NR Enquiries App - No longer showing platform numbers?

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Lewis5949, 13 Feb 2020.

  1. Lewis5949

    Lewis5949 Member

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    At least for SWR, for the past... maybe week or so (possibly longer), platform numbers on all stations have just vanished. It still shows the route of the train and the time due, but never the platform, even at stations where it's not possible for a train to be re-routed to an alternative.

    I thought it was just me but there are a lot of complaints about it on Facebook too with hundreds of people having the thing thing too. I'm wondering if it's a data fault or a purposeful removal, because it is certainly helpful information. Odd. Apparently some other apps/sources still report platform numbers as normal too.
     
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  3. Islineclear3_1

    Islineclear3_1 Established Member

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    Maybe because at larger/busier stations, platform changes can happen at the last minute. No point in advertising a platform if something happens and the train is re-platformed
     
  4. mirodo

    mirodo Member

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    From Twitter:

    @railboard says:
    @SW_Help Hello Just to let you know, platform numbers are not showing on apps for any South Western Railway trains. Including at the following stations: London Waterloo, Clapham Junction, Vauxhall, Wimbledon, Richmond, Surbiton & Putney.

    @SW_Help says:
    Hi, we are aware of this issue, it's due to a current problem with our information systems. Our teams are looking into this, apologies. ^JM
     
  5. RailAleFan

    RailAleFan Member

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    Ongoing and recurring issue - the Open Rail Data group thread about this was started in September last year.

    Platform numbers are in Darwin but set to suppressed.

    Looks like some kind of systems integration gremlin rather than anything intentional. Some on-station systems are impacted when it happens such as this interactive kiosk at Birmingham New Street recently...

    [​IMG]
     
  6. greaterwest

    greaterwest Member

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    SWR's Customer Information System has been disconnected from Darwin due to a fault. Whenever they disconnect, all platforms are suppressed to prevent unnecessary confusion as it's possible (and likely) that the platforms will be different to the booked ones shown by Darwin.
     
  7. Ticket Man

    Ticket Man Member

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    Persoanlly I'm glad that they're not showwing. I have had untold customers boarding my train by mistake because they were wrongly directed by apps.
     
  8. [.n]

    [.n] Member

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    Whilst I do quite often rely on apps, a quick sanity check of both the platform information display and the on-board display is my method. I find it mostly helpful when changing at unfamiliar/large stations to work out roughly where I should be headed especially in the connection time is not that great.

    Though to be fair there are still trains for which the Waterloo platform displays rubbish / and the on board display is also incorrect
     
  9. Master29

    Master29 Established Member

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    For some people it does help avoid the stampede once the announcement is made on the info boards. Personally I do this to avoid just that and haven't had a platform change as yet at a major terminus. Touching the head here.
     
  10. StephenHunter

    StephenHunter Member

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    There is something to be said for displaying the headcodes on the front and on PIS displays to help avoid this sort of thing.
     
  11. island

    island Established Member

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    I disagree. Headcodes are meaningless to 99% of the population.
     
  12. StephenHunter

    StephenHunter Member

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    Yet they're used extensively on PIS displays in Europe.
     
  13. headshot119

    headshot119 Established Member

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    Headcodes I'd agree with. But the world seems to cope with EK023 in an airport, I'm sure that could work on trains as well.
     
  14. StephenHunter

    StephenHunter Member

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    Eurostar uses them for their trains; VTWC had them on their carriage door displays.
     
  15. island

    island Established Member

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    Eurostar hides the train numbers most of the time until you get to the station, apparently their customer research showed customers prefer to describe the train by departure time and don’t want “confusing railway garble” like train numbers.
     
  16. Fiyero

    Fiyero Member

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    Which is weird as on my recent trip the time had changed (not by enough to affect anyone's plans) but even my ticket printed on the day showed the old time when the screens showed the new times!
     
  17. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    For a passenger point of use, that is as much use as a chocolate teapot, other than to know the train you want to catch is on time or if it's delayed/cancelled.

    Also Arriva Trains Wales lives on! :lol:
     
  18. GoneSouth

    GoneSouth Member

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    Nobody seems to be getting far with fixing the problem.

    Simpleton question alert...

    Why can’t apps display what is on station information screens? How many different feeds of data go into making the station and various apps display all the correct info? Why can some apps manage to display the platform details whilst some can’t (ByTrain seems to work)?
     
  19. RailAleFan

    RailAleFan Member

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    They might be ignoring platform suppression.
     
  20. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member Associate Staff General Discussion

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    Don't know if its related but the station announcer at Paddington the other day was making announcements to the effect that passengers should not rely on apps for platform info but refer to the departure information screens in the station.
     
  21. KieronQuinn

    KieronQuinn Member

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    Quite possible the platform is being fed to the "staff" API* (which the NRE app and some third party ones use as well as the boards - I think), and the other third party apps use the "public" API.

    The staff API also has a field for a platform being hidden, so some apps might be ignoring this too as others have suggested.

    * Contrary to its name, the staff API isn't private to operators, it can be accessed by the public.
     
  22. Nammer

    Nammer Member

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    The apps show the booked platform number at the time of viewing. So many passengers take this as gospel and go and get on the train at the platform shown on the app when, in reality, things can and do change at short notice, for operational reasons. The station departure boards will have the most up to date platform allocations.
     
  23. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    But not always as I've read Tweets from people saying the platform for thier train wasn't advertised at London Waterloo and the train departed. This was within the mats few months. I don't have the tweets to hand or I'd quote them. That would have been during some disruption but I cnat remember if it was congestion or specific issue at the time.
     
  24. Nammer

    Nammer Member

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    Was this that the platform number was not shown on the app or departure boards?
     
  25. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    I assume it wasn't on the app due to the problems but it wasn't on the departure board, so they claimed I believe
     
  26. underbank

    underbank Established Member

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    Some services havn't even been on the station departure boards, certainly up here in Northern land, I've been on a few "ghost" trains not shown on the platform system. The Furness line is quite bad for it, especially on the worst Sundays when no one knows if certain trains are running until staff turn up (or not). I use RTT for "gospel" as to whether services are running or not. A few times now, there've been departures from Carnforth (normal/schedules services) which weren't shown on the platform boards - presumably removed from the timetable a couple of days in advance, due to uncertainty and then not reinstated when they do have staff to run them.
     
  27. greaterwest

    greaterwest Member

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    Ultimately, because some Train Operating Companies (I believe TFW, GWR and SWR now) have disconnected their Customer Information System from the "Darwin" system due to a fault. Darwin does exactly what you are asking for; it propagates information from the CIS to the apps.
     
  28. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    So you happen to know what was occurring when there systems were connected to Darwin?

    I know South West Trains had a lot of issues in the past migrating or upgrading to support Darwin.
     
  29. Horizon22

    Horizon22 Member

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    Personally a fan of this being removed. Station staff get endlessly frustrated when people walk down to their "usual" platform then due to what could be multiple factors, it's not on the "usual" platform (read: not an alteration as it was never advertised!) and grumble at the staff.

    Predicted platforms don't help much more either. At terminals, it is much safer (most of the time) for passengers to remain on the concourse during peak times and wait until it's ready. But you'll never be able to avoid some regulars going to the platform then being caught out! Good announcements solve this problem for the most part.
     
  30. ValleyLines142

    ValleyLines142 Established Member

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    Not ideal at Paddington, where platforms are displayed less than ten minutes before trains are scheduled to leave (even in some instances where the train has been prepared and ready for boarding).
     
  31. greaterwest

    greaterwest Member

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    I'm not sure what the issue is which has resulted in Darwin being disconnected unfortunately.

    SWT's prior problems are no longer relevant as SWR do not use the Amey Customer Information System any more. I believe London Overground use an Amey-based CIS and are still connected to Darwin. TFW, SWR and GWR all use Worldline ATOS CIS.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 15 Mar 2020

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