On-train information displays can be confusing when out of synch

urbophile

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8 Nov 2019
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Liverpool
I've frequently noticed both visual and recorded information on trains running out of sync, often to the point of confusion. It happens often on Merseyrail when the system seems to get stuck, and announces the same station several stops in succession. Today I was on a Liverpool - Manchester Airport service which declared it was approaching Manchester Airport before we were anywhere near Oxford Road; I returned on an EMR train from Norwich which didn't appear to have left Nottingham. Rarely does a guard or any other staff member override this, or at least draw passengers' attention to the fault. Is it that they just don't see the displays, or don't bother, or have more urgent tasks to perform?

It's not too bad when you know the route and can recognise stations by their appearance if not their name boards. But people unfamiliar with the area could be seriously confused, especially at night.
 
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mailbyrail

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23 Dec 2010
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Like so much of the railway, the technology is beyond the thought powers of the people running them.
I was on a Newark-Nottingham-Derby-Matlock through train this week which said something along the lines of 'this is Derby, change here for services to Matlock, Birmingham, Crewe etc' At the time, you just roll your eyes.
 

jamesst

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4 May 2011
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Merseyrail uses 2 systems. Underground the pis system is basically guided by the doors (very reliable), overground it's by gps. The main problem generally is when a train leaves the underground and the gps doesnt take over for whatever reason then the pis gets utterly confused and generally repeats the last station before takeover.
Only the driver can change it and frankly with it not being high on the drivers list of priorities it can take a few stations to realise.
 

3rd rail land

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I've experienced this on SWR. I have boarded at vauxhall on a number of occasions where the train announced, both orally and on the displays, that 'This train is at our final stop London Waterloo.' To be fair this is usually quickly rectified and all is well.

This has always been on trains heading away from London Waterloo.
 

fairysdad

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27 Dec 2010
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London, Surrey... bit of a blur round here...
I've experienced this on SWR. I have boarded at vauxhall on a number of occasions where the train announced, both orally and on the displays, that 'This train is at our final stop London Waterloo.' To be fair this is usually quickly rectified and all is well.

This has always been on trains heading away from London Waterloo.
The more amusing one I've witnessed on SWR (and SWT before them as well) is when the PIS is set 'backwards' - ie, on departure from Waterloo it says we're arriving, then that the next stop will be Waterloo when we are approaching Vauxhall, then on arrival into Clapham Junction that the next stop is Vauxhall, and soforth. I was on a train that was like this until Motspur Park before the Guard just switched the PIS off completely!

The other one I've witnessed is along the North Devon Line where the PIS seemed to get confused with the request stops, so by the time we stopped at Crediton (from Barnstaple), the PIS thought we were at Exmouth!
 

gnolife

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Johnstone
The other one I've witnessed is along the North Devon Line where the PIS seemed to get confused with the request stops, so by the time we stopped at Crediton (from Barnstaple), the PIS thought we were at Exmouth!
ScotRails seems to have the opposite problem, where if a train does not make a call at a request stop, the PIS won't skip it, so when the doors are opened at the next required stop, it will make an announcement for the skipped request stop instead.
 

urbophile

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8 Nov 2019
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137
Location
Liverpool
Merseyrail uses 2 systems. Underground the pis system is basically guided by the doors (very reliable), overground it's by gps. The main problem generally is when a train leaves the underground and the gps doesnt take over for whatever reason then the pis gets utterly confused and generally repeats the last station before takeover.
Only the driver can change it and frankly with it not being high on the drivers list of priorities it can take a few stations to realise.
Is that called taking the pis?
 

py_megapixel

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ScotRails seems to have the opposite problem, where if a train does not make a call at a request stop, the PIS won't skip it, so when the doors are opened at the next required stop, it will make an announcement for the skipped request stop instead.
GWR had a similar issue when they had 3-car Networker Turbos. The door-driven PIS didn't skip unless all doors were released, which lead to it getting a station out of sync

Door-driven PIS works fine, only when everything works perfectly. It's a lazy way of cutting costs otherwise.
 

Skimpot flyer

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16 Nov 2012
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The more amusing one I've witnessed on SWR (and SWT before them as well) is when the PIS is set 'backwards' - ie, on departure from Waterloo it says we're arriving, then that the next stop will be Waterloo when we are approaching Vauxhall, then on arrival into Clapham Junction that the next stop is Vauxhall, and soforth. I was on a train that was like this until Motspur Park before the Guard just switched the PIS off completely!

The other one I've witnessed is along the North Devon Line where the PIS seemed to get confused with the request stops, so by the time we stopped at Crediton (from Barnstaple), the PIS thought we were at Exmouth!
Had the same experience a couple of weeks ago on a London Overground service from Euston to Watford Junction. I only noticed as we approached Kilburn High Road, and the announcement advised ‘we will shortly be arriving at London Euston’. Cue a few puzzled faces, and nervous questions. When the train actually arrived at the next station, the announcement was, however, accurate... ‘this is Kilburn High Road’ (activated by GPS, presumably). Then, after the train doors closed, the next announcement was ‘This is the London Overground service to London Euston. The next station is South Hampstead’ !
I had to reassure some Italian tourists hoping to go to that Harry Potter thing near Watford that they were indeed still heading to Watford.
This pattern of inaccurate/correct/inaccurate announcements continued until at least Stonebridge Park, where I alighted.
The number of confused faces multiplied significantly at Queens Park, where people joining the train off the Bakerloo Line thought they were heading in the wrong direction as Kilburn High Road was announced as being the next station call !!
 
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Dr_Paul

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3 Sep 2013
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The more amusing one I've witnessed on SWR (and SWT before them as well) is when the PIS is set 'backwards' - ie, on departure from Waterloo it says we're arriving, then that the next stop will be Waterloo when we are approaching Vauxhall, then on arrival into Clapham Junction that the next stop is Vauxhall, and so forth. I was on a train that was like this until Motspur Park before the Guard just switched the PIS off completely!
I had this on a down service from Waterloo, where all the way from Clapham Junction to Raynes Park the tannoy was announcing that the next station was the one we'd just left, and listing all the stations back to Waterloo. After Raynes Park, it announced the route correctly.
 

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