Finding your carriage

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trainophile

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Is it just me or do some trains not seem to have any obvious (i.e. easy to spot) identification to tell you which coach it is?

I'm thinking of the Cross Country service I sometimes catch from Stafford to Birmingham New Street. It's quite a long train (haven't actually counted the coaches as I'm always panicking to find the one I'm meant to get on) and only seems to wait in the station for about a minute if that. I usually have to throw myself on at whichever door I am nearest to, hoping it's not First Class, and sit wherever I can.

On reservable services, shouldn't there be some sort of standardisation, that is easily visible even before the train halts? I think XC just have those little electronic panels by the doors, showing the destination and the next stop, also the coach letter. No good at all when you haven't got time to walk the length of the platform trying to find the one you need.

Edited to add, some TOCs are much better than others. No problems with ATW or Virgin.
 
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I'm guessing XC don't do anything of the sort, but I know that East Coast have small boards standing on platforms at main stations (Darlington and York are the ones I use that come to mind, both of which are East Coast stations, in fairness) telling you where to stand for which coach.

I can't imagine this would be possible at busy stations for a number of TOCs, but it would be quite helpful if something like this could be implemented for these things.

Which train are you having trouble finding your coach on?
 

Yew

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I'm guessing XC don't do anything of the sort, but I know that East Coast have small boards standing on platforms at main stations (Darlington and York are the ones I use that come to mind, both of which are East Coast stations, in fairness) telling you where to stand for which coach.

I can't imagine this would be possible at busy stations for a number of TOCs, but it would be quite helpful if something like this could be implemented for these things.

Which train are you having trouble finding your coach on?
EC have boards at Lincoln, with 2TPD.

I quite like being able to sit in coach g of a 5 car meridian, I amlost got in to the HST across the platform when i saw the short train
 

trainophile

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Mainly XC, boarding at Stafford, terminating Bristol Temple Meads. Haven't really had the need on any of the other services I use regularly as either they are non-reservable or the coach letter is easy enough to spot.

Perhaps XC are a one-off. Not sure about London Midland either, will check next time I use one.
 

Mr Spock

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Unless the train you catch has 2 units then it will only have 4 or 5 coaches, not what I would call long personally, and have the first class at the back or front depending on which route it has been on recently so it would be pointless having letter boards on the platforms.
 

CC 72100

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XC can be rather annoying with this. On a recent voyager journey, the displays obviously thought it was more helpful to display the outside air temperature than the coach letter!

And whilst on-board, if the screen isn't saying 'This is coach X', then you have no idea where you are because AFAIK there are no signs onboard.

At some stations there are boards - at Exeter St Davids, at the stairs for platform 5 there are two little signs saying 'Trains to London Paddington - coaches A-D --->' and ' <---Trains to London Paddington - coaches E-H'
 

Yew

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If they had digital boards they could find some way of programming them to show different consists?
 

table38

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There's the old top tip of Voyagers and 185s having a yellow marker on the coupling so you know that's the First Class end. (Voyager Coach E, 185 Coach A)

(although it's not much help if there are two units coupled together)
 

VTPreston_Tez

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TPX when you get a merger at Preston. My ticket once was for Coach F, the train parked at the top and there was nothing to help the passengers, but it was obvious when the next train arrived! Then D, E, and F arrived like 3 minutes later... everyone was fuming.
 

trolleyman

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CrossCountry services and Virgin Voyagers will always display the coach letter in the top right hand corner regardless of the display showing outdoor temperature, welcome on board or whatever it has been set up as in the TMS.... That saying the screens are A) working or B) downloaded the trip and coach letters correctly
 
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TPX when you get a merger at Preston. My ticket once was for Coach F, the train parked at the top and there was nothing to help the passengers, but it was obvious when the next train arrived! Then D, E, and F arrived like 3 minutes later... everyone was fuming.
My son once had a reserved seat in coach F from Temple Meads to Leeds, but when the 5-car Voyager rolled up, he had great difficulty finding his seat, as did a number of others booked into the phantom carriage.
 

CC 72100

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CrossCountry services and Virgin Voyagers will always display the coach letter in the top right hand corner regardless of the display showing outdoor temperature, welcome on board or whatever it has been set up as in the TMS.... That saying the screens are A) working or B) downloaded the trip and coach letters correctly
It obviously wasn't when was on it, It was the Plymouth - Edinburgh, I was boarding at Exeter, according to the display our next stop was Totnes :|

Now if that was a HST I wouldn't mind the free extra mileage... :p
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
My son once had a reserved seat in coach F from Temple Meads to Leeds, but when the 5-car Voyager rolled up, he had great difficulty finding his seat, as did a number of others booked into the phantom carriage.
I thought 5 car voyagers did have a coach F? I've always seen them A-B-C-D-F in the coach lettering?! I could be wrong of course...

Apologies for double posting btw
 

ainsworth74

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My son once had a reserved seat in coach F from Temple Meads to Leeds, but when the 5-car Voyager rolled up, he had great difficulty finding his seat, as did a number of others booked into the phantom carriage.
I thought 5 car voyagers did have a coach F? I've always seen them A-B-C-D-F in the coach lettering?! I could be wrong of course...
They all have a Coach F (see here and here). A four car unit formation is A-C-D-F and a five car unit formations is A-B-C-D-F.
 

trainophile

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That's another good point about there being no identification inside the train either. Once you're on there you're stuffed, and if it's a full or fully reserved coach you find yourself in, there's not much point in walking through to another carriage, even if you knew which direction to walk.

A few weeks ago I was unable to find coach B, where my booked seat was, as the two door panel displays either side of where I boarded were marked A and C, and the end one was First. I don't think there even was a B on that occasion. You'd think they'd try to allocated seating for a coach that they intend to run! Or even on the overhead display put something to explain the situation - I have seen that in places, saying that seat reservations were not applicable on this occasion. Avoids confusion as people at least know what's going on.

If it wasn't that I'm only on it for half an hour I'd be inclined to ask the train manager where I was supposed to be. If ever I have to stand I will do that.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
They all have a Coach F (see here and here). A four car unit formation is A-C-D-F and a five car unit formations is A-B-C-D-F.
That explains the absence of B on my journey then. Must have substituted a shorter train.
 

JoeGJ1984

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I've been on a TPE 2-coach class 170 on the Manchester Piccadilly to Hull route with coaches A and C with a reservation in B! You'd think they'd know from the diagrams what class of train was booked. I asked a member of staff and they said to go to the equivalent seat in coach C (which still had the ticket from the previous journey back to Manchester Piccadilly).
 

trainophile

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I've been on a TPE 2-coach class 170 on the Manchester Piccadilly to Hull route with coaches A and C with a reservation in B! You'd think they'd know from the diagrams what class of train was booked. I asked a member of staff and they said to go to the equivalent seat in coach C (which still had the ticket from the previous journey back to Manchester Piccadilly).
Could have been tricky if someone was already sitting there. That's the trouble with those 2-coach units, they are almost always pretty full.
 

150222

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It obviously wasn't when was on it, It was the Plymouth - Edinburgh, I was boarding at Exeter, according to the display our next stop was Totnes :|

Now if that was a HST I wouldn't mind the free extra mileage... :p
I can do better than that, I boarded an XC voyager at Leeds a few years back. It was a Newcastle terminator and the next stop was York. The display's (all of them) said the next station was Totnes! :) It begs a question though, Was it a fault (hardly uncommon on voyagers) or bone-idleness on the TM's(?) part. (Are they automatic (Wheel rotation/GPS) or operated by the TM?)
 

button_boxer

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XC 4 car services are ACDF and 5 car are ABCDF but whenever I've been on them B has been entirely unreserved (presumably so they can sub a shorter unit if necessary without messing up the reservations).

As for coach letter displays, XC voyagers don't show the letter when there is another message on the scrolling display, but EMT Meridians do keep the letter showing permanently - Bombardier clearly learned from their earlier mistakes.
 

ukrob

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I've been on a TPE 2-coach class 170 on the Manchester Piccadilly to Hull route with coaches A and C with a reservation in B! You'd think they'd know from the diagrams what class of train was booked. I asked a member of staff and they said to go to the equivalent seat in coach C (which still had the ticket from the previous journey back to Manchester Piccadilly).
They do know what is booked. Sounds like the service was booked 185 but for whatever reason a 170 was used - or would you prefer the service cancelled?
 

transmanche

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Copying WestCoast's use of http://www.mytrainsim.de/zza22.html - this is something like what I'd like I'd like to see on platform displays.

The first pic shows a typical InterCity type journey, including train formation information (coach letters and class). But what I'd really like is continental style train numbers. People seem to be familiar with the concept when they catch flights. And VT & XC trains already seem to show them.

Why? Well I think it would help minimise confusion when dealing with Advance tickets. Print the train number on the ticket/reservation and guards no longer need to announce "Make sure your reservation is for the xx departure" but just use the train number (they can be consistent throughout the journey, so no mistakes!). There's no confusion for passengers if trains are delayed, etc.

For suburban routes, the second pic shows use of a route code. They were perfect for regular commuters who get to know the various stopping patterns - so let's bring them back!
 

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fgwrich

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...

At some stations there are boards - at Exeter St Davids, at the stairs for platform 5 there are two little signs saying 'Trains to London Paddington - coaches A-D --->' and ' <---Trains to London Paddington - coaches E-H'
This seems to be a FGW thing - Ive noticed it up a Didcot Parkway & Reading too and certainly are rather helpful when trying to work out which coach stops where (Unless the HST is running in reverse of course!)

But as for XC's voyagers - dosent it display the train formation on the platform PIS Screens: A,B,C,F...A,B,C,D,F...First Class is at the Rear of the Train

(Answered my own question there!)

XC 4 car services are ACDF and 5 car are ABCDF but whenever I've been on them B has been entirely unreserved (presumably so they can sub a shorter unit if necessary without messing up the reservations).

As for coach letter displays, XC voyagers don't show the letter when there is another message on the scrolling display, but EMT Meridians do keep the letter showing permanently - Bombardier clearly learned from their earlier mistakes.
Apart from some of the Electrostars, which are still rather commonly prone to displaying / announcing ' This Is Coach Number 12 of 8'...:lol:
 
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