Ah, just imagine…live text announcements to your mobile to translate the unintelligible mumblings from a station PA system. A technological step too far for Scotrail, perhaps, but maybe there is an alternative.
I often stare at the Information section of the train departures board in the hope that it will tell me something more useful than not to feed the pigeons, not to smoke within the station or not to leave my luggage unattended. It seems I am the only one, however, because everywhere you look on the concourse there are pigeons wrestling chips with their stumps, and pecking at fag butts and unattended suitcases.
Standalone live PA system announcements for the deaf/ HOH might arguably take up too much space on the board, but what if the pigeon alerts on the board could alternate with text announcements? It would also help the 98% of the populace who don’t care about not feeding the pigeons and can’t make out the PA announcements either. Two for the price of one.
I know for a fact this system could work. Scotrail love alternating displays, and already have a sophisticated system in place at minor stations which only have one monitor. It somehow detects when you are about to look at the screen for vital train information, and immediately switches to a useless warning not to leave unattended luggage. I find the system is particularly effective when you are rushing.
I used to try and trick the sensors by pretending to look away as I approached, until I misjudged some stairs in the bowels of Glasgow Central and nearly ended up under the Garscadden train. If the secret alternating display system could be deployed usefully to make space for live text announcements on the main destination board, however, my embarrassing trip might not have been in vain…
Background photo cropped from Departures board, Glasgow central railway station courtesy of Wikimedia Commons