Dodgy Desiro PIS

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David Goddard

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Travelled on the 1812 Waterloo to Basingstoke this evening, formed of 3x Class 450 with 450088 leading. This train is non stop to Brookwood then all stations to Basingstoke.

The PIS was loaded shortly before leaving Wateloo, which then proudly declared through internal visual displays and audio announcements that the service was to Brookwood, calling at "Brookwood, Farnborough, Fleet, Winchfield, Hook, Basingstoke and Brookwood" The guard then followed this up with a manual announcement confirming that the service was going to Basingstoke.

Shortly before arrigving at Brookwood, the PIS kicked in again, saying that we were approaching Brookwood, where the train would terminate. Again, the guard intervened, correcting the automatic system with the correct details that we were indeed going to Basingstoke.

The system then picked up where it left off, as we approached the following stations, stating that the service was for Brookwood, via Basingstoke! On arrival at Winchfield, where we alighted, we saw that the external displays were indeed all reading Brookwood.

Does this sound like a software fault or something?
Anyone else come across it?
 
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"We are now approaching Huddersfield" often means you've just left there on an unDesiroble...
 

TEW

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Since the timetable change the PIS systems on SWT have been set up by an outside contractor, and it hasn't gone very smoothly. The system is now full of errors, the Basingstoke one being one of the most inconvenient perhaps, as far as I know all the Basingstoke semi-fast trains are trains for Brookwood according to the PIS. The system is very inconsistent now as well, the old format was very similar for all stations but now its a bit hit and miss, depending on what train you are on the system will do different things.
 

jopsuk

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I've been on a 365 that was announcing the stations from Kings Lynn to Cambridge between Cambridge and Kings Cross.

317s on the West Anglia frequently have the wrong announcements.
 
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Indeed, been travelling on SWT recently, and when their twitter identity is advertised, it has a weird symbol betwen the SW and the T, so it is like @SW%Trains (but not the % symbol lol just a placefiller)
 

Schnellzug

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Indeed, been travelling on SWT recently, and when their twitter identity is advertised, it has a weird symbol betwen the SW and the T, so it is like @SW%Trains (but not the % symbol lol just a placefiller)
That was mentioned here..
(On a related topic, have you noticed how SWT's internal displays now tell you to follow @SW_Trains on Twitter... except the character set for the display maps the underscore onto an S-Bahn symbol so it actually says follow @SWⓈTrains...)
Another favourite is when they're leaving the station where they terminalated at on the way down, they'll often say "This train is now approaching its final destination. All change please" just as they're leaving. And one time, on an up train from Weymouth that didn't stop at Upwey, it chirped up with "the next stop is Upwey" just after it had gone through without stopping. I suppose because it hadn't bee re-set from the down journey.
 

Muzer

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Yeah, that happened to me for the first time coming out of Salisbury on the 1447, probably on either Monday or Friday (I can't actually remember), said it was approaching Salisbury as it was pulling away!


I've got a (poor, smartphone-taken) photo of the S-Bahn symbol in the Twitter message if anyone's intersted.
 

pompeyfan

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another issue i've noticed, is that there is it creates a 30 second gap between the 1st half of stations and the second. i got on a service from soton central to hilsea. the display read calling at (i can't remember the exact order of the stations, so some may be wrong) St denys, bitterne, woolston, sholing, netly, Hamble,




Bursledon, swanick etc... i think they need to sort this out, as a couple of people didn't think the service was going the full length of the route.
 

Eagle

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That's deliberate; it's to let the scrolling text catch up with the spoken announcements. (You'd think it would make more sense to just slow down the speech such that every name was in synch with its appearance on the screen.)
 

BestWestern

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The joys of computer intelligence! I'm not a fan of any PIS system, even the 'best' ones have a tendency to be clunky, unreliable and generally irritating. I fail to see why the railway can't spend the money instead in giving decent training to Guards and have good quality manual announcements.
 

Eagle

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The joys of computer intelligence! I'm not a fan of any PIS system, even the 'best' ones have a tendency to be clunky, unreliable and generally irritating. I fail to see why the railway can't spend the money instead in giving decent training to Guards and have good quality manual announcements.
Because an automated announcer means the guard can actually be attending to important duties, such as ticket inspections or dispatching, rather than spending half the journey hunched over a microphone.
 

TEW

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That's deliberate; it's to let the scrolling text catch up with the spoken announcements. (You'd think it would make more sense to just slow down the speech such that every name was in synch with its appearance on the screen.)
It's not such a problem when it's just the calling pattern is listing but since the timetable change it also does it approaching Clapham Junction when it lists the stations you can change for. By the time it's finished listing the stations you can change for the train is in the platform.
 

fgwrich

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Since the timetable change the PIS systems on SWT have been set up by an outside contractor, and it hasn't gone very smoothly. The system is now full of errors, the Basingstoke one being one of the most inconvenient perhaps, as far as I know all the Basingstoke semi-fast trains are trains for Brookwood according to the PIS. The system is very inconsistent now as well, the old format was very similar for all stations but now its a bit hit and miss, depending on what train you are on the system will do different things.
Indeed, another one of the errors on the system now seems to chuck Rowlands Castle up at Basingstoke in the Change Here for anouncement....This is Basingstoke, Change here for services to Salisbury, Reading, Rowlands Castle...
 

TEW

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That's quite common too apparently, many stations now have a change here for Rowlands Castle announcement where it makes little or no sense. On the other hand, at Woking it no longer has any destinations to change for, it just says the next station is Woking.
 

Schnellzug

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Because an automated announcer means the guard can actually be attending to important duties, such as ticket inspections or dispatching, rather than spending half the journey hunched over a microphone.
I think I disagree; hearing someone who's clearly actually a real person can have a useful effect in making people feel welcome and providing reassurance, rather than just think that the only thing looking over them are automated systems. And it's so much less irritating than "Please do try to keep all your personal belongings with you...".
 

fgwrich

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I think I disagree; hearing someone who's clearly actually a real person can have a useful effect in making people feel welcome and providing reassurance, rather than just think that the only thing looking over them are automated systems. And it's so much less irritating than "Please do try to keep all your personal belongings with you...".
...As well as You must by a valid ticket before you board...And For your personal safety, CCTV etc...

In fact, one of the most annoying announcements of late i think is also up at Basingstoke, where on Platform 5 we now have an announcement every time the 150 turns up, voiced by Celia - Im Sorry To Inform You That There Is No First Class On This Train Today...Even if a 165 or 166 turns up! :roll:
 

David Goddard

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one of the most annoying announcements of late i think is also up at Basingstoke, where on Platform 5 we now have an announcement every time the 150 turns up, voiced by Celia - Im Sorry To Inform You That There Is No First Class On This Train Today...Even if a 165 or 166 turns up! :roll:
They should not need this as FGW have reissued the timetable (from 6 Feb) and all Monday-Friday services until 2106 are listed as Standard Class Only!
So you should only have to use that one if the 150s come in the evenings or at Weekends

The most annoying announcement I have heard on SWT is on the Junipers:
*Train pulls into the station
*Door buttons light up
*Passengers press buttons to open doors
*Five seconds later "The Door Buttons are now Activated" message comes out!
Are the 458s the only class to use this announcement? Havent heard it on any other train.
 

transmanche

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The most annoying announcement I have heard on SWT is on the Junipers:
*Train pulls into the station
*Door buttons light up
*Passengers press buttons to open doors
*Five seconds later "The Door Buttons are now Activated" message comes out!
Are the 458s the only class to use this announcement? Havent heard it on any other train.
Grrr, that one annoys me... total unnecessary aural graffiti. Especially as it follows the three really loud beeps which come after the door buttons light-up.
 

slick

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On west anglia you should hear some of our units. Alot dont work at all, or are faster, eg.."we are now approaching cheshunt........this is cheshunt" when chushunt is a good half a mile ahead! Some announce the first stop and then just give up. There was even one unit floating around that announced all the stations on the route in reverse! I revert to destination only codes in which case. Fun times :roll:
 

Muzer

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Occasionally at Salisbury on the London-bound trains, I hear:

"Welcome aboard this South West Trains service to London Waterloo. Calling at Exeter Central, Pinhoe, Honiton, Axminster, Crewkerne, Yeovil Junction, Sherborne, Templecombe, Gillingham, Tisbury, Salisbury, Andover, Basingstoke, Woking, Clapham Junction, and London Waterloo."
 

Schnellzug

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On west anglia you should hear some of our units. Alot dont work at all, or are faster, eg.."we are now approaching cheshunt........this is cheshunt" when chushunt is a good half a mile ahead! Some announce the first stop and then just give up. There was even one unit floating around that announced all the stations on the route in reverse! I revert to destination only codes in which case. Fun times :roll:
Sounds like Marvin the Paranoid Android. "Calling at ... Hackney Downs......... Oh I give up .... why would anyone want to go to Hertford East anyway ..... I'm so depressed ...."
 

317666

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The 317s on the West Anglia have to have my favourite PIS system, because more often than not it doesn't work, leaving me and fellow passengers in peace :lol:
 

BestWestern

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Because an automated announcer means the guard can actually be attending to important duties, such as ticket inspections or dispatching, rather than spending half the journey hunched over a microphone.
It's no big deal making a few timely announcements during a journey. Admittedly there are times when some stops might not be announced as the Guard is elsewhere within the train, but it isn't generally a major issue since most stations are clearly signposted and the rest of the announcements that have been made contain enough information for most people to work out where they are. Whilst many passengers would probably prefer nothing but peace and quiet, I think it's fair to suggest that a human voice is generally favoured over a PIS system on most trains.
 

455driver

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Occasionally at Salisbury on the London-bound trains, I hear:

"Welcome aboard this South West Trains service to London Waterloo. Calling at Exeter Central, Pinhoe, Honiton, Axminster, Crewkerne, Yeovil Junction, Sherborne, Templecombe, Gillingham, Tisbury, Salisbury, Andover, Basingstoke, Woking, Clapham Junction, and London Waterloo."
That is because the train has attached to another at Salisbury and the code has to be reinserted or the system gets confused.
 

Matt Taylor

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The PIS on SWT generally has been fraught with problems since the timetable change. In the latter half of last year an external company was awarded the contract to update all the PIS on SWT, unfortunately they did a poor job and around half the codes no longer work properly. This applies to 455s in addition to Desiro stock, I recall working 450024 and the Shepperton code worked but the following day I tried the same code on 450009 on the same train and it wouldn't recognise the code at all. None of the Hounslow or Kingston loop codes work properly anymore and I am spending large parts of my day doing manual announcements on trains that have 24 stops in 75 minutes.

Hopefully the announcements etc should be back to normal by May of this year.
 

jon0844

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There was even one unit floating around that announced all the stations on the route in reverse! I revert to destination only codes in which case. Fun times :roll:
I think they can all do that if not set up/reset properly (all as in all the CIS systems installed by National Express, which includes the FCC 317/1s). I've explained how easy it would be to fix in other threads, but I guess the software is pretty dumb and just reads out information when reaching preset GPS co-ordinates. Thus, you get the 'next station is x' after you've passed it in the other direction. How hard would it be to see from the GPS data you're going in reverse and disable the announcements (simply reversing the stopping pattern wouldn't work as it could well be a different route, so announcing incorrect stops or skipping stops).
 

jopsuk

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I've seen it mentioned in other threads that the older units (such as 317s, 365s etc) use wheel rotations to time the announcements, not GPS.
 

fgwrich

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They should not need this as FGW have reissued the timetable (from 6 Feb) and all Monday-Friday services until 2106 are listed as Standard Class Only!
So you should only have to use that one if the 150s come in the evenings or at Weekends

The most annoying announcement I have heard on SWT is on the Junipers:
*Train pulls into the station
*Door buttons light up
*Passengers press buttons to open doors
*Five seconds later "The Door Buttons are now Activated" message comes out!
Are the 458s the only class to use this announcement? Havent heard it on any other train.
I know, but for some reason the 'Im Sorry To Announce' First Class announcement seems to be almost sporadic now on Platform 5 for every FGW service...Which also dosent help when the PA system has been reprogrammed for full 3 car 150 service - which now dosent take into account any changes...ie 2 car 165 working the route...

Still though, over the past few days it has been a 3 car service - 150 & 166! And personally, id rather have the manual on board announcements over Atos Annie!

As for the Juniper Voice - Yep, Deffinatly one of the most annoying SWT announcements...This Train is for.........ReaDinG*!

(*Alstoms PA system spelling - seems common on all Alstom built units to have bizarre spelling...NewPoRt) :roll:
 
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