Oxford Station platform renumbering

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Gagravarr

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Unless I've been really asleep before on past trips, it seems that at some point in the last week, the platforms at Oxford station have been renumbered! The old platform 1 (services towards London) is now Platform 3, the old platform 2 (trains north / northwest and most terminating London) is now Platform 4

I guess this is so that the Chilter trains towards Bicester (and onwards!) can go from more logical platform numbers. Didn't seem to be any big announcements or notices about the renumbering though, and I did see some confused looking people hunting for their trains...
 
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I gather that NR have been clearing out the old north facing bay platforms, including the removal of 2 old parcels vans, for the Chiltern services, so yes I would say that coincides pretty well. :)
 

Andyjs247

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IIRC Realtime Trains was showing the platforms as having been renumbered with effect from the May timetable! I haven't been down recently but I guess they've only just got around to changing the physical signs. It is to do with there being 2 new bay platforms that will mostly be used by Chiltern.
 

Deepgreen

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There seem to be different policies for different stations - for example, Redhill's additional platform is going to be numbered zero, as was King's Cross's, presumably to avoid confusing existing passengers when it comes into operation, so I wonder why this doesn't apply to Oxford?
 

MarkRedon

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There seem to be different policies for different stations - for example, Redhill's additional platform is going to be numbered zero, as was King's Cross's, presumably to avoid confusing existing passengers when it comes into operation, so I wonder why this doesn't apply to Oxford?

Because in this case there would have been two new platforms numbered 0 (zero) and -1 (minus 1). Given that Oxford station has a higher than usual proportion of users for whom English is not their first language, one can imagine the potential confusion of having platforms numbered +1 and -1... Better to take the bull by the horns and to renumber all the platforms, I would suggest.

However, the change has not been widely communicated and there is certainly room for confusion, given that there is now a platform numbered 2 which is on the opposite face of the same "island" as the previous platform 1.
 
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Nippy

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Not really, the old numbering was odd as platform 3 was the old bay, so you would have had either 0 or 4 for the new bay, then 3 for the old bay, then 1 for the Up Plat, then 2 for the down Plat. Makes sense to renumber them 1-4.
 
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swt_passenger

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Not really, the old numbering was odd as platform 3 was the old bay, so you would have had either 0 or 4 for the new bay, then 3 for the old bay, then 1 for the Up Plat, then 2 for the down Plat. Makes sense to renumber them 1-4.

Doing it now also means that the future down loop platform will take the next number in a logical sequence.
 

duesselmartin

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Another solution could have been German style, where a digit is added. The bay beside platform 1 becoming 11. Another method could have been adding a suffix such as "north" or south" etc.
In the end, a total renumbering is confusing, a passenger seeing Plaform 1 on the departure board and going to where he/she thinks platform 1 is.
 
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30907

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Another solution could have been German style, where a digit is added. The bay beside platform 1 becoming 11. Another method could have been adding a suffix such as "north" or south" etc.
In the end, a total renumbering is confusing, a passenger seeing Plaform 1 on the departure board and going to where he/she thinks platform 1 is.

Rightly or wrongly, the various German conventions are unknown here.
And "1N" and "1S" are conventionally parts of the same platform. Usually!

Complete renumberings are not unknown - York is one example, and IIRC the platforms at Bromley South were renumbered in reverse in 1959 (along with other changes) to be consistent with the stations either side.
 

Cherry_Picker

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There seem to be different policies for different stations - for example, Redhill's additional platform is going to be numbered zero, as was King's Cross's, presumably to avoid confusing existing passengers when it comes into operation, so I wonder why this doesn't apply to Oxford?

Does it really confuse passengers? The platforms at Birmingham Moor Street (6m passengers a year) were renumbered when the bay platforms were reopened and went off with such little fuss I doubt many people noticed.
 

BurtonM

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Complete renumberings are not unknown - York is one example, and IIRC the platforms at Bromley South were renumbered in reverse in 1959 (along with other changes) to be consistent with the stations either side.

Stalybridge had its numbers reversed and re-allocated when the two extra platforms were put in. The platforms would have needed renumbering anyway as they added one at either side of the existing layout, so while they were at it they changed the 'direction' of numbers to point towards TPE's main route hub in Manchester (this also meant P1 wasn't a bay).

5 (new bay) was added
1 (through Yorkshire) became 4
2 (old through Manchester) became 3
3 (old bay) became 2
1 (2nd through Manchester) was added on to an existing passing/goods loop.
 
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jimm

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Does it really confuse passengers? The platforms at Birmingham Moor Street (6m passengers a year) were renumbered when the bay platforms were reopened and went off with such little fuss I doubt many people noticed.

And passengers somehow coped with the rather more complicated renumbering of Reading when it was rebuilt. It's not as if there is much to get confused by at Oxford anyway with two through platforms that are heavily used and, at present, one bay, that is used by precious few trains.
 

EbbwJunction1

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Complete renumberings are not unknown - York is one example, and IIRC the platforms at Bromley South were renumbered in reverse in 1959 (along with other changes) to be consistent with the stations either side.

Cardiff Queen Street has recently been completely renumbered, so as 30907 says, they're not unknown.
 

LexyBoy

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And passengers somehow coped with the rather more complicated renumbering of Reading when it was rebuilt. It's not as if there is much to get confused by at Oxford anyway with two through platforms that are heavily used and, at present, one bay, that is used by precious few trains.

Reading of course looked rather different, whereas Oxford is unchanged unless one walks to the north end of P3. Also Reading was particularly bonkers with three seperate platforms numbered 4, and an island platform with 5 on one side and 8 the other...

I was briefly confused when I saw the platform number on the boards last weekend - but regular users will just go to their platform without looking at the number, whilst irregular users will follow the platform signs.
 

Deepgreen

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Because in this case there would have been two new platforms numbered 0 (zero) and -1 (minus 1). Given that Oxford station has a higher than usual proportion of users for whom English is not their first language, one can imagine the potential confusion of having platforms numbered +1 and -1... Better to take the bull by the horns and to renumber all the platforms, I would suggest.

However, the change has not been widely communicated and there is certainly room for confusion, given that there is now a platform numbered 2 which is on the opposite face of the same "island" as the previous platform 1.

I rather like the concept of a platform minus 1! I do think, though, that all stations where additional platforms are provided should re-number and simply provide clear signs - regular users would very quickly adapt and irregular ones won't know the difference. My example of Redhill also has quite a number of foreigners, using Gatwick services, and the platform numbering signs are quite poor now in any case, with countless passengers confused about platforms 1 and 2s' A and B ends because the signs are nowhere near as clear as they should be.
 

swt_passenger

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Whether they renumber or not will depend on the wider impact on the signalling. If it involves changes to theatre indicators which advise the route to the driver by platform number, then it starts getting costly. Apparently that is why one of the worst examples, Stratford, has never been altered to be a bit more logical.
 

jimm

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Reading of course looked rather different, whereas Oxford is unchanged unless one walks to the north end of P3. Also Reading was particularly bonkers with three seperate platforms numbered 4, and an island platform with 5 on one side and 8 the other...

It may be unchanged now but it soon will change - and the previous arrangement was just as confusing in its own smaller way as Reading, a place where they really should have renumbered long before it actually happened.

Also as noted above, the new Oxford set-up provides future-proofing for the future addition of a new platform behind what is now platform 4, with that one, when built, logically numbered 5.
 

MK Tom

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What makes you even suggest that? GWR are still providing the majority of services to and from Oxford.

The operator providing the most services doesn't always manage a station. For example Rugby would be managed by London Midland were that the case.
 

swt_passenger

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The operator providing the most services doesn't always manage a station. For example Rugby would be managed by London Midland were that the case.

I know, and there are similar exceptions all over the place.

But there's still absolutely no justification for changing Oxford, just because Chiltern change from terminating one tph to two tph.

--- old post above --- --- new post below ---

Reading of course looked rather different, whereas Oxford is unchanged unless one walks to the north end of P3. Also Reading was particularly bonkers with three seperate platforms numbered 4, and an island platform with 5 on one side and 8 the other...

Reading was logically re-numbered before the work started on the main station of course, around the time the new 'Southern' platform came into use - Christmas 2011 IIRC.

The four through platforms available at that time took their final numbers, P7,8,9,10, and the up relief bay took P11 as it would eventually become the fifth main line platform.

The London end bay on the main island (eventually filled in) changed at that time from P6 to P16, as it would be an unused number in the final arrangement.

The country end bay P7 went out of use, hence the main island being just P8 and P9 either side.

I thought it was quite a clever idea, to get people used to the new system before the main demolition ever started...
 
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