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Unread 12-09-2008, 22:30   #1
Ronald Binge
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Default Public Address Overkill

Ever since the six car sets came on stream the 08:35 ex Hazelhatch and the 18:35 Thurles train, my usual two, have become more reliable. Credit where credit is due. However, the trade off has been the incredibly verbose and in two languages PA announcements. Station names, in Irish and then English. Ridiculously complicated announcements in both languages that take us from Inchicore works to the throat at Heuston. Dear oh God. Monday I'm taking the walkman with me.
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Unread 12-09-2008, 22:36   #2
Mark Gleeson
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We will shortly be arriving at Heuston Station Dublin, this is the terminus for this service.....Buses and taxis are available.... DART and Connolly station....

Thank you for travelling with ...
For a commuter service it is overkill to give the full PA.

Irish Rail clearly need to do something about the PA structures, clean and simple

Should be very simple

Next station is Thurles, this is the last stop.
Beidh muid ag teach isteach i Durlas go luath is é seo crioch statsuin an serbhis seo

There is a legal requirement for dual language pa's its not uncommon elsewhere, eg Wales
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Unread 23-09-2008, 01:58   #3
MrX
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They could really do with removing some of the ridiculously verbose unnecessary PA announcements.

A simple "Next station : XXXXXXX"
This is : XXXXXXX

would suffice on most commuter services.

There are a lot of announcements on the Cork-Dublin trains that are just far too long winded.

Info messages do not all need to be played one after the other, they can be played after the journey has commenced.

The key information that the passenger needs to hear when bording is the final destination of the train and stations it is calling at.

.....

DO NOT OCCUPY RESERVED SEATS! (Needs to be played at each station)

SMOKING IS ILLEGAL IN ANY PART OF THIS TRAIN (randomly)

PLEASE STOW YOUR LUGGAGE CAREFULLY - DO NOT BLOCK THE WALKWAYS OR LOAD HEAVY ITEMS INTO THE OVERHEAD RACKS (at major stations e.g. at Cork, Heuston, Limerick Junction and Mallow)

They could do away with a lot of the "ladies and gentlemen .." type stuff.

What you need is simple, professional, quick and clear.

They could learn a lot from the way airlines do things.

On the signage thing the name plates above the seats should be highlighted with a sticker or something e.g. a LARGE red RESERVED FOR :

If the seat's free it should display "SEAT VACANT"

Last edited by MrX : 23-09-2008 at 02:03.
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Unread 23-09-2008, 07:46   #4
markpb
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They could really do with removing some of the ridiculously verbose unnecessary PA announcements.
Absolutely. The last time I went to Cork I ended up phasing out the messages after the first few words because it felt too much like someone reading a book.
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Unread 23-09-2008, 08:10   #5
Laois Commuter
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.....


On the signage thing the name plates above the seats should be highlighted with a sticker or something e.g. a LARGE red RESERVED FOR :

If the seat's free it should display "SEAT VACANT"
Highlighted, maybe. NOT name - for a variety of reasons. Should say where seat is reserved from and to only, so others know it is otherwise free. This would also allow seat to have multiple reservations (eg Cork - Limerick Jun, Thurles - Heuston) during a journey.

LC
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Unread 23-09-2008, 09:22   #6
Mark Gleeson
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On the signage thing the name plates above the seats should be highlighted with a sticker or something e.g. a LARGE red RESERVED FOR :

If the seat's free it should display "SEAT VACANT"
Bad bad idea, it was tried on the Mk4 and it caused serious problems

The current software is very simple, if the seat is reserved for the portion of the journey in which the train currently is, the name is displayed. If the seat is reserved for a future portion, system says "This seat is reserved between X and Y". The name makes it very much easier to identify your seat and also logically enough makes it easy to spot someone who shouldn't be there

The MK4 PA actually says

Ladies and Gentlemen, Iarnród Éireann welcomes you on board. This is the xx:xx hours service from A to B, calling at C, D & E. Your attention is drawn to the safety and evacuation notices. This is a no smoking service. We thank you for your attention and hope you have a pleasant and comfortable journey.

The legal requirements is the second sentence

The safety notice is result of a recommendation from the Southhall and Ladbrooke Grove accidents in the UK

For a premier intercity service the PA is professional and a massive improvement on the past PA's of random content

The real problem is the intercity railcars give the full long distance spiel when running a suburban service

Last edited by Mark Gleeson : 23-09-2008 at 09:35.
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Unread 23-09-2008, 12:36   #7
grainne whale
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Well you should really have been on the 08.58 this morning out of Hazelhatch, the announcements included what sounded like a tiger/lion growling!!
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Unread 23-09-2008, 17:25   #8
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I agree a simple announcement after the pervious stopping station it should announce "The next station is Wicklow" "Were now arriving at Wicklow, Thank You" The 29000 Commuter trains currently announce Next Station Wicklow- Thats it nothing like when the train is approaching wicklow " Were now arriving at wicklow" I think would be more helpful rather than next station wicklow when the train gets closer to wicklow........


On the CDE trains, I thought that when a train arrives at say Limerick Jnct it announces that time rather than this is the 09:00 from dublin hueston, I thought before it announced this is the 09:34 from dublin hueston to cork, The time thats published at Limerick Jnct to cork.....
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Unread 23-09-2008, 21:38   #9
Mark Gleeson
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Originally the system said for the 9am Dublin Cork

This is the <departure time of last station> from Dublin to Cork, that caused confusion as to which train it was, it now says this the 9:00 from Dublin to Cork at all stops, much easier find in the timetable

We pointed the problem out on the very first public run and be fair to the IE manager involved he got it fixed

Last edited by Mark Gleeson : 23-09-2008 at 21:42.
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Unread 24-09-2008, 16:56   #10
Thomas Ralph
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They haven't managed to get it to say the time in Irish yet though.
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Unread 24-09-2008, 19:27   #11
Thomas Ralph
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Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson View Post
The MK4 PA actually says

Ladies and Gentlemen, Iarnród Éireann welcomes you on board. This is the xx:xx hours service from A to B, calling at C, D & E. Your attention is drawn to the safety and evacuation notices. This is a no smoking service. We thank you for your attention and hope you have a pleasant and comfortable journey.
Well, that's what it says when it's waiting to depart. It's a bit longer after subsequent stops, viz:

Seo * an traein ó A go B, agus beidh s* ag freastal ar C, D, & E. Tabhair aird le bhur dtoil ar na fógra* sabháilteachta agus asloinneatha. Tá cosc ar chaitheamh tabac ar an seirbh*s seo. Cinntigh le bhur dtoil go bhfuil bhur mbagáist* stóráilte i gceart, agus nach bhfuil siad sna bhealach sna pasáist*. Cinntigh le bhur dtoil go mbreathna*onn sibh ar na fógra* thar na su*ocháin atá curtha in áirithe. Ná su*g* i su*ocháin atá réamháirithe. Go raibh maith agaibh as cluas a thabhairt dúinn, agus tá súil againn go mbeidh turas deas compordach agaibh.

Ladies and gentlemen, Iarnród Éireann welcomes you on board. This is the (time) train from A to B, calling at C, D, and E. Your attention is drawn to the safety and evacuation notices. This is a no-smoking service. Please ensure your luggage is properly stored, and does not obstruct passageways. Please ensure that you observe the reserved seating notices, and do not occupy pre-booked seats. Thank you for your attention, and have a pleasant and comfortable journey.

And usually this is added to by the train host, and by announcements about the catering service. I can see how some folks would tune out.
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Unread 10-12-2009, 14:32   #12
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Wink "Thank You" said the Toilet

A few examples of the most pointless messages on board Iarnrod Eireann trains (in each case repeated every day on trains all across the country and each time in two languages)...

Before the train leaves the station..."This train will be departing in approximately two minutes. All persons not intending to travel please disembark as the doors will be closing shortly."…Does Iarnrod Eireann have a major problem with people getting on trains and not wishing to travel? If not then perhaps they could dispense with this message.

"Ladies and gentlemen you are very welcome on board this service. This is a no smoking service. Please ensure that your luggage is properly stored and does not obstruct doors or passageways…Thank you for your attention and have a pleasant and comfortable journey…" A. All public workplaces are no smoking so it surely isn't necessary to remind people that it is no smoking…Should the same train users need a LUAS or Bus after their train, they won't be reminded again about their need to refrain from smoking. B. The journey would be much more pleasant and comfortable if it wasn't interrupted every minute by a public address system wishing me a bilingual happy journey. Maybe I'm being cynical but I don't feel that the computer really means it!

"The catering snack bar which is located towards the rear of the train is now open serving a selection of hot and cold snacks, beverages, minerals and drinks." Perhaps, they could replace "beverages, minerals and drinks" with the word "drinks" or else go the whole hog and include "libations, draughts, refreshments, liquids, and potions."

Sometimes for effect the catering snack bar announcement is announced numerous times to a backing chorus of the Toilet Address System telling a phantom Toilet user to extinguish their non-existent cigarette.
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Unread 10-12-2009, 14:45   #13
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I believe the no-smoking announcement is a legal requirement. It is announced from time to time on Dublin Bus services as well.

The "welcome on board" announcement is played 20, 15, 10, and 5 minutes before departure, and a different one 2 minutes after departure from each station. It's not that excessive is it?

The catering announcement could well be described as too long and too frequent.
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Unread 11-12-2009, 09:49   #14
MrX
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They really need to look at shortening the scripts, there's no need for such long-winded phrasing.

"Welcome aboard! - this 11:00 service to Cork" (for Cork just sounds weird)
"Smoking on board is illegal"
"Stow your luggage carefully - do not block the aisles or obstruct doors"

This train will stop at : XXX,YYY,ZZZ.

There's no need for all this 'thank you for your attention and blah blah blah "

The scripts should be quick, to the point, and not waffly. Otherwise, they're just running for ages for no good reason.

Also, no offense to the voice over artist, but there's a reason why a female voice is normally used in public transport announcements - it's far easier to hear as it's higher pitched and cuts through the background din of low-frequency train noises.

Something more like the Luas would make more sense i.e. to the point and clear.


On the DART / Commuter you should have :

"The destination of this train is : XXXXXXX .... Next stop YYYYYY"

"Doors are about to close"

"Approaching YYYYYY"

"This is YYYYYYY"

"The destination of this train is : XXXXXXX .... Next stop ZZZZZZZ

There's really no need for long lists of stations being read out over and over. It's just confusing.

If you want to provide that kind of information - it can be scrolled across the LED panels.

This train is serving : AAAAAA, BBBBB, CCCCC, DDDDDD, EEEEE, FFFFF and GGGGG...

Last edited by MrX : 11-12-2009 at 09:58.
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Unread 11-12-2009, 12:09   #15
Colm Moore
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Also, no offense to the voice over artist, but there's a reason why a female voice is normally used in public transport announcements - it's far easier to hear as it's higher pitched and cuts through the background din of low-frequency train noises.
Its seems people also pay more attention to a woman's voice.
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Unread 12-12-2009, 05:27   #16
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on VIA Rail standard PAs are bilingual and delivered by a member of cabin staff but since unilingual francophones do come down from Quebec it's not as redundant - one of the cabin staff also comes and gives a brief to anyone sitting by one of the windows designed as an emergency exit
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Unread 14-12-2009, 12:46   #17
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Before the train leaves the station..."This train will be departing in approximately two minutes. All persons not intending to travel please disembark as the doors will be closing shortly."…Does Iarnrod Eireann have a major problem with people getting on trains and not wishing to travel?
Quite possible, especially since for the last couple of months any time I get a Sligo train this announcement is made shortly after leaving Connolly.

Haven't seen anyone jump yet though.
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Unread 14-12-2009, 22:03   #18
Ronald Binge
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Luas has now succumbed to bilingual overkill. The new voice sounds less pleasant as well. Our Gaelgoirs must be delighted with themselves that the loud and intrusive announcements now give a full description in both languages about buses, trains, shops and whatnot depending on what stop is next.
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Unread 15-12-2009, 10:34   #19
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Originally Posted by Ronald Binge View Post
Luas has now succumbed to bilingual overkill. The new voice sounds less pleasant as well. Our Gaelgoirs must be delighted with themselves that the loud and intrusive announcements now give a full description in both languages about buses, trains, shops and whatnot depending on what stop is next.
AFAIK there was new legislation passed recently requiring Irish not only to appear alongside English but also to be given equal prominence. This means the Irish roadsigns can no longer be italicised and I guess it also means the full announcement must be made in both languages. The red line around the city centre now seems to be a non-stop babble in the background and reduces the use of the audible announcements.
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Unread 15-12-2009, 22:03   #20
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This means the Irish roadsigns can no longer be italicised
Non-italicised will make it look like an extension of the place name. That's going to be very confusing for tourists driving around Ireland. Where is Kildare Cill Dara anyway?!

Does this also apply the other way around? Like do they have to stop making road signs that just say Port Laoise with no English name now?

Off topic slightly, but I don't have a lot of time for uppity Gaelgoirs!
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