Photo: A platform indicator at Central station.
While I’ll stay with the “what goes on tour stays on tour” theory, sometimes I believe that you have to have a bit of fun at work sometimes. If you don’t and you are like Ned Flanders (aka Mr Serious) all the time, will that do your head in? It would certainly do my head in!
This afternoon at work, I had one of those moments. You had to be there and if you weren’t there or doesn’t know what happens when you are there, it might not make sense. And it might not make sense to anyone who probably had no idea what was going on.
One thing that I have noticed the change in at work are the announcements at Central station during the peak hours. Rather than letting the computer do all the work or have someone on the microphone who has poor English, the powers that be have seemingly worked out that people can respond to manual announcements made in plain and clear English.
Well I used to use plain and clear English and I still do now. Despite what some people write in the Mx letters pages, drivers do not make announcements but sometimes it would be better if they did. So what has changed?
For years, I have joked that the PA announcements at Central and other railway stations are trying to sound like a radio station. The announcements would just be going on and on with no gaps in the middle, just like a radio station. In radio, silence is called dead air and at Central especially, you’d be hoping for dead air.
It can be really frustrating for me (and I work there!) when some people decide to do announcements that overlap with other announcements being made on other platforms. So you’d have something like “the train on platform 18 is smoking. Stay behind the Macdonald line. Transit Officers skateboard all stations to co-operation.” I do understand what I often call “Passenger Lack of Information”.
But now, Central station’s platforms are like an open air radio station. The staff announce the trains, give delay information, do some safety announcements and also add personal touches like wishing people a good weekend. I’ve even heard third hand of music being played but I haven’t heard it personally.
“You are listening to platform 16/17 FM. The next train on platform 16 goes all stations to Hornsby. The weather is fine and the train is on time. And after this song, the next train on platform 17 is a City Circle service.”
At least, that is how it sounds sometimes. I am only usually there for a minute here and a minute there but people using Central on afternoon shift seem to be happier which can only be a good thing.
Disclaimer: This post contains my personal opinions only. Stay behind the yellow line. CityRail thanks you for your co-operation.