Station information systems and additional services

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TUC

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I've been caught up in the disruption caused by the lineside fire at Retford and have just got into Doncaster around 80 mins late and have transferred onto a shuttle service to Leeds. Information during the disruption on has been generally chaotic, but what has caused particular chaos at Doncaster is that there was a shuttle service to Leeds leaving from Platform 1. We, and clearly paseengers from several other trains, had been advised to catch this. However what was causing confusion was that the electronic departures screen at platform 1 comtinued to insist that the train was a 1857 to Kings Cross. This led to a stream of passengers getting on and off the train.


It did make me wonder whether there was a lack of ability for electronic departure screens to be able to reflect additional servixes such as this one. Does anyone know whether this is the case?
 
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PHILIPE

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I've been caught up in the disruption caused by the lineside fire at Retford and have just got into Doncaster around 80 mins late and have transferred onto a shuttle service to Leeds. Information during the disruption on has been generally chaotic, but what has caused particular chaos at Doncaster is that there was a shuttle service to Leeds leaving from Platform 1. We, and clearly paseengers from several other trains, had been advised to catch this. However what was causing confusion was that the electronic departures screen at platform 1 comtinued to insist that the train was a 1857 to Kings Cross. This led to a stream of passengers getting on and off the train.


It did make me wonder whether there was a lack of ability for electronic departure screens to be able to reflect additional servixes such as this one. Does anyone know whether this is the case?

They can go haywire in case of disruption because they can't think for themselves and show what should be happening. It requires somebody to make manual alterations to override them. This sort of situation does not aid passengers at all who need definite advice during times of disruption.
 

Expression357

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I've been caught up in the disruption caused by the lineside fire at Retford and have just got into Doncaster around 80 mins late and have transferred onto a shuttle service to Leeds. Information during the disruption on has been generally chaotic, but what has caused particular chaos at Doncaster is that there was a shuttle service to Leeds leaving from Platform 1. We, and clearly paseengers from several other trains, had been advised to catch this. However what was causing confusion was that the electronic departures screen at platform 1 comtinued to insist that the train was a 1857 to Kings Cross. This led to a stream of passengers getting on and off the train.


It did make me wonder whether there was a lack of ability for electronic departure screens to be able to reflect additional servixes such as this one. Does anyone know whether this is the case?

To get the additional service onto the departure boards you have to add it into Darwin, and to do that, you need to generate a schedule and then allocate the platforms for it; and get a VSTP generated so that the TD tracking tracks the Darwin schedule.

In the meantime, the train is there ready to depart with a special headcode interposed by the Signal Box, but before the schedule has been generated.
 

TUC

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To get the additional service onto the departure boards you have to add it into Darwin, and to do that, you need to generate a schedule and then allocate the platforms for it; and get a VSTP generated so that the TD tracking tracks the Darwin schedule.

In the meantime, the train is there ready to depart with a special headcode interposed by the Signal Box, but before the schedule has been generated.
In this case though I understand it is a shuttle service that VTEC has been running during the disruption today, so presumably there would be time to at least get the later trains in the schedule loaded up to display?


If nothtimg else, it would be better to set the screen to showing generic staion messages rather than the wrong information
 

PHILIPE

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In this case though I understand it is a shuttle service that VTEC has been running during the disruption today, so presumably there would be time to at least get the later trains in the schedule loaded up to display?


If nothtimg else, it would be better to set the screen to showing generic staion messages rather than the wrong information

Or turn the screens off. Wrong info is worse than no info at all provided human beings can direct passengers accordingly.
 

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It was a bit of a frustrating time generally with information. At Kings Cross the 1603 service to Bradford was shown as cancelled. Passengers were directed to use the 1606 VTEC service to Leeds which was shown as running. However, it was then advised that the 1606 was also cancelled and that passengers should use the 1600 Aberdeen service.

Checking online partway through the journey I discovered that the 1603 GC service was running after all, albeit around 15 minutes late, and so was somewhere behind our train. My plan was to change onto it at Doncaster. However, after Newark we got diverted via Lincoln. By the time we got to Doncaster the GC service had long departed. Presumably it had not been diverted and remained on the ECML. To add insult to injury, when I finally arrived at Bradford, having changed at Doncaster and Leeds, the empty GC train set was sat empty on the adjoining platform, having arrived much earlier!.
 
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Expression357

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In this case though I understand it is a shuttle service that VTEC has been running during the disruption today, so presumably there would be time to at least get the later trains in the schedule loaded up to display?


If nothtimg else, it would be better to set the screen to showing generic staion messages rather than the wrong information

Each shuttle train has to be added into Darwin. It's possible when setting these up to have a generic first schedule and then create a simple pattern (increase headcode by 2, run every 30 minutes, for instance, run 20 times). So if this was a shuttle just as the incident had happened then it's more difficult; however, several hours into the incident, with an effective contingency service in place then they ought to be more chance of them being in there.

But ultimately things won't be displayed without linking to Darwin.

It is possible to supress the information on certain screens.
 

TUC

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The 1603 started at Peterborough.

I wasn't aware of that. It is a further example of the lack of clear information that exists in these situations. Mid-joirney yesterday RTT was showing the service as having commenced at KX and, when I contacted GC to ask if it was correct that the 1603 was actually running, their response was to reassure me that my ticket would still be valid on VTEC, not to say that the 1603 was only running from Peterboroigh-which isn't a criticism of RTT (which only pulls the data that other systems are showing) or of GC staff. It just serves to demonstrate how inadequate the information can be for all concerned.


GC didn't help matters with information on their website however. It advised passengers that tickets would be accepted on Northern. What help that was meant to be for passengers at Kings Cross I'm not sure!
 

TheManBehind

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Or turn the screens off. Wrong info is worse than no info at all provided human beings can direct passengers accordingly.

There is a "disruption mode" built into CIS systems which suppresses all trains until the CIS controllers actively load it. This largely comes down to whether the TOC has provided enough staff, or whether the information about additional services gets to the CIS controllers in time (which in itself is often a control room layout issue).
 

Deepgreen

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The two platform information screens I encountered on my journey today looked like this (Betchworth, then Redhill - note the timings at the latter) - great isn't it!?
 

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