Thursday, 24 March 2011

Railway Gob-sh1ttery - Everbody

This from the Globetrotter...

Whilst on the subject of meaningless or illiterate announcements, a personal gripe is:

'The train now arriving into the platform'.

This conjours up images of hideous scraping noises, dust and coping stones flying in all directions.

I think it began with London Underground, but it seems to be spreading like wildfire across the national network as well.

What is wrong with 'the train now arriving' or 'at platform X' if really essential for disambiguation.

And don't get me started on the iniquities of 'train station'!

Railway Gob-sh1ttery - Southern

This from Jules...

Every day, at South Croydon my train pulls in and the announcement rings out:

"Please stand clear of the train at platform 4. This train is ready to depart."

Sadly this is before train has even stopped.

Railway Gob-sh1ttery - LUL again

This from a Mr John Bull...

I always get more annoyed than is probably fair at the LU classic:

"[List of Closures followed by]... there is a good service on all other London Underground Lines."

There's an old (possibly apocryphal) story about Lord Reith issuing a decree that the adjective "famous" must not appear in BBC news broadcasts.

This on the grounds that if the person or thing was genuinely famous then it didn't need saying.

The same is true here - the statement is redundant.

We KNOW there's a good service on those lines because if there wasn't they'd have been covered in the list of disruptions.

No need to waste words on it!

The Fact Compiler observes... but what a lovely piece of PR.

Railway Gob-sh1ttery - All TOCs

This from a Mr Leyland National...

My favourite is:

'This train is now approaching its final destination.'

Presumably to be welcomed by an assemblage with gas-axes in hand?

Sassenachs pillage Arthur's Seat, again!

This from Our Man by the Photocopier...

The Edinburgh Tramless saga grinds on, and provides today's Transport Joke.

Q. Where's the best place to wait for an Edinburgh tram?
A. East Croydon station

It's true!

According to Railnews Transport Initiatives Edinburgh is set to offer ten of the trams it doesn't need to Transport for London, which is looking for some extras.

TIE has asked for the formal tender documents from TfL, competing with someone obscure in Poland. With the 'mediation talks' stalled for at least a fortnight, the good people of Edinburgh should be glad they already have a more than half decent bus service.

And sadly some worse than useless, rather expensive and cyclist dismounting rusty tram rails.

Railway Gob-sh1ttery - London Underground

This from 5741 Duck...

London Underground is always very insistent that passengers "Please use all the available doors".

Getting on/off/on/off... etc until you've used all available doors takes ages.

And that was on a quiet day. Imagine if everybody obeyed this in the rush hour: even if they all started at the same end of the train it would be bedlam.

But I don't think LUL really means it, as the doors closed while I was on the platform between cars.

UPDATE: This from Theydon Bois...

Whilst I am still greatly enjoying the mental image of 5741 Duck working along the train in a heroic effort to comply with the perceived instruction to use all the doors, I do rather suspect that LU is addressing passengers collectively rather than individually and that 5741 Duck is misinterpreting this for (undoubted) comic effect.

Mind you, that does not therefore mean the announcement is sensible or necessary, just that it is somewhat more sensible than 5741 Duck would have us believe.

I wonder how long you would get away with trying to do this before the BTP's finest felt obliged to come and discuss it with you.

And whether citing the LU announcement would be an effective defence under Rail Rozzer interrogation.

I do hope it would.

Railway Gob-sh1ttery - Pendolinos

This from a Mr Weinberg...

Heard on Virgin Pendolinos:

Please don't attempt to open doors till train has come to a complete stop

In my experience you can't open the b----y doors till several minutes AFTER the train has come to a stop!

UPDATE: This from a Mr West in the Dominions...

"Complete stop" - do any pendolinos do a "partial stop"?

Maybe a return to GWR-style slip coaches might be one way to serve more stations without increasing journey times.

Pointless signs and pointless announcements

This from Captain Deltic...

Whilst on the subject of Pointless Signs, what about Pointless Announcements?

Has anyone ever seen any passenger get up and 'familiarise' themselves with the safety notices following pre-departure announcements?

UPDATE: This from the Warton Wizard...

At Leeds we have:

"Due to today's wet weather surfaces may be slippery when wet" even when it's sunny

"It is an offence to trespass on the railway, please keep off the tracks"

"This station operates a no smoking policy"

"Security staff patrol this station 24 hours a day"

plus a ludicrous one about a left luggage facility as well as many, many more.

Perhaps Eye should start a feature called Railway Gob-Shittery?

An excellent idea, thank you Warton Wizard.

Have you examples of fatuous announcements, railway gob-shittery or pointless noise pollution? If so send them to Eye at the usual address.

National Express statement on Greater Anglia

This from Dean Finch...

Dear Colleague

I am sorry to report that National Express has not been short-listed by the Department for Transport to bid for the short Greater Anglia franchise, due to run from February 2012. We are seeking urgent clarification from the Department for Transport to explain this decision.

We are naturally very disappointed. We believe we submitted a very positive and high quality pre-qualification document. We are also proud of the significant improvements delivered since we started running NXEA and the on-going industry-leading performance of c2c.

In the meantime we will remain focused on delivering services for our customers, including the introduction of new trains on West Anglia.

We have had a very strong start to the year across the rest of our business. I am confident we can maintain this momentum for the rest of the year and look to many other opportunities in the coming months.

Please cascade as appropriate.


Dean Finch
Group Chief Executive

West Coast franchise prequalification

Sources suggesting that Virgin, Abellio, First, and a Keolis/SNCF joint venture have prequalified for the West Coast franchise.

Happily, for fans of WiFi, DB/Arriva failed to make the grade.

More to follow...

UPDATE: This from the DfT...


The Department for Transport has today announced the names of the companies shortlisted to bid for the new Greater Anglia and InterCity West Coast franchises.

They are:

For Greater Anglia

  • Abellio Greater Anglia Limited (NV Nederlandse Spoorwegen)
  • Eastern Railway Limited (Go-Ahead Group PLC)
  • Stagecoach Anglia Trains Limited (Stagecoach Group plc)
For InterCity West Coast:
  • Abellio InterCity West Coast Limited (NV Nederlandse Spoorwegen)
  • First West Coast Limited (FirstGroup plc)
  • Keolis / SNCF West Coast Limited (Keolis SA and SNCF)
  • Virgin Trains Limited (Virgin Group Holdings Limited)
Today's short listing comes after the Government published requirements for the two franchises, seeking expressions of interest.

The Invitation to Tender for the Greater Anglia franchise will be issued in April.

The Government has set out the following objectives for the franchise:

  • Delivering a quality of service for passengers for the entire rail journey.
  • Working with the Department and other stakeholders to ensure value
  • for money.
  • Managing and delivering changes required to accommodate Crossrail.
  • Implementing the station responsibilities if required.
  • Working effectively with Network Rail to maintain performance.
  • Delivering the plans around the Olympics.
  • Managing the introduction of the Class 379 HLOS vehicles.
  • Controlling operational costs and maximising revenue.
The consultation on the InterCIty West Coast franchise is still ongoing and closes on 21 April.

Responses to the consultation will inform the Invitation to Tender which will be issued in May.

The Government has set out the following objectives for the franchise:

  • To exploit the full potential of the route and maximize capacity.
  • To manage effectively the integration of new rolling stock vehicles.
  • To improve overall passenger satisfaction.
  • To deliver the agreed Olympic services.
  • To improve accessibility to services and stations.
  • To improve the environmental performance of the franchise.
  • To manage effectively any changes during the franchise.
  • To achieve sustainable value for money.
- ENDS -

Greater Anglia franchise prequalification

Sources suggest that Go-Ahead, Stagecoach and Abellio have prequalified for the Greater Anglia franchise.

So farewell National Express!

More to follow...

UPDATE: This from the DfT...


They are:

For Greater Anglia

  • Abellio Greater Anglia Limited (NV Nederlandse Spoorwegen)
  • Eastern Railway Limited (Go-Ahead Group PLC)
  • Stagecoach Anglia Trains Limited (Stagecoach Group plc)
See post above for full text of the DfT announcement.

Pointless signs - East Midlands Parkway

This from the Wicked Weaver...

Here, at East Mid's Parkway - a virgin site upon which to build a multi-platform station - they've ended up with errr... 'steep' stairs.

It would be amusing, were it not so sad!

There must be thousands of such staircases, all to be labelled steep?

Who comes up with these things - is there a British Standard?

Pointless signs - St Pancras

This from Trailer Second...

I thought Eye readers might be interested in this hectoring nonsense lovingly crafted by someone with far too much time on their hands.

Seen at the bottom of the escalator at St Pancras.

Fortunately nobody stops to read it.