Chairman Pip's Railway Thoughts

Please keep…

Posted in Customer service, Other general stuff about railways by Chairman Pip on 28 April 2010

Announcements on trains are proliferating significantly. Telling us where we’re going, where we are, who’s operating the train, how many coaches are in the train, not to leave unattended items, all sorts of things and boondoggles. It’s much better certainly if the announcements are left to the driver, or the “on-train crew”, as at least then they can determine what ones are important and what aren’t, and adjust the frequency of them accordingly. But as more new trains enter service, so they increasingly have automated announcements that irritate the hell out of people. This is especially the case on commuter trains, with multiple stops. As a consequence of this, we lose the wit of the driver to make light of a situation, an aspect that seems to be markedly shown by drivers on the London Underground, who have been known to come up with some corkers. Some examples:

To the gentleman wearing the long grey coat trying to get on the second carriage, what part of stand clear of the doors don’t you understand?

Ladies & Gentleman, upon departing the train may I remind you to take your rubbish with you. Despite the fact that you are in something that is metal, fairly round, filthy and smells, this is a tube train for public transport and not a bin on wheels

Please mind the closing doors…
The doors close… The doors reopen.
Passengers are reminded that the big red slidey things on the side of the train are called the doors. Let’s try it again, shall we? Please stand clear of the doors.
The doors close…
Thank you.

I am sorry about the delay, apparently some nutter has just wandered into the tunnel at Euston. We don’t know when we’ll be moving again, but these people tend to come out pretty quickly… usually in bits.

Your delay this evening is caused by the line controller suffering from elbow and backside syndrome, not knowing his elbow from his backside. I’ll let you know any further information as soon as I’m given any.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I do apologise for the delay to your service. I know you’re all dying to get home, unless, of course, you happen to be married to my ex-wife, in which case you’ll want to cross over to the Westbound and go in the opposite direction.

Ladies and gentlemen, we apologise for the delay, but there is a security alert at Victoria station and we are therefore stuck here for the foreseeable future, so let’s take our minds off it and pass some time together. All together now…. ‘Ten green bottles, hanging on a wall…..’.

We are now travelling through Baker Street, as you can see Baker Street is closed. It would have been nice if they had actually told me, so I could tell you earlier, but no, they don’t think about things like that.

Beggars are operating on this train, please do NOT encourage these professional beggars, if you have any spare change, please give it to a registered charity, failing that, give it to me.

Please allow the doors to close! Try not to confuse this with ‘Please hold the doors open’. The two are distinct and separate instructions.

Please note that the beeping noise coming from the doors means that the doors are about to close. It does not mean throw yourself or your bags into the doors.

May I remind all passengers that there is strictly no smoking allowed on any part of the Underground. However, if you are smoking a joint, it’s only fair that you pass it round the rest of the carriage.

“Your attention please – pointless or useful – public transport announcements”

“This train is not going to Parsons Green”


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