Dale Haslam's train blog: Bosses using technology wisely

Dale Haslam

Dale Haslam

First published in News The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

ONE of the good things about regularly using rail transport is the way train providers are embracing technology.

Gone are the old days where you had to consult a paper timetable, arrive at the station and hope that, if there is a delay or cancellation, someone at the station will tell you.

Nowadays, National Rail’s website runs an online searchable timetable and ticket search, as well as the extremely impressive live departure boards (LDB) service, which shows you where any train is at any point during its journey.

So first thing in the morning, I can log on to check my train is on time before I set off.

Even better, the National Rail phone app allows you to set alerts for particular trains, so my phone buzzes if there are issues that cause major delays, or even replacement buses.

My one bugbear is the online LDB is more accurate than the station screens, so it is not fair to people at stations who are regularly given the wrong information.

Another nice touch is that the two main operators through Bolton run their own Twitter accounts — @northernrailorg and @TPExpressTrains.

They tweet about delays and cancellations and also answer questions, usually from disgruntled passengers stuck on platforms.

On Friday, Northern Rail’s tweeter introduced himself as Tim and wrote about trains with too few carriages, train faults — and even a lost cat that was found at Garforth station six weeks ago.

One passenger, Claire Davies, tweeted Tim to praise a conductor who dealt with a difficult passenger, and Tim said the conductor would be nominated for an employee of the month award.

Nobody would expect the railway to run smoothly all the time but, when delays occur, half the battle is keeping people informed and it is good that those at the helm are using technology effectively to do so.

Comments (3)

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7:08pm Mon 10 Feb 14

wsw69 says...

I agree 100% that no information, or worse than that, incorrect information is what hacks people off more than a late train, or a train that's not coming at all.

It's not rocket science being able to keep people up to date, and there really is no excuse at all in not doing so with the plethora of first rate tech available at everyone's fingertips.
I agree 100% that no information, or worse than that, incorrect information is what hacks people off more than a late train, or a train that's not coming at all. It's not rocket science being able to keep people up to date, and there really is no excuse at all in not doing so with the plethora of first rate tech available at everyone's fingertips. wsw69
  • Score: 1

12:14am Tue 11 Feb 14

BWFC71 says...

At Bolton station the screen for my train is always inaccurate.

0759 always shows on time even when its reached 0759 or gone past it!!! It can be up to five minutes late yet the screen still sys on time.

Another trick that happens at Bolton is f the 0755 is late and my train is late, as usual, then if they do flash up my train as late then they will do it after the 0755 has left so no chance, or opportunity, of catching it. Basically holding passengers to ransom!
At Bolton station the screen for my train is always inaccurate. 0759 always shows on time even when its reached 0759 or gone past it!!! It can be up to five minutes late yet the screen still sys on time. Another trick that happens at Bolton is f the 0755 is late and my train is late, as usual, then if they do flash up my train as late then they will do it after the 0755 has left so no chance, or opportunity, of catching it. Basically holding passengers to ransom! BWFC71
  • Score: 0

12:30am Tue 11 Feb 14

wsw69 says...

BWFC71 wrote:
At Bolton station the screen for my train is always inaccurate.

0759 always shows on time even when its reached 0759 or gone past it!!! It can be up to five minutes late yet the screen still sys on time.

Another trick that happens at Bolton is f the 0755 is late and my train is late, as usual, then if they do flash up my train as late then they will do it after the 0755 has left so no chance, or opportunity, of catching it. Basically holding passengers to ransom!
I recall hearing a while back that the railways count a train as being on-time if it's within 15 minutes of its intended time of arrival/departure.

If only employers would look at an employee arriving and leaving work in the same way - lol.

Only in f**ked up Britain could we employ such a stupid system!
[quote][p][bold]BWFC71[/bold] wrote: At Bolton station the screen for my train is always inaccurate. 0759 always shows on time even when its reached 0759 or gone past it!!! It can be up to five minutes late yet the screen still sys on time. Another trick that happens at Bolton is f the 0755 is late and my train is late, as usual, then if they do flash up my train as late then they will do it after the 0755 has left so no chance, or opportunity, of catching it. Basically holding passengers to ransom![/p][/quote]I recall hearing a while back that the railways count a train as being on-time if it's within 15 minutes of its intended time of arrival/departure. If only employers would look at an employee arriving and leaving work in the same way - lol. Only in f**ked up Britain could we employ such a stupid system! wsw69
  • Score: 1

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