Station announcer at Crewe yesterday

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trainophile

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I'm sure he's a lovely bloke, but I can't be alone in finding this guy's announcements almost totally indiscernible. He has such a gutteral voice, and possibly a heavy regional accent, although it's hard to tell which region.

It's a good thing there are real time display boards at the station, because it would be impossible to find your platform and hear any relevant information when this chap is on the PAS.

Why do some stations have announcers and/or tannoy systems that are patently not suitable for purpose?
 
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dvboy

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I complained about this by twitter to @VirginTrains a few months ago (December I think) and the announcer changed within 10 minutes, but clearly that was just a short term solution or may have been co-incidence.
 

trainophile

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Glad it's not just me then, although I'd hate to get the guy in trouble. He probably doesn't have much choice in the duties he's given. Maybe he's just a relief when the regular announcers aren't available.
 

tsr

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Unfortunately, it seems that if automated announcements are for whatever reason not giving out the correct information, pretty much any available station or control room staff can end up giving out announcements. At stations with few or no automatic information systems, I should think the situation is rather different, but the same random choice may apply. Most of the time here in the south manual PA announcements can run alongside automated systems, giving considerable confusion and the need for even more explanatory announcements! Fortunately, though, it seems to be rare for completely unintelligible manual announcers to be chosen, notwithstanding dodgy PA systems. I am pretty sure, though, that whilst complaints through Twitter or however else are taken seriously, any change in announcer is generally due to staff shift changes or changes in overall requirements.
 

Phil6219

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Oddly enough when I was waiting for my train back from Crewe on Monday he was announcing a southbound service, a pair of mid 50 to early 60s passengers were chatting about the announcement, I had to say "yeah like Donald Pleasance with a cold" which got a laugh.

I watched a remastered DVD from the mid 1980s and I'm 99% certain it was this guy announcing then.

I much prefer manual announcements over the automated ones, for instance if anyone has spent longer than an hour at Wigan North Western one would likely go insane from the repeated bombardment of automated announcements. Fortunately the staff seem to have had this turned off on a number of occasions, though perhaps it was because a number of specials were due through and they were being nice to us (the amount of times it's started some security or smoking announcement as something important comes flying through is unbelievable). I must admit that the staff at WGN are nice, on a number of occasions where the auto has started they cut it off.

It's not just the spotting side though, the automated announcements are just irritating whichever way you look at it. They can give out the wrong information, they also constantly bombard everyone with announcements about not to leave bags unattended, and that smoking is still illegal, not to run on wet platforms, cycling is not allowed and then perhaps the odd train arrival too...

I tell you what the day they introduce automated announcements at Acton Bridge I'll put away my camera for good. I'm not doing a 14 hour stint of that thank you very much...

Phil 8-)
 

LNW-GW Joint

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At Crewe it's the "passengers should cross to Platform xx in a calm manner..." announcement for platform alterations which gets me, as though all passengers are normally hooligans and might smash the place up.
In any case platform alterations are usually only cross-platform from P6 to P11 (or sometimes P5 to P1) and are no big deal if you know your way about.
It's also the kind of announcement designed to get your dander up even if you were perfectly "calm" beforehand.
 

All Line Rover

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That guy does the announcements all the time and is a real pain, as almost everyone finds his speech to be indiscernible. Why Virgin don't swap him to dispatch duties I don't know, although if he was a former BR employee maybe it's because he has additional employment rights?

The two other regular announcers are a young woman and a middle aged woman. Both are extremely clear and ideally suited to the job.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
At Crewe it's the "passengers should cross to Platform xx in a calm manner..." announcement for platform alterations which gets me, as though all passengers are normally hooligans and might smash the place up.

I've never heard that.
 

gnolife

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That guy does the announcements all the time and is a real pain, as almost everyone finds his speech to be indiscernible. Why Virgin don't swap him to dispatch duties I don't know, although if he was a former BR employee maybe it's because he has additional employment rights?

The two other regular announcers are a young woman and a middle aged woman. Both are extremely clear and ideally suited to the job.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---


I've never heard that.

I have trouble hearing what the young woman announcer is saying - and that's had me miss trains before - you know you're in trouble when your waiting on platform 1 for a train to Manchester and it wanders into 6, 15 minutes late. Especially when you don't hear the train come in, and can't understand the announcement.
 

tsr

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It's rather off topic/location, but speaking of irritating announcements, there's the one at some Southern stations that repeats itself very quickly when a train is dividing or coupling up. "Please stand clear while the train is being detached please stand clear while the train is being detached please stand clear while the train is being detached." One half of the train then moves a few feet (with its doors closed to any passengers, of course, so they'd have no need to go near the train anyway).

Then there's the automatic announcement that goes off on the upgraded information systems at deserted stations on the North Downs Line: "Please DO NOT leave any items of luggage unattended on the station. Suspicious items may be removed or damaged by the security services." Yes, I've yet to see the bomb squad prowling Betchworth station, but anyway...
 

All Line Rover

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I have trouble hearing what the young woman announcer is saying - and that's had me miss trains before - you know you're in trouble when your waiting on platform 1 for a train to Manchester and it wanders into 6, 15 minutes late. Especially when you don't hear the train come in, and can't understand the announcement.

Admittedly she is a bit quiet. But compared to the other guy... :roll:
 

Johnuk123

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I complained about this by twitter to @VirginTrains a few months ago (December I think) and the announcer changed within 10 minutes, but clearly that was just a short term solution or may have been co-incidence.

The chance of Virgin Trains removing a station announcer because of your twitter post is less than nil.
 

David10

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Then there's the automatic announcement that goes off on the upgraded information systems at deserted stations on the North Downs Line: "Please DO NOT leave any items of luggage unattended on the station. Suspicious items may be removed or damaged by the security services."
And at many stations, yet passengers are so imune to it that when there is an unattended bag nobody seems to worry. Unattended bags were a threat in the IRA days but the current threat is likely to be attached to a person.
 

tsr

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And at many stations, yet passengers are so imune to it that when there is an unattended bag nobody seems to worry.

My point perhaps is that I challenge you to find you to actually find a passenger who could be immune to that announcement or not on most of the North Downs Line platforms at, for example, at Wanborough at 3pm on a rainy Saturday in April (one occasion on which I heard it).

The risk of someone initiating a security false alarm in such a scenario is probably rather low, and the probability of a false alarm being prevented by an announcement is doubtless even lower...

Busy stations, maybe.
 

TDK

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That guy does the announcements all the time and is a real pain, as almost everyone finds his speech to be indiscernible. Why Virgin don't swap him to dispatch duties I don't know, although if he was a former BR employee maybe it's because he has additional employment rights?

The two other regular announcers are a young woman and a middle aged woman. Both are extremely clear and ideally suited to the job.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---


I've never heard that.

And what would you know about this man? He cannot help they way he speaks and these comments are just guesses on your part. By the way he has a nick name and it is in fact Mr. Mumble.
 

the sniper

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I complained about this by twitter to @VirginTrains a few months ago (December I think) and the announcer changed within 10 minutes, but clearly that was just a short term solution or may have been co-incidence.

It was probably a coincidence...

Some people on Twitter do amuse me.

At Crewe it's the "passengers should cross to Platform xx in a calm manner..." announcement for platform alterations which gets me, as though all passengers are normally hooligans and might smash the place up.
In any case platform alterations are usually only cross-platform from P6 to P11 (or sometimes P5 to P1) and are no big deal if you know your way about.
It's also the kind of announcement designed to get your dander up even if you were perfectly "calm" beforehand.

Do you not think that was said tongue in cheek?
 
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He - and all station announcers - should take lessons from the lady at Fenchurch Street station. Lovely clear modulated voice with impeccable ennunciation.

Down here in Southern land we have a real belter, a bloke with a lithp.
"Thith ith the thouthern thecurity and informathon thentre. Pleath do not leave unattended packageth on the platformth".
 

VTPreston_Tez

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Prestons announcements are inaudible, the announcer (manual) is always the same guy and is from what I have heard the biggest complaint of Preston station.
There are a number of stations that don't announce fast trains, Clapham Junction misses a fair few.
 

Phil6219

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As for stations not announcing fast trains, Wigan NW & Warrington Bank Quay spring to mind. It would be nice if it did so at Wigan given it would mean "start recording" as all the good stuff doesn't stop. Actually the automated system did occasionally announce a fast train, usually as the train is either 2 minutes away or already passing. The staff did it manually a few weeks ago when the steam specials came through, which was handy :D

I like that thing at Three Bridges where when a fast train approaches a few musical notes play, so simple and effective. It would still announce the fast train first then as it got closer to the station it would play the notes. I've heard it at one or two other stations on the Brighton Main Line, is it stuff left over from the southern region, NSE or Southern Railways?

Phil 8-)
 

Aictos

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I have to do announcements from time to time especially concerning late trains and when Anne doesn't give a reason yet its known why the train is delayed.

These announcements are only done when the ppm threshold has been crossed ie over 5 late for locals and over 10 late for long distance services.

Now you have to bear in mind; sometimes when I speak, I do speak with a Lancashire accent even though I work and live nowhere near Red Rose country - this is because my mother and maternal grandparents used to live there.

It used to give me trouble at school as teachers used to think I had a speech problem - despite all this I do try to give information in a clear and consis manner.
 

barrykas

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Then there's the automatic announcement that goes off on the upgraded information systems at deserted stations on the North Downs Line: "Please DO NOT leave any items of luggage unattended on the station. Suspicious items may be removed or damaged by the security services." Yes, I've yet to see the bomb squad prowling Betchworth station, but anyway...

I'm afraid that's a legal requirement, mandated by the D(a)FT. If memory serves, security announcements have to be made at least every 30 minutes (more frequently if a higher alert level applies), regardless of whether anyone's around to hear them.
 

asylumxl

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I think I've heard the guy before when visiting Crewe, and found him perfectly understandable.

Perhaps it is not him who is uncomprehensible, but you who is in need of listening comprehension lessons? :p
 

317666

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I like that thing at Three Bridges where when a fast train approaches a few musical notes play, so simple and effective. It would still announce the fast train first then as it got closer to the station it would play the notes. I've heard it at one or two other stations on the Brighton Main Line, is it stuff left over from the southern region, NSE or Southern Railways?

I believe that was installed by Connex, I've heard it at Horsham and East Croydon as well. The four-note chime basically means "Look at the information screens", as whenever it sounds the screens display 'fast train approaching', 'train ready to depart', or a correction.
 

CNash

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Can't be helped at the moment, of course, but announcements at Waterloo have a good chance of being completely inaudible due to the building works taking place on the new balcony. :)
 

Crossover

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Admittedly she is a bit quiet. But compared to the other guy... :roll:

A bit quiet? If we're thinking about the same person, she is really quiet and also very monotone/sounds completely uninterested in what is going on
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
There are a number of stations that don't announce fast trains, Clapham Junction misses a fair few.

Seriously...anything having to keep up with the sheer number of arrivals/departures here would probably implode in the process!

Anyway, it may be that they are mostly there but you can't hear them all from all the platforms.

Stafford usually announce non stoppers on the slow lines (where possible) but anything through the fasts, on the whole, goes unannounced (unless it is a special which they sometimes announce for the benefit of enthusiasts there)
 

Schnellzug

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I believe that was installed by Connex, I've heard it at Horsham and East Croydon as well. The four-note chime basically means "Look at the information screens", as whenever it sounds the screens display 'fast train approaching', 'train ready to depart', or a correction.

What SWT do is, if the platform displays are altered, it goes "bing bong", and the pointless anutomated nanny announcements are prefixed with "bong bong bong bing", so you know that you needn't take any notice.
 

fairysdad

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I'm afraid that's a legal requirement, mandated by the D(a)FT. If memory serves, security announcements have to be made at least every 30 minutes (more frequently if a higher alert level applies), regardless of whether anyone's around to hear them.
I shan't say which station to protect the innocent (well, guilty if it's a legal requirement) but I was purchasing a ticket at a station, the 'Please do not leave...' announcement came on over the tannoy; the person in the ticket office leant over, pressed a button to stop the announcement saying (though not over the speakers!) 'Oh shut up, nobody cares' :lol:

It was only me, him and the woman in the station shop that was at the station at the time though - if it's a requirement for doing every 30 minutes, I guess both of them were sick of hearing it...
 
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