Return of the Empty Train

A few posts ago, I showed you a shot of a train with “Empty Train” on its Destination Indicator. I mentioned that this indicator on this type of train should not happen because of a programming/software issue.

Timetabled Empty Trains which do not carry passengers occur for various reasons including making sure that the trains are in the right spot at the right time to start a new day, maintainence issues, driver training, rail cleaning, testing and more.

These Empty Trains usually run at night but can run at any time of the day. For safety reasons and to keep the Passenger Information system in the correct order, some stations show trains on their screens that do not convey passengers as in basic terms the trains activate the indicators. Apart from this type of train, not all stations stop at all stations. There are also freight and country passenger trains as well that run through these stations that may fool the system if they are not added to the system.

Depending on the station and the person operating the Passenger Information screens, these trains may be shown on the screens as “SPECIAL”, “DOES NOT STOP” or “EMPTY TRAIN”. Some stations used to even show “FREIGHT TRAIN” on their display. In the example shown in this photo, there are two trains shown as Empty Train. These would be the second and third trains through the platform as I have not shown the other screen with the next train on it. However this could change at any time because trains could be diverted to other platforms. This is one of the advantages of this system of Passenger Information.

It is likely that both of these trains are going back to the Depot for the evening.



Filed under flickr, Photo Stories, Photos, Work

2 responses to “Return of the Empty Train

  1. Kinda like when our local buses have “Not In Service” signs on.

  2. Erk

    Shawno, I probably should have mentioned that for the type of train in the photo, we can show “Not in Service” or “Special”. Our buses also have “Not in Service” or “Sorry Not in Service” as well.

    I like to show “Not in Service” when I’m running empty. I do love running empty! It allows me to pretend for a short time that I am a freight or country passenger driver. It’s amazing though the amount of people at stations who stand up as I come through empty or non stop at track speed thinking that I am going to stop for them!

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