train delay information at railway stations

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infobleep

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27 Feb 2011
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Hi there.

The following is antidotal information about how information is given out to customers, baring in mind the Olympics has started.

I was at Haywards Heath station this morning. Passing through the booking hall I noticed on the four detailed platform departure screens that trains to and from Bedford were terminating at Flitwick and there was delays occurring due to a temporary fault with the signalling equipment. I don't know what the other entrance to the station had, if anything, because it's mostly just a subway out into the road. Besides they are screens in the platform which can provide such information..... in theory that is!

I head upstairs onto platforms 3 & 4 and on the departure summery screens it can be seen that FCC trains to and from Brighton are running late. Also alternating with that on those two screens is though information about trains to and from Fareham being delayed due to a temporary fault with the signalling equipment. There is however no mention of the fault at Bedford. Nor did the four booking hall screens mention Fareham! In fact no where on the platform is their a mention of the Bedford issue! Of course very few services go to Farnham directly from Haywards Heath and none at this time of the morning but their may be knock on delays towards London because of it I guess. Of course plenty of trains go direct to and from Bedford!

On top of that I soon hear an automated announcement saying that the 7.20 Gatwick Express is being delayed due to a temporary fault with the signalling equipment at Brighton! Now this isn't on any screen anywhere! Well unless you count my National Rail Enquires app on my mobile but not everyone has one of those.

The train leaves 5 minutes late but due to the slow speed it usually travels at to reach Gatwick, it is after all only an express train, we make most of that up!

Once we depart from Gatwick, we hear the guards version of events, which will no doubt be correct. The train was delayed due to an error of a signalman putting another train on top of another train into Brighton and this train then being delayed as a result, whilst waiting for a platform to be free. I paraphrasing from memory but it was definitely a signalman error.

Clearly no automated announcement or info screen is going to put that message out. So leaving that one aside, there was still two different screens not in the same place reporting different signal failures rather than all the information being in one place.

I can understand a signalman making a mistake, we are all human but as to the information, if that isn't a mistake by the person updating the screens at Brighton, they really need to modernise the system they use.

Of course we are only going to be a couple of minutes late into Victoria, if that. In fact I've been more delayed by trains departing on time than this one leaving 5 minutes late!

This isn't the only example I could provide on information not being in one place or in some cases not reported on my journey and they would all be from within the last three weeks!
 
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R

RailUK Forums

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29 Aug 2010
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696
Ah, Southern. The railway that would rather tell you not to leave luggage unattended or that the trains will be busy during grown up school games show instead of factual information when the trains go wrong - which is getting more increasingly common just lately.
 

Class377/5

Established Member
Joined
19 Jun 2010
Messages
5,594
Hi there.

The following is antidotal information about how information is given out to customers, baring in mind the Olympics has started.

I was at Haywards Heath station this morning. Passing through the booking hall I noticed on the four detailed platform departure screens that trains to and from Bedford were terminating at Flitwick and there was delays occurring due to a temporary fault with the signalling equipment. I don't know what the other entrance to the station had, if anything, because it's mostly just a subway out into the road. Besides they are screens in the platform which can provide such information..... in theory that is!

I head upstairs onto platforms 3 & 4 and on the departure summery screens it can be seen that FCC trains to and from Brighton are running late. Also alternating with that on those two screens is though information about trains to and from Fareham being delayed due to a temporary fault with the signalling equipment. There is however no mention of the fault at Bedford. Nor did the four booking hall screens mention Fareham! In fact no where on the platform is their a mention of the Bedford issue! Of course very few services go to Farnham directly from Haywards Heath and none at this time of the morning but their may be knock on delays towards London because of it I guess. Of course plenty of trains go direct to and from Bedford!

On top of that I soon hear an automated announcement saying that the 7.20 Gatwick Express is being delayed due to a temporary fault with the signalling equipment at Brighton! Now this isn't on any screen anywhere! Well unless you count my National Rail Enquires app on my mobile but not everyone has one of those.

The train leaves 5 minutes late but due to the slow speed it usually travels at to reach Gatwick, it is after all only an express train, we make most of that up!

Once we depart from Gatwick, we hear the guards version of events, which will no doubt be correct. The train was delayed due to an error of a signalman putting another train on top of another train into Brighton and this train then being delayed as a result, whilst waiting for a platform to be free. I paraphrasing from memory but it was definitely a signalman error.

Clearly no automated announcement or info screen is going to put that message out. So leaving that one aside, there was still two different screens not in the same place reporting different signal failures rather than all the information being in one place.

I can understand a signalman making a mistake, we are all human but as to the information, if that isn't a mistake by the person updating the screens at Brighton, they really need to modernise the system they use.

Of course we are only going to be a couple of minutes late into Victoria, if that. In fact I've been more delayed by trains departing on time than this one leaving 5 minutes late!

This isn't the only example I could provide on information not being in one place or in some cases not reported on my journey and they would all be from within the last three weeks!

Haywards Heath is an Southern station so its natural they would have thier own problems up at thier stations.

Also you mention that due to a issue at Brighton this wasn't on national rail enquiries, well it wouldn't as it would only affect a few trains at worst. Their site is set up for disruption more than initial trains. When it's a couple of trains they will show information once it comes from the TOC so they're wouldn't be any information for them to put out. Delays under 5mins are technically 'on time' so won't see much information about them.
 

TrainBoy98

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19 Mar 2012
Messages
378
Location
Worthing
I've just been waiting for a train at East Worthing and we've been waitin an hour for a train. The service pattern is 2tph to Brighton but they weren't coming and the few that did come went straight through at high speed without a horn or anything. We tried the info point but it only said (even when we asked questions) during the Olympics trains will be crowded. On the CIS is was showing our train as on time even tho it was 50mins late. When I went on southern I got a quick reply saying that te train had come, stopped picked up passengers and gone on time although I have 15+ people tha would aggree with me otherwise. They are still waiting. The only info we got was that there was a broken down train at Shoreham and that wa 2 hours ago.
 

infobleep

Established Member
Joined
27 Feb 2011
Messages
10,202
Hi there.
Also you mention that due to a issue at Brighton this wasn't on national rail enquiries, well it wouldn't as it would only affect a few trains at worst. Their site is set up for disruption more than initial trains. When it's a couple of trains they will show information once it comes from the TOC so they're wouldn't be any information for them to put out. Delays under 5mins are technically 'on time' so won't see much information about them.

The Brighton delay was on National Rail Enquires for once. I've had a few recently that were not though.. All I was saying was that the real reason wasn't in there and that I didn't expect It to be. As for the delay. At Haywards Heath it was 5 minutes. It only reduced because the express train usually travels slow to Gatwick due to trains ahead.

However the Brighton train aside, since that was more unusual, the fact they couldn't put the delay information on one screen for the other two delays, doesn't seem right to me? I'm not complaining here about the delay but the way information is given out.

I don't care whether Southern run trains in Fareham or not and those that are being delayed but another passenger might. So why not simply put everything on one screen. Then everyone is happy. Rather than two screens in two totally different locations. It's not rocket science but it may well be that the information systems are old, making what seems a simple task a rather less simple task.
 
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