Do Information Designers Ever Use The Railway?

Deepgreen

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A tortuous journey yesterday on the SWR network made we wonder again if those who design and implement passenger information regimes ever have to use them themselves?! SWR have taken to claiming that trains which may have a departure time over half an hour away are "Due", when they really mean that they are 'On Time'. This is an issue with any reversing train, and I frequently see it at Guildford with, among others, the Farnham shuttles. To claim a departure time half an hour away is "due" is simply wrong, and is another example of the railway inventing new, wrong, terms for ones which already exist! The Farnham train I saw also displayed "Winchester", whereas very many I saw on my travels were simply showing "SWR" - SWR are very poor at this.

Then there is the use of platform train indicators to show other messages, most notably forthcoming engineering works. At Woking, with the service in turmoil yesterday, passengers were dashing from one platform to another as trains were altered, only to see a message about engineering works, not which train was about to leave without them as they waited for the information to be shown! To have passengers dithering around train doors because they can't be sure that they are boarding the right train is counter-productive, as they are likely to obstruct the doors until they see the information they need.

Part of my career on the railway was in designing passenger information systems, and the current state of things is depressing to witness.
 
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Mojo

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Some of the things you see are just so basic and surely simple to program into the system it makes you wonder why the railway industry hasn’t fixed them.

An example from just last night, whilst on my way to a forum meal. I was waiting for a train scheduled for 18.32, this is formed off of an ECS move that is scheduled to arrive at 18.30. Despite the ECS working being shown as due in at 18.35, the board at the station, and online live departures, continued to show ‘On time,’ even after 18.32 had passed, and then it just added estimated time every 1 Min.
 

RailAleFan

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There are station concourse "Next fastest train to" displays that take no account of the time taken to reach platform level or train dispatch door closure policy, and only advance to the next service once Darwin reports an atd (actual time [of] departure) for the currently advertised "next fastest" service.
 

Oxfordblues

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My pet gripe here in Oxford is when a unit leaves the carriage sidings to form the next Up departure from Platform 3. The announcement is something like "This train is not in public service - please do not board this train." On the face of it the advice is correct: the train is a Class 5 empty stock move and clearly does not convey passengers. But as soon as it occupies the platform track-circuit it is automatically re-described as a Class 1 or 2. At this point the train is properly announced with destination and calling-points. So now the train we were a moment ago asked not to board we are now advised to get on! Just how difficult would it be to re-programme the system so as to prevent these misleading announcements for Class 5 stock-moves?
 

The exile

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My pet gripe here in Oxford is when a unit leaves the carriage sidings to form the next Up departure from Platform 3. The announcement is something like "This train is not in public service - please do not board this train." On the face of it the advice is correct: the train is a Class 5 empty stock move and clearly does not convey passengers. But as soon as it occupies the platform track-circuit it is automatically re-described as a Class 1 or 2. At this point the train is properly announced with destination and calling-points. So now the train we were a moment ago asked not to board we are now advised to get on! Just how difficult would it be to re-programme the system so as to prevent these misleading announcements for Class 5 stock-moves?
It requires a human to engage brain and have the guts to say that “computer doesn’t know best”. Unfortunately it appears that no one can be bothered to do this any more. And then they wonder that people don’t pay attention to announcements!
 

greaterwest

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A tortuous journey yesterday on the SWR network made we wonder again if those who design and implement passenger information regimes ever have to use them themselves?! SWR have taken to claiming that trains which may have a departure time over half an hour away are "Due", when they really mean that they are 'On Time'. This is an issue with any reversing train, and I frequently see it at Guildford with, among others, the Farnham shuttles. To claim a departure time half an hour away is "due" is simply wrong, and is another example of the railway inventing new, wrong, terms for ones which already exist! The Farnham train I saw also displayed "Winchester", whereas very many I saw on my travels were simply showing "SWR" - SWR are very poor at this.

Then there is the use of platform train indicators to show other messages, most notably forthcoming engineering works. At Woking, with the service in turmoil yesterday, passengers were dashing from one platform to another as trains were altered, only to see a message about engineering works, not which train was about to leave without them as they waited for the information to be shown! To have passengers dithering around train doors because they can't be sure that they are boarding the right train is counter-productive, as they are likely to obstruct the doors until they see the information they need.

Part of my career on the railway was in designing passenger information systems, and the current state of things is depressing to witness.
The reason the text on the screens says "Due" is because when Worldline was originally introduced on SWR it would say "Arrived" which used platform berth info. This resulted in a large number of complaints being received (namely, passengers believing SWR to be fiddling the Delay Repay system when trains marked as "Arrived" weren't even visible at the station). Unfortunately, this is one of the many failings of the Worldline system SWR and most other TOCs have moved to and is not likely something that'll be changed.

As for the message on the displays, if your career involved the design of passenger info systems then you'll no doubt be aware of how interleaved notices work on displays like that (they show for no longer than 10 seconds). I think it's a good use of the displays to warn people in advance of the works, because they won't look at posters and often have headphones in, thereby ignoring the announcements. I suspect if the service was "in turmoil" with "passengers dashing from one platform to another" then they'll be listening to announcements about which train is theirs as well as looking at display boards.
 

74A

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Computers only do what they have been told by humans. In the Oxford example I don't see why they could not program it so that it knows the class 5 headcode is connected to the next departure so not announce to stand clear.
 
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My pet gripe here in Oxford is when a unit leaves the carriage sidings to form the next Up departure from Platform 3. The announcement is something like "This train is not in public service - please do not board this train." On the face of it the advice is correct: the train is a Class 5 empty stock move and clearly does not convey passengers. But as soon as it occupies the platform track-circuit it is automatically re-described as a Class 1 or 2. At this point the train is properly announced with destination and calling-points. So now the train we were a moment ago asked not to board we are now advised to get on! Just how difficult would it be to re-programme the system so as to prevent these misleading announcements for Class 5 stock-moves?
A similar thing happens at Poole, when a train comes out of the carriage siding to form an up working.
 

Frontera2

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The reason the text on the screens says "Due" is because when Worldline was originally introduced on SWR it would say "Arrived" which used platform berth info. This resulted in a large number of complaints being received (namely, passengers believing SWR to be fiddling the Delay Repay system when trains marked as "Arrived" weren't even visible at the station). Unfortunately, this is one of the many failings of the Worldline system SWR and most other TOCs have moved to and is not likely something that'll be changed.

As for the message on the displays, if your career involved the design of passenger info systems then you'll no doubt be aware of how interleaved notices work on displays like that (they show for no longer than 10 seconds). I think it's a good use of the displays to warn people in advance of the works, because they won't look at posters and often have headphones in, thereby ignoring the announcements. I suspect if the service was "in turmoil" with "passengers dashing from one platform to another" then they'll be listening to announcements about which train is theirs as well as looking at display boards.
There is an easy fix for this, which is what I implemented at the operator where I work, which is to change the config so neither due or arrived is shown. Instead the displays just show the ETD even when the train is in the platform.

As a lead user of Worldline CIS and having invested hundreds of thousands of £ in it over the last few years, I would genuinely welcome more info on your comment about the “many failings” as this isn’t something I recognise…
 

jackot

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A tortuous journey yesterday on the SWR network made we wonder again if those who design and implement passenger information regimes ever have to use them themselves?! SWR have taken to claiming that trains which may have a departure time over half an hour away are "Due", when they really mean that they are 'On Time'. This is an issue with any reversing train, and I frequently see it at Guildford with, among others, the Farnham shuttles. To claim a departure time half an hour away is "due" is simply wrong, and is another example of the railway inventing new, wrong, terms for ones which already exist! The Farnham train I saw also displayed "Winchester", whereas very many I saw on my travels were simply showing "SWR" - SWR are very poor at this.

Then there is the use of platform train indicators to show other messages, most notably forthcoming engineering works. At Woking, with the service in turmoil yesterday, passengers were dashing from one platform to another as trains were altered, only to see a message about engineering works, not which train was about to leave without them as they waited for the information to be shown! To have passengers dithering around train doors because they can't be sure that they are boarding the right train is counter-productive, as they are likely to obstruct the doors until they see the information they need.

Part of my career on the railway was in designing passenger information systems, and the current state of things is depressing to witness.
I use the Farnham to Guildford route a lot, and this problem occurs regularly. I was once at Woking, waiting for a train and a train that was cancelled hours before to Exeter was reported ‘due‘ for 30 mins, whilst passengers waited.
 

Horizon22

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Some of the things you see are just so basic and surely simple to program into the system it makes you wonder why the railway industry hasn’t fixed them.

An example from just last night, whilst on my way to a forum meal. I was waiting for a train scheduled for 18.32, this is formed off of an ECS move that is scheduled to arrive at 18.30. Despite the ECS working being shown as due in at 18.35, the board at the station, and online live departures, continued to show ‘On time,’ even after 18.32 had passed, and then it just added estimated time every 1 Min.

Inward trains that form outward services should have “associations” in the CIS. However it is often the case when issues like this occur that link is either broken or missing altogether.

That being said, presuming this is a major London terminal, someone in control should have updated the information accordingly with a few clicks (presuming of course there was no major disruption).

My pet gripe here in Oxford is when a unit leaves the carriage sidings to form the next Up departure from Platform 3. The announcement is something like "This train is not in public service - please do not board this train." On the face of it the advice is correct: the train is a Class 5 empty stock move and clearly does not convey passengers. But as soon as it occupies the platform track-circuit it is automatically re-described as a Class 1 or 2. At this point the train is properly announced with destination and calling-points. So now the train we were a moment ago asked not to board we are now advised to get on! Just how difficult would it be to re-programme the system so as to prevent these misleading announcements for Class 5 stock-moves?

No that easy to prevent in isolation as it’s a base rule that 5xxx services don’t get boarded as the destination would be all weird. It would require manual intervention each time when the service arrived / was arriving. You couldn’t set it up by time either because of any potential delay.
 

py_megapixel

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As for the message on the displays, if your career involved the design of passenger info systems then you'll no doubt be aware of how interleaved notices work on displays like that (they show for no longer than 10 seconds). I think it's a good use of the displays to warn people in advance of the works, because they won't look at posters and often have headphones in, thereby ignoring the announcements. I suspect if the service was "in turmoil" with "passengers dashing from one platform to another" then they'll be listening to announcements about which train is theirs as well as looking at display boards.
I disagree with that paragraph. If I am rushing for a train and see information on a screen that is not immediately relevant to said train, I will disregard it. Forcing passengers to wade through irrelevant information when they have a clear intent in mind and might well already be stressed is an awful idea and represents poor customer service.

That is, in my opinion, a basic requirement of user interface design - if you know with a reasonable degree of certainty the user needs something specific, why would you hinder them in getting it?

I appreciate not everyone looking at any given screen will be waiting for the train, but there's a pretty good chance that the vast majority will be if it's within a few minutes of departure time. Why can't the interleaved special notices be paused on displays which are showing a train departing within less than, for example, the station's minimum connection time?
 

greaterwest

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As a lead user of Worldline CIS and having invested hundreds of thousands of £ in it over the last few years, I would genuinely welcome more info on your comment about the “many failings” as this isn’t something I recognise…
Quite possibly limited to the SWR network as that's where I primarily travel but there are a number of things I could complain about including poorly cut recordings (ever heard an announcement for the Portsmouth Direct line stopping service?), the unnecessary re-phrasing ("where the train separates", "the next train to leave", "this is a platform change", although I admit this may be a matter of personal preference?), poor timing for announcements (the system announcing two trains in a row when one is delayed, without telling you it's a correction) and stand clear messages playing after a pre-announcement has played on that same platform, for booked passes.

Many of these things were not issues on the Amey CIS system previously in use.

I appreciate not everyone looking at any given screen will be waiting for the train, but there's a pretty good chance that the vast majority will be if it's within a few minutes of departure time. Why can't the interleaved special notices be paused on displays which are showing a train departing within less than, for example, the station's minimum connection time?
I should probably add, that on most displays nowadays the special notices are only displayed at the bottom of the screen so this isn't really an issue. @Deepgreen is referring to a type of screen that will overwrite for 10 seconds a time with the notice before going back to the train service information.
 

Horizon22

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Why can't the interleaved special notices be paused on displays which are showing a train departing within less than, for example, the station's minimum connection time?

As far as I’m aware I don’t think the technology allows you to remove special notices from an associated train after X time. It’s just not technically possible. The special notice (or ‘associated page’) is attached to the train and so long as the train is displayed, so is the rest of the info. It’s binded to it effectively. It might be possible to change the display time (say 5 secs instead of 10) of the special notice, but not sure.

Someone with even more CIS/LICC knowledge might be able to confirm otherwise though. Might be a block edit you could create.
 

johntea

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I overheard a Northern conductor complaining yesterday about how unintiative their ticket machine (phone with printer I guess these days!) was at issuing specific tickets, one example mentioned was they regularly do the Carlisle line and apparently have to process tickets for groups of walkers in individual transactions rather than all in one go

Although 'getting it right' is probably a complex thing when every individual passenger / staff member probably has their own definition of 'right'

Myself I'll probably have my entire journey planned out before I even get to the station on my phone and will likely just rely on looking at my phone screen for any updates but again just a personal preference
 

johnnychips

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Any station displays that don’t always show the current time.

Screens that take ages to go 1/3 departures; 2/3 departures; 3/3 departures. This is particularly inexcusable if there is more than one screen. The first should always show the immediate departures instead of Covid or engineering messages.
 

The exile

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There is an easy fix for this, which is what I implemented at the operator where I work, which is to change the config so neither due or arrived is shown. Instead the displays just show the ETD even when the train is in the platform.

As a lead user of Worldline CIS and having invested hundreds of thousands of £ in it over the last few years, I would genuinely welcome more info on your comment about the “many failings” as this isn’t something I recognise…
Not sure whether all of these these would count as "failings" - but certainly irritating / confusing at best. Most from the Bristol area, so no idea if Worldline or not.

Two displays on the same platform showing conflicting information.

Display showing that the 1st train is the 07.50 to XYZ, now expected at 07.59 and the 2nd train is the 07.57 to XYZ, now expected at 07.58. Doesn't inspire confidence in the accuracy of information - and is very confusing if the trains have different stopping patterns

Platform displays showing trains which don't depart for several hours, just because nothing happens to use the platform in the interim. It's very easy to confuse the 16.16 to ABC with the 18.16 to ABC if you're in a hurry and they are both on the displays for different platforms.

As mentioned above, using platform screens to display any information other than train departures. The only exception to this should be emergency information "Please evacuate the station immediately" for example.

Platform displays still showing a departure as "on time" when there is no hope of this happening (particularly a problem with reversing trains at Temple Meads - still showing as on time for a 16.22 departure to Portsmouth as the train pulls in from Cardiff at 16.21, with a second set to be attached....)

"We regret that the 08.57 to Bristol Temple Meads has been cancelled. Passengers for Bristol Temple Meads - your next fastest available service [since nothing can get overtaken en route, why not just "next train"?] will be the 09.11 to Gloucester. All well and good - except that it's 08.48 and the late-running 08.42 is expected at 08.51, so it's currently "your next fastest available service". (In case people wonder, I can't remember the times and destinations that were actually involved when I observed this one sometime last week)

And one from on-board trains - whoever had the stupid idea that scrolling displays need to use the exact same wording as audio announcements? Phrases such as "May I have your attention please" or "Ladies and gentlemen" at the start of an audio announcement give the brain time to adjust from "hearing" mode to "listening" but are completely superfluous on a written announcement - if I'm reading the display, it already has my attention; if I'm not, I'm not going to know that anyone wants it. The scrolling announcements should be as concise as possible. "Next station: XYZ" not "Our next station will be XYZ" etc.,
 

jayah

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As far as I’m aware I don’t think the technology allows you to remove special notices from an associated train after X time. It’s just not technically possible. The special notice (or ‘associated page’) is attached to the train and so long as the train is displayed, so is the rest of the info. It’s binded to it effectively. It might be possible to change the display time (say 5 secs instead of 10) of the special notice, but not sure.

Someone with even more CIS/LICC knowledge might be able to confirm otherwise though. Might be a block edit you could create.
I am sure it is technically possible. But it would need *code* meaning it would take time and cost money.
 

py_megapixel

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As far as I’m aware I don’t think the technology allows you to remove special notices from an associated train after X time. It’s just not technically possible. The special notice (or ‘associated page’) is attached to the train and so long as the train is displayed, so is the rest of the info. It’s binded to it effectively. It might be possible to change the display time (say 5 secs instead of 10) of the special notice, but not sure.
So is everything - even messages that don't pertain to a specific train, such as "No service between X and Y tomorrow due to industrial action" - associated with a train? I assumed that the system would have a feature to set up messages which display across the entire station.
 

greaterwest

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I assumed that the system would have a feature to set up messages which display across the entire station.
This is exactly how it works (also can be scheduled by platform number, individual display type, or individual displays).
 

Shimbleshanks

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My biggest hate are information screens that show the next dozen or so departures for a few seconds and then, before you have had a chance to read the information about the train you actually want, flip over to the following dozen departures, none of which are leaving within the next half hour or so, and then on to a notice about engineering work happening in two weeks' time and then possibly a security notice for good measure. Only then does it flip back to the immediately-departing trains - by which time yours has probably gone.
 

norbitonflyer

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So much needs fixing.

The misuse of the word "Due". That does not mean "approaching", or "expected". It means the time the train appears in the timetable. The 0727 is/was due at 0727. If the time is 0727, the statement that the 0727 is "due" is redundant. If the time is not 0727, the statement is a falsehood.

"Please stand clear - the next train is not scheduled to call at this station". This is often also a misuse of the language. It is commonly used on our line, despite all trains being timetabled to call at all stations, when "Control" in their ivory tower have decided to skip its scheduled calls to get the train to the end of the line on time (leaving its raisons d'etre standing on the platform). (They seem to get extra Brownie Points for omitting to inform their colleagues in the Delay Repay department of the skip-stopping so that your claim is rejected "because the train ran on time"

ANY misuse of the departure screens for other purposes. However important it is to inform people of icy platforms, timetable changes, etc, the departure screens are not the place to do it. Especially when a train is approaching or in the platform. We need to know where it's going. We also need to know what's happening to the following train - do I run for/squeeze on to this one or is there another one behind? I have let trains go only to discover, too late, that the next train is cancelled and the one behind is 20 minutes late.

"Delayed" - usually means the train should have left the terminus by now but for some reason has not done so. When that happens the system defaults to the scheduled (timetabled) time to determine the order in which trains are displayed. But despite other trains having left the terminus (and therefore showing their expected time of arrival), the "delayed" train will still be shown first, if it was originally due (in the true sense of the word) before the expected actual time of a train which may be only two minutes away - even if the delayed train is twelve miles away and the line is double track with no possibility of overtaking.

In our area, there are two possible routes to London, which diverge before our local station and recombine further on. Occasionally trains intended to take one route have to be diverted via the other, and therefore do not call at my station. The automated system driving the screens at our station fail cope with this, noting that at the divergence point the train was on time (or "x minutes late") and displaying its expected arrival time at our station to be likewise, sometimes for several hours. I have seen, at 9 o'clock, the "first train" being the 0727, "on time". The train in question will in fact have been to London and back by then.

Why does no-one in a managerial position seem to care about this? In any other business such poor information about a service on offer would have the Advertising Standards Authority down on them
 

Horizon22

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So is everything - even messages that don't pertain to a specific train, such as "No service between X and Y tomorrow due to industrial action" - associated with a train? I assumed that the system would have a feature to set up messages which display across the entire station.

You don’t have to attach a notice to a train - it can show separately and there’s normally a noticed screen to allow that.

What I’m saying is that if a notice is attached to a train, you can’t then take that down early for instance.

So much needs fixing.

The misuse of the word "Due". That does not mean "approaching", or "expected". It means the time the train appears in the timetable. The 0727 is/was due at 0727. If the time is 0727, the statement that the 0727 is "due" is redundant. If the time is not 0727, the statement is a falsehood.

"Please stand clear - the next train is not scheduled to call at this station". This is often also a misuse of the language. It is commonly used on our line, despite all trains being timetabled to call at all stations, when "Control" in their ivory tower have decided to skip its scheduled calls to get the train to the end of the line on time (leaving its raisons d'etre standing on the platform). (They seem to get extra Brownie Points for omitting to inform their colleagues in the Delay Repay department of the skip-stopping so that your claim is rejected "because the train ran on time"

ANY misuse of the departure screens for other purposes. However important it is to inform people of icy platforms, timetable changes, etc, the departure screens are not the place to do it. Especially when a train is approaching or in the platform. We need to know where it's going. We also need to know what's happening to the following train - do I run for/squeeze on to this one or is there another one behind? I have let trains go only to discover, too late, that the next train is cancelled and the one behind is 20 minutes late.

"Delayed" - usually means the train should have left the terminus by now but for some reason has not done so. When that happens the system defaults to the scheduled (timetabled) time to determine the order in which trains are displayed. But despite other trains having left the terminus (and therefore showing their expected time of arrival), the "delayed" train will still be shown first, if it was originally due (in the true sense of the word) before the expected actual time of a train which may be only two minutes away - even if the delayed train is twelve miles away and the line is double track with no possibility of overtaking.

In our area, there are two possible routes to London, which diverge before our local station and recombine further on. Occasionally trains intended to take one route have to be diverted via the other, and therefore do not call at my station. The automated system driving the screens at our station fail cope with this, noting that at the divergence point the train was on time (or "x minutes late") and displaying its expected arrival time at our station to be likewise, sometimes for several hours. I have seen, at 9 o'clock, the "first train" being the 0727, "on time". The train in question will in fact have been to London and back by then.

Why does no-one in a managerial position seem to care about this? In any other business such poor information about a service on offer would have the Advertising Standards Authority down on them

Some errors here.

Due is normally to do with a change from “arriving” which was based on berthing and was causing frustrations. I can’t say I’ve seen “due” much myself so it’s probably rather TOC-specific.

Sometimes there are no other screens apart from the platform indicators to display information so that’s where it needs to go. Some TOCs again tend to use this method more than others.

As for skip-stopping that can easily be seen with a trust enquiry and has to be logged, so not sure why Delay Repay teams can’t see that.

“Delayedwill appear automatically if yes it hasn’t left it’s origin but is also automatic if a train has not moved from its current location in 3 minutes (and is not a booked dwell of course). This is what in CIS controllers would call a “999” delay as that’s the code. Normally this occurs because the train is at a stand and it’s unknown how delayed it will be.

It should then show an off expected time but some display boards can’t flash over to “expected dep” and continue to show “delayed”. That again is a technological limitation that apparently costs tens of thousands to fix at some locations.

People do care but you can only work with the constraints you have to work with. There’s a lot of technicalities and specifics in the train service so to solve one issue, you might create a bunch of other unintended effects with the CIS at another point. It would be great to be able to resolve every scenario, but that would probably require huge investment and an overhaul of the Worldline LICC system or something brand new. This would no doubt add extra complexity and still requires human input / coding / intervention to get absolutely spot on at every location.
 
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Deepgreen

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The reason the text on the screens says "Due" is because when Worldline was originally introduced on SWR it would say "Arrived" which used platform berth info. This resulted in a large number of complaints being received (namely, passengers believing SWR to be fiddling the Delay Repay system when trains marked as "Arrived" weren't even visible at the station). Unfortunately, this is one of the many failings of the Worldline system SWR and most other TOCs have moved to and is not likely something that'll be changed.

As for the message on the displays, if your career involved the design of passenger info systems then you'll no doubt be aware of how interleaved notices work on displays like that (they show for no longer than 10 seconds). I think it's a good use of the displays to warn people in advance of the works, because they won't look at posters and often have headphones in, thereby ignoring the announcements. I suspect if the service was "in turmoil" with "passengers dashing from one platform to another" then they'll be listening to announcements about which train is theirs as well as looking at display boards.
I have only ever seen "Due" on SWR - never on other TOCs - so if most TOCs use that system, they have somehow managed to fix the issue and SWR haven't bothered. Privatisation didn't monetise good information provision so the TOCs are not incentivised to address it properly. Platform train indicators at busy, complex stations should only show just that - other screens should show important, but non-urgent information. As for listening to announcements - it's rare to have anything useful broadcast 'live' in a timely and clear manner these days - while I was watching the chaos unfold at Woking there were very few announcements about the frequent platform changes, and the ones which were made were interrupted, sometimes wrong and generally unreliable. What people need when they have just changed platforms at speed is immediate confirmation that the train they are about to board is the right one.

Fundamentally, privatisation has seen operators do their own things with information - inventing stupid new terms for things which didn't need them (the classic SWR use of "calling points" for 'stations' is one of the more grotesque examples!) and being ludicrously wordy rather than concise. See my attached shot of a rambling platform sign by FGW/GWR, which encapsulates how badly wrong things have gone. The sign just needs to say the standard and immediately-recognisable 'No Smoking', and even this tiny sign (and the thousands of others) has had to be re-branded (at a cost) because it had the previous FGW branding on it!

The railway used to be regarded as a bastion of clear, concise and consistent information - that has been destroyed.
 

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D6975

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If you want to see a really bad information system, pay a visit to Cardiff Central. The main problems here are the masses of valley line services clogging up the boards plus the fact that everything is displayed twice, in English and Welsh. On a day when there are delays on valley line services the system can’t cope and a long distance train due in just 10 minutes doesn’t appear on the boards.
 

Parallel

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9 Dec 2013
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3,231
If you want to see a really bad information system, pay a visit to Cardiff Central. The main problems here are the masses of valley line services clogging up the boards plus the fact that everything is displayed twice, in English and Welsh. On a day when there are delays on valley line services the system can’t cope and a long distance train due in just 10 minutes doesn’t appear on the boards.
At least at Cardiff Central, the Valley Lines trains are only announced on Platforms 6 - 8, not 0 - 4. They clearly have to provide bilingual information by law. I’m wondering if they should just install twice as many screens and have half displaying English and half displaying Welsh. It would save on the constant cycling between pages and languages.
 

c52

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8 Jan 2013
Messages
29
There need to be screens that permanently show the next departures, and screens that can show anything else like departures for the next three hours, a warning that the platform is wet and therefore slippery, that leaves are expected on the line sometime in the next month.

What could be simpler?

Apart from requiring those who build and refurbish stations to use non-slip paving.
 

py_megapixel

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Northern England
There need to be screens that permanently show the next departures, and screens that can show anything else like departures for the next three hours, a warning that the platform is wet and therefore slippery, that leaves are expected on the line sometime in the next month.
Would be good if the "rain is wet" warnings would actually be cancelled once the platforms were dry again. Often they aren't!
 

Railcar

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27 Nov 2017
Messages
106
Agreed, agreed, agreed, to so many of the complaints on this thread. If there is information about engineering work, leaves, wet surfaces and all the rest (particularly the now-hated 'See it, say it, sorted') then it should NOT share a platform screen with train information. Nor should it share the train information screen(s) in the booking hall, particularly if this is a long way from the platforms.

Screens are cheap these days. Put all information that is not about the next few trains on a separate screen.
 

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