and the TOC is fined accordingly?

I know not everyone feels the same way, but I think screens and announcements are important for may people who might otherwise struggle to use public transport independently. If they are present, they should be operational. And by 2020 everything should have fully operational equipment.
 

Deepgreen

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I feel the same about faulty screens on other rolling stock (e.g GTR 317s) or even screens just not used in others (365s) and there being no real desire to force a TOC to make them work or have them set up properly for drivers to use (such as odd diagrams not having a code or whatever).

It would be mad to say a train couldn't run because of a broken display, but how long do you give to have it repaired before then threatening to say it can't go out and the TOC is fined accordingly?

I know not everyone feels the same way, but I think screens and announcements are important for may people who might otherwise struggle to use public transport independently. If they are present, they should be operational. And by 2020 everything should have fully operational equipment.

That about covers it. At my local interchange station, Redhill, two platform train information screens have been blank for over two months now, and Southern claim that a track possession is required before they can be fixed! However, on, say, LU, defective screens are always fixed by the following day in my experience. It's also pretty much guaranteed that, if a complaint is made to a TOC about these things, they will start their response with words to the effect of; "we know how important good information is to our customers...".
 
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frenetic455

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So, the 456s can, effectively, just be run without front displays for historical equipment reasons? Are they the only suburban stock in Britain not to have such working displays? The whole thing seems to be something of a mess, and clear destination displays have perhaps taken too low a priority in rolling stock design of late.

Q. What did the chuntering Class 455 say to the newly refurbished class 456?
A. Pull yerself together and get yer exterior electronic destination equipment working - like a "proper train" - for Surrey's sake! Surely you must me contravening the DDA?
To which the poor little 456 replied: Oi, look 'ere mate - I'm just your average 2-car BREL EMU; there's really not a whole lot that I can do about it as I didn't exactly choose to have my original fully-functioning blinds removed! And besides, it's not like your blinds are always set correctly...and don't get me started on your on-board announcements which are wrong half the time; it's getting kind of comical...

On a more serious note: I still don't understand why modern, clear and (perhaps most importantly) reliable electronic destination displays were not installed on SWT Class 455s during their initial heavy refurbishment a few years ago. The dot matrix displays fitted on "Desiro UKs" are very clear, although a "centrally-mounted external bodyside destination display" on either side of each carriage would probably be more helpful than the current 4 per unit! As an aside, I feel that end destination displays really ought to be mounted on the nearside i.e. above the driver's window!
The 455s obviously have unit-to-unit gangways (staff only) meaning space for destination equipment at the unit end is rather tight and the information which is displayed (if correct) is often partially out-of-view or too difficult to read for many passengers; the good old gangwayless Networkers' end dispays, on the other hand, are actually amongst the clearest out there - at least when they're working: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipe..._Orpington_to_Victoria_2D38_(16267999750).jpg
Perhaps a good compromise for gangwayed stock would be a CLEAR "headcode" displayed on the offside in conjunction with a clear ultimate destination on the nearside?: https://c6.staticflickr.com/4/3085/2870225965_01ba8a8efb_b.jpg

The Alstom Juniper 458/5: great idea, resourceful thinking, a lovely class of train...but - unfortunately - no new, clear exterior destination equipment (including bodyside displays) installed; the current screens are now obscured by the new gangways and may as well be displaying Arabic!

Finally, back to the 456s: even if getting their existing, inherited electronic destination screens to operate as intended is technically impossible or prohibitively expensive, could SWT not at least have used cardboard "destination cards" (like a cash-strapped bus operator) in the interim?
 
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