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Old August 12th 03, 10:36 AM posted to
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Default Information Problems at L.U.

----- Original Message -----
From: "CJG"
Sent: Monday, August 11, 2003 10:20 PM
Subject: Information Problems at L.U.
Anyway waiting for the train to come in. And surprised to find a Met
line train with Baker Street clearly displayed on the front rolled into
Platform 2. Of course. Everyone on the platform was expecting a train to
Central London. The train clearly said Baker Street. So all the people
piled onto the train. Only for the driver to announce that the train
terminated here. The driver then walked down the platform ignoring all
the passenger pleas to know where the train was going. And a couple of
minutes in his cab announced the train was going to Rickmansworth.
Now you have a huge fixed sign on the platform. A station announcer. And
the front of the train. All saying Central London. And the train infact
is going the opposite way into Hertfordshire.


There would be traction problems if that Metropolitan train tried going
towards Central London from Platform 2 - no current rails past the end of
the platforms, which has caught out more than one driver in the past when
faced with a green starter at Platform 2. To be fair to the announcing staff
at Harrow, a reversal in Platform 2 is not common - once a week or so for a
rusty-rail working, to keep the crews familiar and the conductor rails
shiny, is all that normally occurs; so when a working is signalled to
Platform 2 it is a not un-natural assumption that it is a Chiltern Railways

Given that it is far from common, the driver will have not expected to be
reversed at Harrow, and would have only realised (at the earliest) that
something was up when he remained / was routed to the BR(Fast) lines at
Harrow North Junction, and even then he could not know whether he would be
taken out of service or sent back in the direction of Amersham, Watford,
short to Rickmansworth or Northwood, or even sent up to Uxbridge. However he
did know he would have to reverse, so getting to the cab at the country end
was a priority, from where the train radio could be used to contact line
control to receive info on the next steps to be taken.

I will admit that the signing of the platform as simply for Marylebone is
not ideal - an addition to the sign that states Metropolitan trains entering
this platform reverse here, or something to that effect, would help to deal
with these case when they occur. Ideally, Metropolitan trains would only use
Platforms 3 to 6 to improve customer flow (All 'Up' services would depart
from the same island platform and all 'down' services likewise), with
Chiltern monopolising Platforms 1 and 2. However, this would mean poor
utilisation of Platforms 1 and 2 compared to the others, so it makes sense
to use these platforms from time to time, especially Fast Amersham services,
and definitely when points failure means it is a choice between running into
a platform which may confuse some people or not running a service as far as
Harrow at all.

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