VTEC moving mk4 carriage labels

Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by SaveECRewards, 14 May 2018.

  1. BucksBones

    BucksBones Member

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    Then you have a situation where each reserved carriage is like a Ryanair plane - you know there are enough seats but if you want to sit with your companions you have to fight your way through the scrum. I’m not sure that would be very popular.

    Back to the mk4s, I really don’t think people need mollycoddling to this extent. Preparing passengers for a change in the position of the carriage letter?! Patronising doesn’t even begin to cover it.
     
  2. transmanche

    transmanche Established Member

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    I must admit to being mystified by the strong negative reaction to VTEC putting some stickers in a different place on one trainset. Some people seem to be getting really worked up over what is (in the grand scheme of things) quite a small detail.

    One only has to glance at the level of detail in the TfL Design Standards to get a feeling for how such subtle detail changes can unconsciously affect people's behaviour. You may think it 'patronising', but such subtle changes are effective.
     
    Last edited: 16 May 2018
  3. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    With increased opportunities to obtain a reservation - on your phone, at a TVM, online, from the buffet where provided etc - not having one would become the exception.
     
  4. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Not if seat selection is offered. You would avoid the scrum as you would already have picked reserved seats together.
     
  5. BucksBones

    BucksBones Member

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    I’m not getting worked up, it really doesn’t matter all that much! I don’t think the stickers telling you where the carriage labels have gone are patronising in themselves, rather the perceived need to trial it on the existing stock; why not just put those stickers by the doors on the new stock? What’s the difference?

    Ah, I must have misunderstood what you were suggesting. I think I see what you mean now.
     
  6. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Ah I see. I didn't mean the old low cost airline style (enough seats for everyone but scrum to pick one) I simply meant that if you want to sit in coach B (say) you need a reservation, so no labelling is used. To ensure people can get one, you widen the opportunities to do so to the same level as reservation compulsory trains plus an opportunity to get them once on board e.g. on your phone or at the buffet. But with a couple of no-reservation coaches you still have the option to just jump on, e.g. for a very short journey.
     
  7. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    How dare the railway try to be more customer-friendly and remove some of the anxiety from train travel!

    There's a lot of attention paid to the environment on trains themselves but I don't think we focus sufficiently on the platform environment.

    With boarding a plane, it's easy/obvious where to go. There's a lot less anxiety about lining up at the wrong door or the wrong gate. There are people to assist you.

    With boarding a train, once you've established which platform to be at, there's the hassle of working out where to stand - platforms are generally longer than the trains that serve them, it's not always obvious which end "First Class" is going to be at, you don't know where on the platform your coach will stop - you don't know where the doors will be. Compare the scrum at some major stations to the Jubilee Line Extension (or Sheffield Supertram etc) where passengers know where to stand before the service arrives.

    BR had a nice idea with the yellow/red stripes above the window to make it obvious where First Class/ Buffet would be. That's very user-friendly (at minimal cost) and could save each service valuable time at platforms (as passengers can work out where a specific coach is before they are within spitting distance of the doors).

    I think that a lot of enthusiasts (who do thousands of miles a year and are familiar with the different operations) forget how challenging rail travel must be to Joe Bloggs and are therefore a bit dismissive of something intended to help "normals".

    Agreed.

    The anti-VTEC stuff on here gets a bit silly at times. For example, there was a recent thread about how nice it had been for them to email affected passengers to inform them that the ex-EMT HST was running a service (i.e. preparing passengers for the lack of wifi, allowing booked passengers to travel on a different service) and that got responses along the lines of "well, why didn't they email me when XYZ happened". They can do no right in some people's eyes.

    I'm sure that if East Coast had come up with these cheap stickers above the windows they'd have been hailed as visionaries!

    TfL really do get it though, they understand how passengers think, they know that you sometimes need more than just one signpost to ensure that people find the right way through a station. Some on here maybe find that patronising, but I think that we need to improve the experience between "flashy website" and "nice environment on board the train" because the intermediate stage (arriving at the station, finding the next fast train towards your destination, knowing where to stand to board) seems to be the weakest link in the chain.

    Plug doors?

    And the fact that a sticker on the door might only be visible to those at the front of the scrum of passengers trying to board (whilst a sticker above the windows can be seen by everyone on the platform so that they can move along towards the correct carriage before the train has come to a halt, rather than waiting to get through the crowd of people at the doors only to then see that the coach in front of them is at a different end of the alphabet to the one they were wanting).

    The only criticism I'd have of VTEC's changes is that this is the kind of thing that the railway should have been doing many years ago - regardless of the move to 801/802s - this is a simple cheap user-friendly move that will make life easier for passengers and we should probably have been doing it on InterCity trains twenty years ago - the fact that this is being done now though is A Good Thing.[/QUOTE]
     
  8. AnonymousUser1

    AnonymousUser1 Established Member

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    which in the case of EC services booked through EC you can can ensure this anyway ...
     
  9. 43096

    43096 Established Member

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    Because the new fleet has some 5-car trains as well as 9-car. The 5-car sets will run in pairs some of the time so they can’t label every set with stickers on them or you’d have duplicate letters on one train. So they will use electronic displays, which are..... where the trial of stickers are placed on the current stock. And no they can’t just move the electronic displays.

    So the thinking is all very logical.
     
  10. STEVIEBOY1

    STEVIEBOY1 Established Member

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    I think having the Yellow Band above First Class and Red above the Buffet was a good idea, (Also as EC is soon to be LNER, will they bring back teak carriages again :D )
     
  11. FQTV

    FQTV Member

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    I’m in complete agreement.

    The only thing perhaps worth mentioning with regard to this thread is, ironically, that it’s also psychologically understandable that those who have become used to Virgin Trains East Coast’s general over-marketing of absolutely everything will have their natural auto-responder set to ‘cynical’.

    With its ‘waheys’ and ‘ooh, awkwards’ and ‘awesomers’ and ‘brand spanking news’, it’s not a company that has a reputation for practical, workaday simplicity or making it easy to understand its instructions (as I’ve said before, how is a non-fluent English speaker trying to use the line linking some of Britain’s biggest tourist attractions supposed to make sense of this colloquially impenetrable twaddle?)

    As it has now shot it itself in the foot with this approach, it’s to be hoped that LNER will better-judge things. And, if they get that right and put coach letter stickers above head height on their trains, you’re quite right that the response will be immediately positive.
     
    Last edited: 17 May 2018
  12. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I agree, and some TOCs haven't dropped the yellow at least.
     
  13. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    This is me really. My initial reaction was very "urgh more blithering idiocy from VTEC". But as I've thought on it more I do think that actually it's quite a good idea.

    But after three years of BS from VTEC the instant reaction to anything is always going to be cynical. I feel like I've got Post Traumatic Virgin Trains Disorder sometimes :lol:
     
  14. STEVIEBOY1

    STEVIEBOY1 Established Member

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    Yes, true, they still use the yellow band on some trains in Europe too.
     
  15. SaveECRewards

    SaveECRewards Member

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    Exactly the same here. It seemed a pointless change but seeing it first hand I agree it's now much easier to spot. So it is an improvement but I do think their official reason for doing it isn't really valid. After all these signs are a lot clearer and more visible than the Azuma electronic ones will be.

    I can be doubly cynical as I don't just get the marketing the public see (and VTEC do like to insult your intelligence, they've said 'we've been listening' when they announced scrapping of the first class quiet coach - in that instance I was sent the survey that they used and the question was what features of first class do you value most. It's obvious most people are going to put more space and catering above the quiet coach). Also in that survey were some cleverly worded questions that implied they might be thinking of getting rid of the chef on evening meal services when Azuma came out but we'll see what happens there.

    As well as the public side of things, a number of staff have also shared internal communications with me. They contain so much nonsense most staff have given up reading them which also means they might miss useful stuff too. Here's a little taster (attached, click on image)
    IMG_2332.JPG
     
  16. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    Fair points - I think that there's been a perfect storm on the forum of...

    • A private company who took over from a nationalised one
    • A company who boast of various bells and whistles (e.g. a lot of enthusiasts get very sneery about TrentBarton boasting about being the "Very Good Bus Company", despite the fact that they are generally a cut above other bus companies)
    • A general dislike of Stagecoach/Virgin, since Souter and Branson are two easy figureheads for the worst excesses of capitalism in the eyes of some people
    ...so when VTEC come up with something simple/ cheap/ user-friendly (that will make journeys for inexperienced travellers less stressful and could reduce dwell time at stations) the natural reaction on here is negative.

    Part of that is because of Virgin's habit of over-selling everything they do, of course, and I'm not defending all of their "awesome" marketing, but it does mean that when they do do something positive you've got to wade through lots of negative reactions before you can find out what is going on.

    Let's see if people's attitudes to various changes are different when it's the "nationalised" LNER making the decisions.
     
  17. gimmea50anyday

    gimmea50anyday Established Member

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    Can't come soon enough. The delay and confusion they cause to TPE and XC services when casual travelers read the letter but not the small print underneath and stand next to the B and C letters only to find the train they at catching stops in a completely different place on the platform
     
  18. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    But a complete absence of platform boards means people could be waiting a whole train length away from where they should be. Ideally there should be enough displays that everyone on the platform can see the details of the next train, and these should be customised to show the coach letters that will be closest to this display for the train in question. But very few stations have enough displays to be able to do this.
     
  19. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Surely platform zones are what are needed? I.e. "Platform 1 for the 08.12 Transpennine Express service to Newcastle. Passengers for this service please wait in Zone 2 on platform 1" Or for a LNER service you could probably go with something like "Platform 1 for the 0828 London North Eastern Railway service to London Kings Cross. First class is towards the front of the train in Zone 1, standard class towards the middle and rear in Zones 2 and 3". You could then have more detailed information on the screens for example those little pictograms could have the zones marked underneath the carriages so you know which zone is for which carriage.
     
  20. James James

    James James Member

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    I don't see numbered zones working well for numbered platforms.

    But plenty of mainland european countries have lettered sectors.

    The Netherlands sem to have fine grained resolution:
    https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wagenstandanzeiger#/media/File:12-04-020_Schiphol.JPG
    // Edit: I'm not so sure anymore, those might just be carriage letters...

    Most of the rest that I know, i.e. DE/AT/CH, have 3-4 (with 2-4 carriages per sector), here's a typical modernised Swiss one (of course, the only photos I can find are all about delayed trains):
    http://www.wasnlos.ch/wasnlos/wp-co.../img_20140811_083725.jpg?uamfiletype=nggImage

    (The old ones were based on the those rolling flap thingies, they also showed similar information but without indicating individual carriages, and often incorrect proportions - those have existed for yonks, but are mostly replaced with digital displays now.)
     
  21. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    It was just an example I'd be happy with letter, colours, heck types of fruit would do the trick! "Passengers for the 17.52 Transpennine Express service please wait in the Banana zone" :lol:
     
  22. gnolife

    gnolife Established Member

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    There's some stations where you'd have to be very careful with lettered zones - I can imagine carnage happening if train gets called for zone c of platform 4 at Birmingham New St at the same time as a train gets called for platform 4c
     
  23. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    Lettered zones also cause confusion with lettered coaches. BR probably had the right idea with the coloured zones that appeared for a few years about 1990.
     
  24. transmanche

    transmanche Established Member

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    Or maybe copy Only Connect and go for Egyptian hieroglyphs instead... ;)

    [​IMG]
    Source
     
  25. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    Do not run in the banana zone.
     
  26. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Yeah, European stations never use letters as platform numbers in that way. A platform added later like that would end up as something like 401 in Germany. Or 404, given how much hassle you have finding it sometimes :D

    Yes, I quite liked those. Not very granular but easy to use. I really can't understand why they stopped using them.
     
  27. Bayum

    Bayum Established Member

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    As if people are getting riled over a change of position of the coach name.
     
  28. duffield

    duffield Member

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    That'd be great! I'd just love to be directed to the 'Horned Viper' zone! ('Snakes on a Train', anyone?:E).
     
  29. Domh245

    Domh245 Established Member

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    I'd just look forward to the pages upon pages of debate that would happen on here about if it should be pronounced 'Horned' (hɔː(ɹ)nd) or 'Hornéd' (hɔː(ɹ)nɪd)
     
  30. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    That would have to be the first coach, so it was near the horn and the vindscreen vipers.
     

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