Unhelpful automated announcements

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aformeruser

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An announcement following the usual announcement for Liverpool-Norwich at Liverpool Lime Street

"Due to a technical reason this train will not call at.... Grantham.... today."

Can they not have a greater range of automated announcements options and say things like
"Due to emergency engineering works..."
"A replacement bus service is running between... and ...."
 
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chuckles1066

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An announcement following the usual announcement for Liverpool-Norwich at Liverpool Lime Street

"Due to a technical reason this train will not call at.... Grantham.... today."

Can they not have a greater range of automated announcements options and say things like
"Due to emergency engineering works..."
"A replacement bus service is running between... and ...."
I liked the one at Bath Spa about 18 months ago: "the train now approaching platform 1 is not due to stop at this station - please stand well back from the platform edge".

Except the train did indeed stop and turned out to be the regular service to Bristol.

Until you've seen a platform of confused British commuters you haven't seen anything.
 

aformeruser

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I liked the one at Bath Spa about 18 months ago: "the train now approaching platform 1 is not due to stop at this station - please stand well back from the platform edge".

Except the train did indeed stop and turned out to be the regular service to Bristol.

Until you've seen a platform of confused British commuters you haven't seen anything.
Interesting that I remember an incorrect announcement with a TPE service at Newcastle (when the service did Sunderland-Newcastle-Liverpool) saying "The train at platform x is not for public use." It said Liverpool on the front and the guard had released the doors and everyone ignored the announcement and got on.

There must be a difference in attitude between Bristol and Newcastle!
 

Monty

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An announcement following the usual announcement for Liverpool-Norwich at Liverpool Lime Street

"Due to a technical reason this train will not call at.... Grantham.... today."

Can they not have a greater range of automated announcements options and say things like
"Due to emergency engineering works..."
"A replacement bus service is running between... and ...."
The CIS system does actually have large range of automated annoucements, including one for emergency engineering works. However how they are controlled or who decides what message is broadcast is another matter entirely! ;)
 

trainophile

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An announcement following the usual announcement for Liverpool-Norwich at Liverpool Lime Street

"Due to a technical reason this train will not call at.... Grantham.... today."

Can they not have a greater range of automated announcements options and say things like
"Due to emergency engineering works..."
"A replacement bus service is running between... and ...."
I thought the point of the unhelpfulness was that such an announcement should be followed with "passengers wanting to travel to Grantham should...."

That's what I hate, notices of cancellation or similar but with no advice for the affected passengers.

Edit: Missed your last line - do you mean that they ought to include information about the replacement arrangements?
 

12CSVT

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About a year or two ago I was at Smethwick Galton Bridge, and there were announcements every few minutes about non-stopping trains (understandable as the low level line is very busy with non stop trains). However, the announcements waffled on for ages before mentioning which platform the train was passing through, and more often than not, the train passed through before the announcement had finished.
 

Lrd

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I was at Ealing Broadway a while a go and I can recall the announcement "The train approaching platform x (train passes) does not stop here, please stand away (train passes in other direction on different platform) from the platform edge".

You can't hear the announcements as the trains are passing (at most stations, not just Ealing Broadway) so either play them a little earlier, or just don't make them so long, short and sweet is best!
 

class26

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An announcement following the usual announcement for Liverpool-Norwich at Liverpool Lime Street

"Due to a technical reason this train will not call at.... Grantham.... today."

Can they not have a greater range of automated announcements options and say things like
"Due to emergency engineering works..."
"A replacement bus service is running between... and ...."
But surely the most laughable must be thta heard at Kings Cross, often when its a blistering hot day "due to todays inclement weather floors may be slippery"

Health and safety gone mad ?????
 

crewmeal

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I suppose these days many people lack confidence when talking down a microphone, especially if they c**k up the announcement.

Give me the ladies back in the 50's who did a superb job announcing at major stations around the UK. At least they spoke slowly so they could be understood.
 

ng1980

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I used to quite regularly travel from Hither Green to London Charing Cross on weekends, and on weekdays approx 5-6pm.

On weekdays from about 4pm to 6pm, in addition to the usual services from Orprington/Sevenoaks and Dartford/Gravesend, there were some services which arrived Hither Green as ECS where they entered service, ran fast to London Bridge then Waterloo East and Charing Cross.

These trains were almost completely empty (on average 2 passengers per carriage, although quite frequently a carriage to myself). It was quite clear that these services were run simply to get stock into London for peak out-of-London services, and I assume the reason why they started at Hither Green rather than further back is so they had the flexibility to get stock from Dartford/Gravesend (platform 5) or Grove Park (platforms 1 or 3) as needed. These trains usually arrivied at platform 5, although did sometimes arrive at platforms 1 or 3, despite platform 1 not usually being used for stopping services.

The station destination boards and automated announcements would make an announcement "The next train at platform X is not for public use. Please do not board this train.". The very first time I saw this, I didn't board the train (I thought it probably was the Charing Cross service, but wanted to stay on the safe side), and then my Charing Cross service had vanished from the boards. In future, I always took them, despite the announcements.

Many times there were confused looking people so I would say "This is the Charing Cross service". They would look at me confused and usually tell me that the boards say it is not in service. I would reply "I know, but it is the service to Charing Cross" and then get on. Sometimes they would follow and sometimes they wouldn't, but I did my best to help them.

I was quite impressed that they bothered to pick up passengers rather than run ECS. It was always helpful that I had more frequent services, nicer to have quicker trains and more comfortable not to have to see or hear other passengers.

I presume these still run, but I don't know as I moved out of the area in 2006. I did stay the area for a few weeks in 2009 and they were still running.
 

aformeruser

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I thought the point of the unhelpfulness was that such an announcement should be followed with "passengers wanting to travel to Grantham should...."

That's what I hate, notices of cancellation or similar but with no advice for the affected passengers.

Edit: Missed your last line - do you mean that they ought to include information about the replacement arrangements?
Well they should do something. From the generic announcement given Grantham passengers don't know whether the next train will call there and they should wait for that, whether they need to change to another train or whether they need to catch a replacement bus service.

At Manchester Piccadilly a few weeks ago when ATW South Wales services were starting and terminating at Crewe instead of Manchester there were regular manual announcements telling passengers to catch the next train to Crewe and which platform the next train to Crewe was departing from. That's the kind of information required but there was no confirmation from the announcements whether Virgin and Northern would be accepting ATW only advance tickets.
 

68000

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The stupid loop they have on at Luton Airport Parkway is infuriating for any passenger who stays in the station for more than a minute

The one about not using the stairs with luggage, use the lift
 

LE Greys

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I liked the one at Bath Spa about 18 months ago: "the train now approaching platform 1 is not due to stop at this station - please stand well back from the platform edge".

Except the train did indeed stop and turned out to be the regular service to Bristol.

Until you've seen a platform of confused British commuters you haven't seen anything.
That's changed a bit since I used to travel there regularly. With the early ones you had:
"The train now approaching Platform 1 . . ."
*Several minutes of nothing*
"Bath Spa, this is Bath Spa. The train now standing at Platform 1 . . ."
*Still no train*
Finally the train turned up about two minutes later.
 

chuckles1066

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That's changed a bit since I used to travel there regularly. With the early ones you had:
"The train now approaching Platform 1 . . ."
*Several minutes of nothing*
"Bath Spa, this is Bath Spa. The train now standing at Platform 1 . . ."
*Still no train*
Finally the train turned up about two minutes later.
Yep, the announcements are still woefully out of synch :)
 

ATW Alex 101

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About a year or two ago I was at Smethwick Galton Bridge, and there were announcements every few minutes about non-stopping trains (understandable as the low level line is very busy with non stop trains). However, the announcements waffled on for ages before mentioning which platform the train was passing through, and more often than not, the train passed through before the announcement had finished.
The day my avatar was taken at smethwick galton bridge, the announcements were exactly the same as you described them!
 

rdwarr

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But surely the most laughable must be thta heard at Kings Cross, often when its a blistering hot day "due to todays inclement weather floors may be slippery"
King's Cross also has "Would passengers wishing to travel on this service please board the train NOW as it is ready to leave" often played to a platform full of increasingly bemused commuters still waiting for the train to arrive.
 

Drsatan

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One of SWT's automated announcements was: "You must buy a ticket before traveling on one of our trains". Very helpful if there was no ticket office or TVM at the station you boarded, the TVM didn't work, or you wanted to buy GroupSave tickets which aren't available from TVMs.
 

aformeruser

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I suppose these days many people lack confidence when talking down a microphone, especially if they c**k up the announcement.
The manual ones at Stockport work fine and are a lot more informative.

There was one at around 16:50 one afternoon a long the lines of "This announcement for passengers wishing to travel on the 16:58 to Chester. This service has been delayed due to a shortage of stock at Northern Rail's Newton Heath depot. Northern will send down a unit as soon as one is available but are not able to say exactly how long that will be."
 

317666

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About a year or two ago I was at Smethwick Galton Bridge, and there were announcements every few minutes about non-stopping trains (understandable as the low level line is very busy with non stop trains). However, the announcements waffled on for ages before mentioning which platform the train was passing through, and more often than not, the train passed through before the announcement had finished.
At Bishops Stortford it's the opposite, a 'Please stand back' etc. message comes up on the CRT screens a good three or four minutes before the train actually passes!
 

railuser007

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Thinks the worst one is in Reading, where the boards say the train to depart from Platform 11 and the automated says it changed to platform 10 (mind you the people are already in the train) and a nearly a minute later a human comes on to say to ignore the previous message (all this usually happens with about 3 minutes to go before the train leaves!).

All this for the 1848 to Ealing Broadway.
 

island

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I'm surprised nobody has mentioned "Parents and guardians are reminded that the station can be a dangerous environment. Trains may pass through at high speed and without prior warning. When on the station and aboard train services children should be supervised at all times."
 

ainsworth74

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Whilst there isn't an announcement that says that at Darlington there are couple of posters on the station that say that (or words to that effect).
 

trentside

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I'm surprised nobody has mentioned "Parents and guardians are reminded that the station can be a dangerous environment. Trains may pass through at high speed and without prior warning. When on the station and aboard train services children should be supervised at all times."
Some of the things I've seen recently suggest that there is a need for announcements or posters about this, it's just a shame that the people they'd likely apply to wouldn't listen to them. To most of us it just seems like common sense, but to some people the platform is something their children can use as a playground - till the point they nearly run onto the tracks.

I've also encountered staff having to correct automated announcements and information displays at Oxford recently - the announcements there were also constantly correcting a delay to a train, almost every couple of minutes, from 5-10 minutes delay without providing a reason.
 
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This was on a Scotrail train - not helpful to sight impaired passengers. "We shall shortly be arriving at Girvan" we were at Ayr! Followed by: "We shall shortly be arriving at Ayr" just as we're pulling in to Kilmarnock! Although not sight impaired, personally, I did think, this was unhelpful to those who are. Also to those who were unfamiliar with the route. I suspect there was a technical issue here.
 
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gnolife

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'Platform 10 is for the 13:46 Northern service to Crewe via Manchester Airport, calling at Mauldeth Road, Burnage, East Didsbury, Gatley, Heald Green, Manchester Airport, Wilmslow, Alderley Edge, Holmes Chapel, Sandbach and Crewe'.
A perfectly reasonable announcement, apart from the fact that it was given at 13:48 and the train had left on time.
 

oversteer

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I think the most unhelpful one lately is

"Hello folks! This is the mayor of London ... if you thought the Northern Line was bad now, just wait until next week!"

[may have made some of that up]
 

asylumxl

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The stupid loop they have on at Luton Airport Parkway is infuriating for any passenger who stays in the station for more than a minute

The one about not using the stairs with luggage, use the lift
Imagine waiting for a connection in the evening... :(

I almost feel suicidal every time I am on the platforms at that station.
 

dcd

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Yesterday I was on a SE from Waterloo East to London Bridge. The Announcement said that this train divides at Ashford front 4 coaches for x rear 3 coaches for y. This is coach 8 of 7. The train actually was formed of two 4 coach units.


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