Contents Listing - Articles & Features in this issue
THE PRINCIPLES OF BLOCK SIGNALLING - 1 - Warren Smith
HUNGARIAN HOLIDAY - D. Trevor Rowe TRANSYLVANIAN RAILWAY - J. H. Price THE "WESTERN BELLE" - HALF A CENTURY OF TRAIN travel - No. 22: ON THE MAINLAND OF EUROPE - Cecil J. Allen THE WOTTON TRAMWAY - E. J. S. Gadsden THE L.N.W.R. ROUTE FROM MANCHESTER TO LEEDS - Norman Harvey LIGHT RAILWAY NOTES - W. J. K. Danes THE ANTICS OF THE NORTH BRITISH ATLANTICS - " Toram Beg " LETTERS BOOK REVIEWS CLUB NOTES FRONT COVER: S.R. light Pacific No. 34090 Sir Eustace Missenden, Southern Railway tops the summit at the approach to Buckhorn Weston Tunnel, near Templecombe, with the Saturday 8.35 a.m. Waterloo-Exeter train on September 7.
rain identification for the passengers
NOT the least of some virtues in Continental express passenger train operation which are lacking in Britain is the pains taken to assist the passenger, not only to find his correct train, but to do everything possible to ensure that he joins the right coach for his destination. It is not merely a question of displaying adequate timetables and clear departure indicators with platforming information in station concourses and at platform barriers. When the passenger has reached the platform he wants some reassurance - in addition to loudspeaker announcements, which, however clearly enunciated, may be drowned by the hubbub of station activitya€that the train pulling in is the one he requires. He also needs a prominent indication, if the train is serving one or two destinations, that the coach he boards will take him where he wants to go. Some parts of British Railways are not paying enough attention to this essential feature of public relations. The East Coast main line express service, for example, has a great deal in the way of speed, frequency and - now that "" Deltic "" diesel problems have been overcomea€"reliability to commend it. But in the past month or two we have been struck by the dearth of roofboards often noticeable on the coaches of many of its principal trains; sometimes no more than one is to be found in the whole length of a train set, with paper labels stuck on windows to do duty on some of the remaining coaches. One imagines that the situation results from the high degree of quick turnrounds of coaching stock now involved in this service; but such an assumption, even if correct, is not really an excuse. By contrast, one scarcely ever sees an important Continental express in which a single coach is devoid, at waist level, of a board plainly indicating its starting point and destination and summarising its route, and usually of a similar board in the vestibule so that passengers on the train can reassure themselves without descending to the platform. The Western Region is to be congratulated for breaking with British tradition and beginning the introduction of these Continental-type boards at waist level on a number of its principal expresses. The East Coast route has now begun to follow suit. Roof level was never the most conspicuous position for such information. However, the W.R. and E.R. could have done a better job with their new waist-level indicators. It has been forgotten that Continental platforms are much lower than ours, so that abroad the boards are not often obscured by people and luggage on the platforms. Ideally, because of our higher platforms, the boards should have been displayed at coach window level, but on many vehicles there is no panelling space big enough. Forced to copy the Continental waist-level position, B.R. should not have been frightened of making their boards sizeable and the lettering bold; the last thing they should have done was to give the boards a maroon background to match the coach body, making the information still more inconspicuous. One would have liked, also, to see the boards displayed additionally in the coach vestibules. Another Continental practice which has long demanded adoption in Britain is the display on each principal platform of a main-line station of a diagrammatic representation of the chief expresses calling during the day at the platform concerned. These displays show the rostered formation of each train, indicating clearly the destination, class and type of each vehicle, the train's timetable number anda€"oftena€"its diagrammed motive power (steam, diesel or electric). The intending passenger thus has some idea of where to position himself on the platform for the accommodation he seeks. It should be added that the idea was adopted at Liverpool Street for Cambridge line trains when that route's services were reorganised a year or two back; but here again the application could be faulted in detail and it was never taken further.
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