Greater Anglia New Passenger Information Screens

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by F Great Eastern, 1 Apr 2019.

  1. 317666

    317666 Established Member

    Messages:
    1,499
    Joined:
    4 Sep 2009
    Location:
    Ely
    They've been doing the latter all day, showing the platform as TL - the Through Line! I did actually see 'Cambridge 00:00' listed as a stop on the external displays of an Azuma passing through, not entirely sure how it's all happened...
     

    Attached Files:

  2. dosxuk

    dosxuk Member

    Messages:
    692
    Joined:
    2 Jan 2011
    My eyesight's not the best, but I have the opposite problem - the text isn't big enough. Compared to the old screens at Norwich where you could pretty much instantly see which platform you needed to head to, I had to be a lot closer to read them, and with all the animation going on, actually identifying the useful information is difficult. And that's before you consider that the information is likely to be incorrect.

    It feels very Abellio though - poorly thought through, replacing good working stuff with new broken stuff, and all done in a massive rush and the problems left to the staff to pick up the pieces. Not helped at Norwich by a broken PA system. "Passe...rs for ...h should be a.....n screens are sh....correct inform....n and should g...to pl....for...e. That's passen....rs goi....o Liverp....ow depar.....g from platfo....e"
     
  3. py_megapixel

    py_megapixel Member

    Messages:
    411
    Joined:
    5 Nov 2018
    Am I missing something, or does that board show the same service twice, once as cancelled and once as on time?
     
  4. F Great Eastern

    F Great Eastern Established Member

    Messages:
    3,144
    Joined:
    2 Apr 2009
    Location:
    East Anglia
    I see it very often at Norwich and Ipswich, often in Ipswich screens 1 & 3 and 2&4 show the same train, with the actual 3rd and 4th train to depart, hidden.

    They're also often very lagged.
     
  5. F Great Eastern

    F Great Eastern Established Member

    Messages:
    3,144
    Joined:
    2 Apr 2009
    Location:
    East Anglia
    5 coach trains being listed on the screens on the Lowestoft line tonight.
     
  6. Railperf

    Railperf Established Member

    Messages:
    1,621
    Joined:
    30 Oct 2017
  7. trebor79

    trebor79 Established Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    Joined:
    8 Mar 2018
    Same at Ely. The autoannouncer also got a bit over enthusiastic, announcing the same trains two or three times in a row with no pause. Then announcing them another couple of times after a minute or so.
    Screens also "disappearing" late running trains at times.
    Staff having to make manual announcements contradicting the screens and automatic announcements seems to be getting more common at Ely. But that might be a consequence of short notice changes to platforming - it's interesting watching on traksy at times of disruption. Signallers do a good job of squeezing everything through, it's a bit like ballet for train enthusiasts at times!
     
  8. F Great Eastern

    F Great Eastern Established Member

    Messages:
    3,144
    Joined:
    2 Apr 2009
    Location:
    East Anglia
  9. F Great Eastern

    F Great Eastern Established Member

    Messages:
    3,144
    Joined:
    2 Apr 2009
    Location:
    East Anglia
    The one thing I don't get about these screens, is it's approximately 4 years since they were first used on ScotRail stations. You'd think that in those four years, it was plenty of time to iron out these kind of issues and the system should be quite mature by now and pretty stable with most of the kinks ironed out.

    The roll-out of this new system is still continuing at pace though and more screens are popping up pretty much by the week, replacing the legacy Infotec ones, despite the fact the problems with them show no sign of being resolved from what I have seen myself.
     
    Last edited: 6 Jan 2020
  10. 317666

    317666 Established Member

    Messages:
    1,499
    Joined:
    4 Sep 2009
    Location:
    Ely
    I noticed yesterday that Ely was using what sounded like a text-to-speech voice for the announcements rather than the usual woman.

    Cambridge - Norwich services were all showing as formed of 5 coaches at both Ely and Cambridge.
     
  11. trebor79

    trebor79 Established Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    Joined:
    8 Mar 2018
    Ah, yes I knew there was something different but couldn't quite place my finger on it. Were you there about half past 5, I heard someone commenting about text to speech as they walked past me.
     
  12. 317666

    317666 Established Member

    Messages:
    1,499
    Joined:
    4 Sep 2009
    Location:
    Ely
    I caught the 1627 Stansted so wouldn't have been me. I'm on the same service today and the text to speech announcements are still there.
     
  13. F Great Eastern

    F Great Eastern Established Member

    Messages:
    3,144
    Joined:
    2 Apr 2009
    Location:
    East Anglia
    I wonder if the company who are being contracted for the screens also are replacing the announcements system as well?

    The good thing about the current situation is that whilst the screens have their issues, the legacy announcements at least tend to be fine....

    Sure they are not going to break something else that doesn't need fixing?
     
  14. JaJaWa

    JaJaWa Established Member

    Messages:
    1,239
    Joined:
    14 Feb 2013
    Location:
    Kowloon / St. Albans
    Meridian Water which opened with these screens uses Text to Speech.
     
  15. 317666

    317666 Established Member

    Messages:
    1,499
    Joined:
    4 Sep 2009
    Location:
    Ely
    A passenger came up to me today and asked me whether the screens were new. I told him they were fairly new, and he went on to tell me how brilliant and easy to read he thought they were and asked if I would pass his comments on to management. At least someone's happy with them!
     
  16. trebor79

    trebor79 Established Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    Joined:
    8 Mar 2018
    Diss screens showing the 755 yesterday as formed of 11 coaches!
    They aren't all bad. The departure summary at Diss actually shows a few hours worth of departures.
    I think once you get to an Ipswich size station they aren't suitable and aren't as good as the Infotec displays they replaced, for all the reasons mentioned in this thread. Seems an awful lot of money spent to replace modern stuff with something not as good? Curious decision.
     
  17. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

    Messages:
    46,742
    Joined:
    20 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
    I think the principle of them is good - Thameslink have similar ones and they work well. The issue is the slightly cheap implementation.
     
  18. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

    Messages:
    24,386
    Joined:
    1 Feb 2009
    Location:
    UK
    They look nice, with lots of colours, transition effects and everything for a modern smartphone generation. The problem is the usefulness goes beyond the visuals, as the underlying core that provides the (accurate) data is more important.

    Infotec now have full-matrix screens that can do limited graphics and animation, but the important thing is they convey information in a better way for the most part. I can think of a few areas for improvement, as I am sure we all could, but I was massively disappointed with the information provision at Cambridge.

    It doesn't surprise me one bit that people like them. Just as people think a TV picture is stunning if you turn up the saturation to 100% and increase the contrast. Vivid mode is known by almost everyone to totally ruin a picture, but TV makers know how vital it is to have this on shop floor demo modes.
     
  19. F Great Eastern

    F Great Eastern Established Member

    Messages:
    3,144
    Joined:
    2 Apr 2009
    Location:
    East Anglia
    Interesting too that the former information control manager and business change manager at Greater Anglia up until April 2017 took a sabbatical for six months and then in September started working for the company behind the screens as as Programme Manager.

    Reminds me of Mike Kean, who if I remember correctly, was the deputy MD of Greater Anglia who then went on to take the COO position with the company who is leasing the new stock to Greater Anglia.
     
  20. trebor79

    trebor79 Established Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    Joined:
    8 Mar 2018
    Too much animation, and a lot of it totally pointless. Why swipe in the formation at the bottom of the screen several seconds after the calling patter?
    Why does the expected departure time keep swiping, so you get a sort it flicker effect as it swipes back onto the same detail?
    Etc
     
  21. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

    Messages:
    24,386
    Joined:
    1 Feb 2009
    Location:
    UK
    I totally agree. The UI is over the top and most of it is superfluous. However, I bet if you showed people a static Infotec screen and then the bright, colourful, constantly moving display, they'd say they prefer the latter. That figure then makes it into press releases as proof people love the new information displays.

    The Infotec screens in the Thameslink core are far better. The animation is very limited and far more effective.
     
  22. F Great Eastern

    F Great Eastern Established Member

    Messages:
    3,144
    Joined:
    2 Apr 2009
    Location:
    East Anglia
    Infotec do have some similar design screens to that which this company have introduced, they were showing them off at railex, the bottom part can flick between messages and the train formation, much like the Abellio ones. It can also show next service if set up that way.

    The layout is less colourful, but it's more practical and aligned better and features smooth scrolling rather than animations.

    tec2.jpg

    tec.jpg < click for bigger
     
  23. greaterwest

    greaterwest Member

    Messages:
    1,068
    Joined:
    23 Nov 2014
    For all the faults seen here, I think it's worth remembering that these are fairly new, I haven't seen them anywhere else before, so it will take a while to iron out the bugs. It will be interesting to see in a year's time once they've worked more on the underlying technology.

    I for one am glad to see something other than Infotec screens used across the network.

    You've probably already realised as others have posted photos, but the Thameslink ones are made by Infotec.
     
  24. londonmidland

    londonmidland Member

    Messages:
    938
    Joined:
    22 Dec 2009
    Location:
    Leicester
    I have a feeling Abellio will roll this out across all TOC’s they manage in the next year or so.

    The screens come with their own text-to-speech software, which explains why you are starting to hear a new voice.
     
  25. F Great Eastern

    F Great Eastern Established Member

    Messages:
    3,144
    Joined:
    2 Apr 2009
    Location:
    East Anglia
    This platform and the screens were first rolled out to Abellio Scotrail in 2016 and haven't really changed since then from what I can see at least.
     
  26. greaterwest

    greaterwest Member

    Messages:
    1,068
    Joined:
    23 Nov 2014
    I've not seen any similar complaints about the ScotRail ones, and I think they have only rolled them out to a few ScotRail stations so far.
     
  27. F Great Eastern

    F Great Eastern Established Member

    Messages:
    3,144
    Joined:
    2 Apr 2009
    Location:
    East Anglia
    If people think that text to speech is better than the current system then they're in cloud cukoo land, going from screens that work and display relevant information to ones that are less reliable and don't show as much relevant information as the last ones and a proper announcement system to a text to speech system, is hardly improving the customer experience.

    They really need a chief customer officer or a COO.
     
  28. londonmidland

    londonmidland Member

    Messages:
    938
    Joined:
    22 Dec 2009
    Location:
    Leicester
    It really is an inferior system but I guess the only thing people are concerned about is saving money.
     
  29. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

    Messages:
    24,386
    Joined:
    1 Feb 2009
    Location:
    UK
    IF if saves money and isn't in fact a deal done for a mate who used to work for you sort of thing.

    That said, Infotec does need competition to stop prices going through the roof. However, if I was Infotec I'd be buying some competitor screens and using them to show why Infotec are so far ahead of the game.
     
  30. dosxuk

    dosxuk Member

    Messages:
    692
    Joined:
    2 Jan 2011
    Looking forward to the return of announcements for trains to why-mond-ham, ho-ver-ton and war-stead then.
     

Share This Page